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Monday, June 17, 2024

Mi’kmaw Moons closes the season on Cecilia Concerts’ sensory-accessible concerts

The June concert features stories and songs from Mi’kmaw storyteller Cathy LeBlanc, guitarist and vocalist Anna Plaskett, and host and pianist Jennifer King.

Cecilia Concerts and the Halifax Public Libraries present the season-closing performance of its sensory-accessible concert series. The June concert features stories and songs from Mi’kmaw storyteller Cathy LeBlanc, guitarist and vocalist Anna Plaskett, and host and pianist Jennifer King.

LeBlanc, a member of the Acadia First Nation, Mi’kmaw cultural interpreter and co-author of Mi’kmaw Moons: The Seasons in Mi’kma’ki, will guide attendees through the ecological and celestial cycles of the moons using a Two-Eyed Seeing approach.

The Two-Eyed Seeing approach is a concept coined by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall. It advocates for the respectful integration of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems, suggesting that one can benefit from “seeing” through both perspectives simultaneously. This approach emphasizes the value of each system’s strengths while addressing complex issues more comprehensively. It is often applied in various fields, including education, health, and environmental management, promoting collaboration and deeper understanding across cultures.

“This sensory-friendly concert is a celebration of the full moon and the seasonal transitions as Mi’kma’ki moves from spring into summer, merging profound stories embedded in the natural world with a delightful musical journey and an exploration of the rich history and astronomy of Indigenous timekeeping,” say organizers.

This all-ages-friendly program also features plenty of music, including classical pieces like Claude Debussy’s Clair de lune and Ottorino Respighi’s Notturno from his 1905 collection Sei Pezzi. It also features songs such as Fireflies by Laurie Berkner, Red Red Robin by Harry Woods, Little Birds by Bob Marley, and Stephanie Leavell’s Sparkly Stars & the Big Calm Moon.

Now in its third year, these sensory-accessible concerts are designed to make live music accessible to more people, including autistic, neurodivergent, and intellectually disabled community members of all ages and their families. They are also designed for seniors with age-related changes in hearing and vision that can make loud noises and bright lights uncomfortable, or for anyone with underlying conditions that can affect their sensory processing and make traditional concert environments challenging. The specially curated concerts are staffed by music therapists and dance artists, and are designed to be inclusive, accommodating, and enjoyable for everyone in a welcoming and friendly environment

Cecilia Concerts and the Halifax Public Libraries present its final concert in its sensory-accessible series for this season at Halifax Central Library’s Paul O’Regan Hall (5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax) on June 9. Admission is free but registration is required. Visit ceciliaconcerts.ca for more information.

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