Conduct Us was the signature 5th anniversary event for Ontario Culture Days in 2014.
Who hasn’t waved their arms dramatically to a symphony playing on the radio? Conduct Us is a simple and effective engagement activity for choirs, orchestras, symphonies and bands that allows the public to bring this fantasy to life! During a Conduct Us activity, the public is invited to pick up a baton for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to lead a live ensemble.
During Culture Days 2014, 17 Conduct Us events were presented by professional and amateur orchestras, big bands and choirs across the province including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra whose Conduct Us event at Roy Thomson Hall was the highlight of the National Culture Days Launch. This event hosted by Marci Ien, Co-Host of CTV's Canada AM, featured TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian, pre-eminent actor Colm Feore, Barenaked Ladies bassist Jim Creeggan and CP24’s Steve Anthony and offered 15 members of the public the thrilling experience of conducting the TSO!
The following groups participated in this exciting initiative:
Conduct Us was an exciting activity for people of all ages and levels of musical knowledge and experience. Check out our photo gallery below for some highlights of the project.
While the 5th anniversary celebrations are over, Conduct Us is an excellent public engagement activity that many musical groups continue to present as a part of Culture Days. Please see our tipsheet for ideas to ensure that both your musicians and public participants get the most out of this unique opportunity!
Conduct Us is the brainchild of Improv Everywhere, a New York City-based collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of participants.
Culture Days is . . . joining in a drum circle led by the Perpetual Peace Project at the Welland Community Wellness Complex! Photo: Cassandra Magazzeni.
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"I do think that we are innately creative, all people no matter how much we often believe that we aren't.. we are designed with innate creativity we unlearn it so quickly...there are endless ways you can experience creativity that expression is healthy and important for your well being." Words spoken by fellow creator, fellow YAAP artist and fellow friend Amber Aasman. Words that I keep close to heart in my own journey with I.AM. It is a true blessing to witness Wild Blue Yonder into its journey, capturing gems of Canadiana wilderness through their work. Shout out to Ontario Culture Days for connecting our worlds together :)
Culture Days is . . . dancing and learning all about African history through music and dance at Toronto Public Library! Photo Credit: Kevin Jones.