On January 31st my favourite Winnipeg band Royal Canoe will be performing a concert called Glacial at The Forks. The band will be working together with ice artist Luca Roncoroni to create instruments made from ice. Roncoroni who grew up in the Italian Alps and is currently an Oslo resident is the creative director of the Icehotel Group in Sweden which has an ice hotel and art exhibition and engages in ice design projects like Glacial around the world. According to a Winnipeg Free Press article Royal Canoe will be reimagining their own repertoire of music for the event.
Images on Instagram yesterday show the group has already begun their ice instrument creation and the recording of ice sounds for their exciting show. If the weather conditions allow the concert will be performed on the river.
A Royal Canoe Facebook post indicates Glacial is being produced in association with The Forks and Sputnik Architecture Inc. The show production team will also include instrument designer Andy Rudolph, projectionist Stephanie Kuse, and sound technician, Elliot Filbert.
In an Instagram video, band member Matt Schellenberg indicates some of the inspiration for the show may have come from an experience the band had at the National Music Centre in Ottawa where they recorded an ‘icy’ version of one of their songs. Another band member Matt Peters says Royal Canoe will work on the unique project for the entire month of January. He describes it as “another crazy thing that will challenge the band in exciting ways.”
I have seen Royal Canoe perform in many places and on many different kinds of stages, at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Texas, at the University of Manitoba, in front of a gigantic crowd at the Summer Games in Winnipeg, at the Centennial Concert Hall with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, at venues in Toronto and New York, at the West End Cultural Centre, at the Burton Cummings Theatre, at the Regina Folk Festival and I could go on and on. But I think Glacial will be something completely new when it comes to my Royal Canoe experiences.
And if for some reason you don’t get a chance to take in Glacial, which by the way is a free show, you can also catch Royal Canoe in another winter show in Winnipeg in February when they will be performing at the Festival du Voyageur.
Full disclosure- my son Bucky Driedger is a member of Royal Canoe.