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Educational Reviews

Donna Kenny, Teacher, Cedarview Middle School, Ottawa

“Deborah Davis’s powerful, expertly researched, bilingual production “A Musical Taste of Our Canadian  Heritage/Notre patrimoine canadien, une odyssée musicale” is a collaborative performance infused with music, dance, song, and historical narrative reflecting the Canadian experience, past and present. This ninety minute interactive teaching tool not only ignites an interest in our country’s music and history, but cultivates in the audience a feeling of national pride, while potentially creating a whole new generation of theatre goers. It touches the soul and elevates the senses, no matter the age of the audience. It is brilliant! You will not be disappointed!”

Donna Kenny, Teacher, Cedarview Middle School, Ottawa

Jean-Marc Young, Professeur d’immersion française des 7e et 8e années, Ottawa Catholic School Board

“Ouvre grand les yeux de nos étudiants… inoubliable… un sens d’appartenance à la culture canadienne à travers les médiums de danse, chant et musique. La vivacité des artistes permet… de s’épanouir pleinement dans notre patrimoine distinct canadien. L’enthousiasme…soutient notre attention tout au long de ce merveilleux voyage musical et historique.”

Jean-Marc Young, Professeur d’immersion française des 7e et 8e années, Ottawa Catholic School Board

Melanie (audience member & parent)

“….This production was amazing !!! It was exciting throughout…A heart stomping feel good experience, the costumes were authentic, the performers engaging…You could feel the energy and excitement of Canada’s history…. a truly unique opportunity to connect with the great history of Canadian song and dance..”

Melanie (audience member & parent)

Julie Jacobson – wife of former American ambassador to Canada David Jacobson

” …The Odyssey Showcase is a superb combination of education and entertainment. It was great fun to experience the highlights of Canadian music through the years in this innovative way. Deborah Davis and her cast are terrifically talented and energetic performers. Loved it!!”

Julie Jacobson – wife of former American ambassador to Canada David Jacobson

Jacqueline Fleming, EAO/Direction É. É. C. Saint-Nicolas, Milton, ON

“Excellent moyen de transmettre l’histoire! Je n’ai pas arrêtée de bouger. Ce fut un spectacle mouvementé, plein de sourires, d’énergie et de richesse qui devrait être vu par tous.  La passion de Mme Davis de la culture et de la musique canadiennes jumelée avec une vision unique du bilinguisme sont transmis à tous les niveaux. Wow!”

Jacqueline Fleming, EAO/Direction É. É. C. Saint-Nicolas, Milton, ON

Sharon St Maurice, Joliette High School, Joliette Québec

“After spending three action-packed exciting days in Ottawa the students are still rating “Odyssey Showcase/ “A Musical Taste of Our Canadian  Heritage/Notre patrimoine canadien, une odyssée musicale” ” as their most favourite event. What a wonderful way to actually EXPERIENCE Canadian history. To teach through music and theatre is a media seldom used in our educational system. For challenged students such as my own, the show taught them about Canada and their heritage in a dynamic, impressive way. On behalf of the Joliette High School students…….thanks for the memories! Hope to see you again in 2012. Please keep us posted.”

Sharon St Maurice, Joliette High School, Joliette Québec

Naomi Ventura, Hazel McCallion Senior Public School Teacher

“A Musical Taste is extremely valuable from an educational perspective because it changes the way students look at history and exposes them to the arts and social studies in a way they could never otherwise experience. The show mesmerizes students from start to finish and takes them on a journey through the evolution of our country and its people. The connections between music, dance, clothing, people, and physical development of the land are vivid, and provide connections that cannot be made through textbooks, DVD’s and CD’s. A Musical Taste is a multidisciplinary production that consolidates many of the “big ideas” presented in the Arts and Social Studies/History /Geography documents of the Ontario Curriculum, and it has a tremendous impact on students…

The accompanying Teacher’s Manual is an asset because it provides many creative activities that help teachers to extend the excitement of the production into the classroom for weeks afterwards, while increasing student knowledge, appreciation, and participation. The manual provides necessary background information for teachers, and the activities allow for integration with the Ontario Language Arts curriculum document and technology skills. It really is a hands-on, innovative way to teach students about their “home and native land” while integrating core content, and in my opinion, it should be a mandatory component in the education of all Canadian students. On behalf of all teachers, I thank you for this wonderful program.”

Naomi Ventura, Hazel McCallion Senior Public School Teacher

Professor Gerry Cammy, Heritage College, CFRA radio talk-show host

”Both the production and the manual are nothing less than brilliant. They are just as much a history of Canada as a history of various genres of music. It is a tour of our vast land with a sociological look at our provinces and territories. I will have absolutely no hesitation in using parts of this manual in my college-university courses nor will I hesitate in recommending both the production and manual to all educators. It is an excellent contribution to learning!”

Professor Gerry Cammy, Heritage College, CFRA radio talk-show host

Professor Chad Gaffield, University of Ottawa

“The production not only emphasizes the important role of music in Canadian history, but also uses music as a point of entry to related discussions about the full sweep of social, economic, cultural and political change. This approach is in keeping with the current thrust of interdisciplinary teaching and research in education as well as efforts to link schools and the larger community.”

“…In creative and compelling ways, Deborah Davis and her colleagues are at the forefront of such innovative efforts to support the study of Canada’s past. They have shown how music can stimulate, inspire and inform students about key social and cultural transformations in the making of modern Canada. In recent years, I have had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand the excitement and engagement of students “tasting” Canada’s musical heritage, and my enthusiasm for this approach is the direct result of this experience. I saw students who were obviously seeing Canadian history in new ways. They were, indeed, becoming active learners who were connecting with the past through their appreciation and wonder at the sounds and sights of our musical heritage…”

 

Professor Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Founding Director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at the University of Ottawa

Canjita Gomes-Fernandes, PhD, Social Sciences Consultant, English Montreal School Board

“This is just a little note to let you know how much I loved your production of A Musical Taste of Our Canadian Heritage that I had the pleasure to see in Ottawa this past May. I found it fascinating, appealing and pertinent to the understanding of Canadian History. I am sure the students will just love to see it and the teachers will certainly promote it.”

Canjita Gomes-Fernandes, PhD, Social Sciences Consultant, English Montreal School Board

Sandy Ramos, Historian, RCMP Strategic Partnership and Heritage Branch

” …We were immediately impressed by the originality of this concept…Music has indeed long been recognized by educators as a most effective way of teaching, but it has never been applied to history on this scale.. As the RCMP played a crucial role in the development of Canada, particularly the Western expansion, we are always seeking new ways to promote this often forgotten aspect of our organization.  In collaboration with Ms. Davis and her team, we identified several pieces of RCMP music that would allow us to promote the role our institution played in nation building.  The RCMP Historical Section provided images and historical information which Ms. Davis combined with period music.  The result was very moving, yet historically accurate depiction of the role the RCMP in the late19th century…We had the honour of attending the production and were immediately genuinely impressed by the high caliber of all the performers and musicians.  The final product was a lively and moving overview of Canada’s rich history, from Pre-European Contact to the 21st Century. Judging from the audience’s response we were not alone in our sentiment. We believe that A Musical Taste of Our Canadian Heritage is an extremely worthwhile endeavour that would instill in Canadians a greater appreciation of our heritage…”

Sandy Ramos, Historian, RCMP Strategic Partnership and Heritage Branch

Cathy Jowsey, Manager, Community Relations and Regional Manager/Ontario North & East Region TD Canada Trust

“TD Canada Trust has been a part of this production forn the beginning and we are proud to continue our support… I had the pleasure of attending this production at least four times and each time I was more wowed… the quality of talent, the creativity of the performance and the passion displayed by the performers was inspiring..it was excellent, representing our diverse culture and showcasing many Canadian legends… the production made me proud… quite simply, Wow!”
Cathy Jowsey, Manager, Community Relations and Regional Manager/Ontario North & East Region TD Canada Trust