Featuring Will Ferguson and Project Muse | Sunday MAY 27, 2012 | 2:00 pm | free

Lethbridge - Author and comedian Will Ferguson and the Empress Theatre’s Project Muse will be at the Galt Museum & Archives on Sunday, May 27 at 2:00 pm for the Galt’s free public celebration of the 60-year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – the Diamond Jubilee. 

 The Diamond Jubilee, according to the Government of Canada official Jubilee website, is “an opportunity to celebrate traditions, history, symbols, values and institutions, particularly about the role of the Crown in Canada. The Jubilee will highlight how Canada has evolved over the past 60 years under Her Majesty’s reign, and look to the future of our nation and how our young people will contribute to our democracy."

 “We look forward to recognizing Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee because of the impact of the monarchy on Canada,” says Leslie Hall, Community Programs Coordinator at the Galt. “We’re so pleased Will Ferguson is able to help us celebrate, he is one of my favorite Canadian authors with a love for history!”

 Will Ferguson is the author of several award-winning memoirs including Beyond Belfast, about a 560-mile walk across Northern Ireland in the rain; Hitching Ride with Buddha, about an end-to-end journey across Japan by thumb; and most recently the humour collection Canadian Pie, which includes his travels from Yukon to PEI. Ferguson’s novels include Happiness, a satire set in the world of self-help publishing; Spanish Fly, a coming-of-age tale of con men and call girls set amid the jazz clubs of the Great Depression; and the recently published 419, a startlingly original tale of heartbreak and suspense that takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam.

 Nominated for both an IMPAC Dublin Award and a Commonwealth Writers Prize, and a three-time winner of the Leacock Medal, Ferguson’s work has been published in more than 20 languages around the world. He is planning an upcoming journey across Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and eastern Congo by truck.

 Ferguson’s talk at the Galt on May 27 will be followed by a varied repertoire of chamber music performed by the Empress Theatre’s Project Muse, a classical music arts program which sees four young, professional musicians visit southern Alberta schools to present educational programs and share the joy of music. Violist Brooke Day of Lethbridge and flutist Sarah Gieck of Calgary return for the second year, and are joined by harpist Olivia Ritchey and clarinetist Erin Fung. Their schedule also includes visits to 14 schools in Pincher Creek, Stavely, Claresholm, Enchant, Lomond, Glenwood, Barnwell, Coaldale, and Lethbridge.

 Their appearance along with Will Ferguson at the Galt Museum’s Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration, is made possible by a Diamond Jubilee Grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage. For more information on all events and programs at the Galt Museum & Archives visit www.galtmuseum.com.



 In 2012, Canada celebrates the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. To mark this Diamond Jubilee, special initiatives have been implemented to honour The Queen’s reign, her service and her dedication to this country, and to celebrate Canadian achievements of the last 60 years.

 The Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate our traditions, history, symbols, values and institutions, particularly about the role of the Crown in Canada. The Jubilee will highlight how Canada has evolved over the past 60 years under Her Majesty’s reign, and look to the future of our nation and how our young people will contribute to our democracy.

 The Queen came to the throne on February 6, 1952; her Coronation took place on June 2, 1953. Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Canada began on February 6, 2012 and continue throughout the year. They include a medal program, funding for community celebrations, and a public awareness and education component.


Will Ferguson.jpg

 Born and raised in a former fur-trading post in Northern Canada – “closer to the Arctic Circle than the American border" – Will Ferguson is an award-winning author and travel writer whose work has been sold into more than 20 languages around the world. His work ranges from budget travel guides to works of literary fiction. He lived and worked in Ecuador, South America as a teenager as part of Canadian World Youth [a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of young people who desire to become informed and active global citizens].

 A graduate of the York University Film School, where he studied screenwriting and film production, Will spent five years in Japan, first on the Amakusa Islands south of Nagasaki and then later on the Kyushu mainland. He has walked across Northern Ireland in the rain, and has hitchhiked the length of Japan. As a college student, he once worked as a professional space cadet at the CN Tower's “Tour of the Universe”. In 2010 he was named the head writer on the Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremonies, penning material for the likes of William Shatner and Michael J. Fox. He lives in Calgary, Canada, in the foothills of the Rockies, with his wife Terumi and their two young sons.

 "Ferguson has great skill. He perfectly lays in all the bits and pieces that have to add up, so the reader says, “Of course!” when the plot finally unfolds. He does so with such a subtle hand, making them look like bits of incidental information, or colour, that you’re always wondering but can never quite guess until it’s time for the payoff. That’s the mark of a superb storyteller." --VUE Magazine 


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 Brooke Day was born in Lethbridge and began his violin studies with Norbert Boehm when he was 5. After high school he went to study music at the University of British Columbia. It was during this period that Brooke discovered the viola and his love of sushi. When he finished his 4 year degree in 5 years he worked on cruise ships for two summers. Once back in Lethbridge he honed his teaching skills at the very building where he learned to hold the bow, the University of Lethbridge Conservatory.

 He formed a friendship with international viola soloist, Rivka Golani who invited him to study with her in England. He won his Masters in viola performance at the Birmingham City University and moved to London to start his freelance career. Brooke was a member of the group "Pluck", a classical music, comedy trio. Since being in England, Brooke has had the good fortune to perform in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, not to mention all over the UK.

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 Calgary flutist SARAH GIECK [Gee-eck] is quickly becoming one of the most sought after performers and teachers in the province of Alberta. She is a regular guest musician with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared with the Red Deer Symphony, Altius Brass Ensemble, Alberta Winds, Ensemble Resonance, Alberta Ballet, Land’s End Chamber Ensemble and Museaus String Quartet. Sarah is also the former principal flute of the Lethbridge Symphony, a position she held for three years. In addition Sarah has been a guest musician with the Fort McLeod International Music Festival for the past three years, performing alongside internationally recognized musicians in a series of chamber music concerts throughout southern Alberta. In the upcoming year Sarah will be featured as a concerto soloist with the University of Lethbridge Wind Orchestra and will give a solo recital as part of the University Faculty Artist Series.

 Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Calgary where she studied with Gwen Klassen, a Master of Music Degree from the Royal Northern College of Music located in Manchester, England, and an Artists Diploma Degree from the University of Cincinnati. Sarah has worked closely with many of the world’s leading flute teachers including Lorna McGhee, William Bennett, Dr. Bradley Garner and Peter Lloyd. More: http://www.eurydice.ca/teachers.html

Photo: Andrew Querner

Photo: Andrew Querner

 A  featured soloist and instrumentalist on CBC, harpist Olivia Ritchey's most recent collaborations have included performances with the ProArts Society of Alberta, The Banff Centre for Fine Arts and HearHere. Among Canada's youngest principal orchestral musicians, Olivia has held posts with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (2003-2007), and currently freelances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Red Deer Symphony, the Alberta Ballet and the Calgary Opera. As a chamber player with GroundSwell New Music, she has collaborated in several North American and world premieres, and currently performs contemporary classical music as a member of the ArtStrong Ensemble, in duo with friend and colleague Sara Hahn (principal flute, CPO). 

 Beginning musical studies under the guidance of her father, a distinguished organist and professor of music, Olivia pursued private harp studies with Richard Turner (principal harp, WSO) and was later accepted as a performance major at the University of Manitoba's School of Music. There she was awarded the Gladys McIntyre Music Prize, the WMC Holtby Scholarship, and was recipient of the Richardson Scholarship in Music for the duration of her studies. Olivia is also alumni of the Faculty of Science, and holds a BSc in Biology.

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 Clarinetist Erin fung is a Substitute Clarinet at both the Vancouver Symphony and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras, and is a Clarinet Clinician with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also been a Substitute Clarinet for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Erin holds a Master of Music, Clarinet Performance from Rice University; a Master of Music, Clarinet Performance from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master of Music, Music Theory and Clarinet Performance from Indiana University.



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