Students at Connaught Street School celebrated the end of their school year with a one-hour musical that played to a packed house on June 14.
How Canada Came to Be, written by music specialist Rhonda Draper, brought students from all grades to the stage in various acts to tell the history of Canada in story and song. Throughout the performance, students gave an overview of Canadian history using music to portray the diverse culture of the nation. They sang a Maliseet song as well as Canadian folk tunes like I's the B'y that Builds the Boat, Mary Mack, I Met a Bear, Great Big Moose, and many more.
Sarah Francis from Tobique First Nation opened the musical with a jingle dress dance surrounded by students who carried flash cards about the Wolastoq river, Maliseet language and respect for First Nations people. Then came stories about the arrival of the Vikings and the early Europeans, followed by John Cabot who claimed Newfoundland for England, Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain. Students told of the fur trade in a vast wilderness, relationships with First Nations allies, clearing the forest, farming in the colonies, and encounters with wild animals. Then came Confederation in 1867, settling the prairies, Louis Riel, the formation of the northwest Mounted Police, the establishment of a national railroad, lumbering on the west coast, and the Yukon's Klondike gold rush.
"Canada! We are the true north, strong and free," the students said. "Our spirit comes form the beauty of the land, from its hardships, joys and sorrows. We tread gratefully upon our land, and when the day is done, we rest our tired heads and dream sweet dreams born, once again, on the wing of our song."
The exciting musical event opened with the Grade 5 school band performing O Canada, and ended with students singing a bilingual version of the province's anthem, Land of New Brunswick.
Shown in the photos below (1) Sarah Francis from Tobique First Nation performing a jingle dress dance surrounded by students Dominic O'Donnell, Logan Ramey, Vera LeBlanc, Sasha Mais, Gregor Smith and Ben Budd; (2) Students Jonathon Howey, Andrew Phillos, Madeline Walker, Lily Porter, Adah Hatfield and Molly Jenkins performing at the musical, How Canada Came to Be, at Connaught Street School.