A Musical Journey through Canada


While researching, writing, and touring these musicals over the years, I’ve had a front seat view experiencing how Canada unfolded.  From First Nations to First Contact,  Explorers to Fur Traders,  Sailing Ships to Railways,  Mapmakers to Gold Miners,  Politicians to Judges to Mounted Police, all manner of Showmen,  Rascals, Vaudevillians,  and one great Painter who also happened to be a great Writer and a courageous Woman,  I’ve been moved and inspired by these trailblazing characters.

I’ve lived and performed on a tall ship, in logging towns like Chemainus,  in Goldrush towns like Barkerville or Dawson City,  and farming hamlets like Rosebud, Alberta near Blackfoot Crossing where Chief Crowfoot camped.   I was Sir James Douglas at Fort Langley B.C.’s 150th Anniversary.    And as a classical piano student,  I studied beside Beacon Hill Park near Emily Carr’s home, travelling home for Christmas on the C.P.R. line long before I wrote a musical about it, which, to my surprise and delight, the C.P.R. embraced wholeheartedly.

Thanks to presenters who also embraced these “Canadiana” musicals, we’ve presented over 3,000 performances for as many welcoming audiences across Western Canada.   I am grateful to the dozens of performers who have expertly played such a variety of styles of music with me as we’ve toured this beautiful landscape to share our country’s amazing stories.

As David Thompson, the great nomadic explorer sings in my song Staring at the Stars:

“If you could see what I have seen,
been to the places I have been,
in birch canoes,
in worn-out shoes,
surveying every scene”.

Happy 150th Canada – my home and native land

Allen Desnoyers