My weekend with the Ordo Collective was surreal in so many ways. First of all, I have never had a travel grant cover my trip (Thank-you to the Edmonton Arts Council!). It was a novel experience to be supported and recognized as a musician in monetary form while traveling. The quick two-day trip made me feel like a transient professional. One day I'm working in the clinic, and the next day, I'm in a different city catching up with choir friends and singing in a gorgeous church. It is amazing how friends and musical connections with audiences make an unfamiliar location feel instantly like home.
After a quick flight from Vancouver to Victoria I walked out of the plane breathing in the ocean air. There is something about being on an island that makes me go into vacation mode. You immediately feel like leading an unstructured lifestyle. There was a moment of I-can't-believe-I-was-in-Edmonton-this-morning-and-now-I'm-here. I spent a leisurely afternoon reconnecting with a choir friend currently living in Victoria, browsing tea and chocolate shops in downtown Victoria, and smelling the flowers at the Empress hotel.
Later the Ordo ladies head to St. John The Divine for a dress rehearsal. The venue was beautiful: stone walls, long aisles, and a grand spacious stage at the front. The passion of the Ordo organizers, Eva and Gwen, is unparallelled. Eva flew out a day earlier to scout out the church location and arrange details. It is a luxury to just show up and sing without having to personally set up and tear down the stage. When we arrived we just needed to walk onto stage. We also discovered Eva had supplied a fully stocked fridge since we didn't have enough time before our performance to hunt for sustenance. The only thing the singers had to do was bring programs from Edmonton. We were all given a generous stack of programs to carry, which just further highlights the passion of the Ordo organizers, because just like with the food, they wished to supply a surplus of programs for the audience. It is staggering to witness such love in a project. It made my early wake-up times and post-travel lethargy totally worth it.
|St. John the Divine, Victoria BC|
Another interesting thing when you're on tour with any group is the personalities that surface. Oftentimes, you get glimpses of people's true character in your daily interactions with them; however, these individual quirks always come to the forefront when you're traveling. It was interesting to see ladies oftentimes stressed with their busy Edmonton schedules wear a perma-smile of contentment while breathing in the humid West Coast breeze. It was also interesting to see the sensitivity levels and passive-aggressive responses of ladies of those dealing with the compounding fatigue of the weekend. What travel character am I? I like to think of myself as a chill explorer. Equipped with my phone apps like Urbanspoon and Fourquare, I am ready to wander and discover local events and coffee shops but I also know not to let small unorganized details get to me. I don't feel like it is a good use of my mental energy to negatively reflect upon a situation I have no control over.
|Christ Church, Vancouver BC|
Overall, The Ordo Collective had a fantastc weekend in Victoria and Vancouver. It was filled with gorgeous music, magical venues, and familiar choral faces in the audience. If every weekend was like this I would probably burn-out from sheer happiness.
Until next time readers, take care!