Posted by Rob on November 01, 2003 at 23:38:31:
In Reply to: Canadian Orchestras and Sights? posted by Mr. Strange Request on October 31, 2003 at 21:20:25:
Canada is a very big country, impossible to see all of in one trip unless you have several months and many thousands of dollars at your disposal. You could pick a 'region' and then tour it extensively, though: start in Montreal, as suggested, and see the O.S.M. and enjoy the French culture. Then visit Ottawa (our capital), see the National Arts Centre Orchestra (www.nac-cna.ca), and tour the parliament buildings and see the other tourist sites (if you're in the summer, check out the changing of the guard, the band is made up of music students from across Canada). Then travel to Toronto (if you can, visit the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River on the way - it's quite beautiful and indicative of the 'cottage country' in northen Ontario where many of us spend our summers). The Toronto Symphony is excellent (www.tso.ca), and also the Canadian Opera Company (www.coc.ca)and National Ballet of Canada (www.national.ballet.ca) have their home here.
The 'Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto' belt is one of the most highly travelled in Canada and represents a large proportion of our population. Those three cities are also home to (arguably) the best three orchestras in the country. You can travel from Montreal to Toronto by car in about 6 hours, and in fact there is excellent train service between the three cities (see www.viarail.ca)
As I said, this is only one region of Canada and will give you a good feel for 'Central-Eastern' culture. You might also want to visit the East Coast and hear the live folk music (the Celtic heritage is quite evident in Nova Scotia), and the West and see the Rocky Mountains, praries, West Coast (especially the forests in British Columbia). There are many fine orchestras in these parts of the country as well (generally one in every major city such as Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, and Vancourver).
Hope this helps.