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Significance of Bowker Creek Watershed featured in classical concert in Victoria

Emily Carr quartet’s Earth Songs series continues March 11 at Christ Church Cathedral
The Emily Carr String Quartet performs the second in its series entitled Earth Songs: Music for Climate Justice, on March 11 at Christ Church Cathedral. (Photo by Jon Mark Photography)

The Emily Carr String Quartet’s March 11 concert at Christ Church Cathedral will make an honoured guest out of an 11,500-year-old resident of Oak Bay and Saanich; the Bowker Creek Watershed.

In honour of World Water Day on March 22, the Water concert features a special presentation by the Friends of Bowker Creek Society following a performance of the music of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer and Claude Debussy. The 5 p.m. concert, happening online and in person, is the second in the cathedral and quartet’s six-part series Earth Songs: Music for Climate Justice.

The dedication and presentation for the Bowker Creek Watershed incorporate both this year’s World Water Day theme: Groundwater, and the subject matter of both composers.

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Prior to urbanization, the watershed spanning just west of the University of Victoria’s campus to Oak Bay’s Bowker Drive significantly supported the Garry Oak ecosystem and had large coho salmon and cutthroat trout populations, according to a press release from the Bowker Creek Society.

Schafer (1933-2021) popularized the term “soundscape” in compositions by incorporating sounds of nature. His featured song, Waves, is a musical interpretation of his recordings and an analysis of ocean waves on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, with patterns that mimic the cresting of waves. String Quartet in G minor by Debussy (1862-1918) was selected for the concert for its watery, impressionistic sound.

During the concert, there will be an opportunity to donate to the Peninsula Streams Society.

The Water concert and others in the series, which runs to June, are meant to “draw attention to the need for personal action to reverse the climate crisis.” The next concert, Land, takes place on April 22. “Each concert focuses on a different facet of our relationship with the natural world, aiming to educate, entertain and inspire change.”

For full event info and tickets, visit The cathedral is located at the corner of Quadra Street and Rockland Avenue.

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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