Spirit Bear

Welcome to the Spirit Bear Sing-Along

The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to invite your elementary and senior elementary students to participate in a Spirit Bear Song audio/video collaboration! This project is very exciting and we are incredibly grateful that it is being entirely funded by the TBSO with the support of the Hannah and Victor Stevenson Fund, ensuring no cost to either schools or students. Everyone who wants to be involved has the opportunity.

What is the Spirit Bear Project?

It is a music video collaboration project with the TBSO Education, award winning Indigenous singer songwriter Shy-Anne Hovorka, and the students of Thunder Bay and surrounding regions. We want students all across Northwestern Ontario to join us in singing the Spirit Bear Song by submitting a video or audio recording of them singing by themselves or with their families (a reference track will be provided). These recordings will be put together to form a regional choir of students singing with the TBSO and Shy-Anne Hovorka in a Spirit Bear Song music video.

Why we are doing this project?

We miss you. We miss each other. We miss coming to your schools and playing concerts and collaborating with the students. We miss hearing your voices! In Thunder Bay, our Symphony Sing-Along program in which all participating grade 3 students learn to sing the Spirit Bear song was cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed a lot of things. In order to keep each other safe, it has meant that we spend a lot of time away from each other. We have to follow rules about wearing masks, about the restrictions on singing in our music classes among many other things.
In the project videos, and through consultation, we learn the Spirit Bear Song, and how the Spirit Bear represents courage and healing to the Indigenous peoples. We learn that when we sing the song, it is sung 4 times in order to include everything and everyone in the four directions (East, South, West & North), all nations, all cultures, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

The Spirit Bear Project is a way to bring us together in many ways through music and maybe it will help us get through the cold dark days of winter and this pandemic – together but safely distanced!

Ready to get started?

  1. Watch the Introduction to the Spirit Bear Song (see above), which features Maria and Shy-Anne talking about the cultural significance of the Spirit Bear Song, how this song can help us through this pandemic and invites you to join the project. Shy-Anne sings the Spirit Bear Song with RBC Resident Conductor Maria Fuller and the TBSO.
  2. Register your class to participate in the Spirit Project HERE
  3. Learning materials and Instructions on how to participate will be provided after your registration is received.

We hope you will join us for our first (epic) regional music video collaboration project! Got questions? Contact the Education Coordinator:  [email protected]


This project was made possible with the generous support from the following Foundations:
Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation
J.P. Bickell Foundation
Hannah and Victor Stevenson Fund