It’s not Oh Canada, it’s My Canada.
Jodi Cuervo’s Grade 4 class at Little Mountain elementary created a new anthem of sorts that’s getting province-wide recognition.
The song, My Canada, was selected as winner of the under-11 category for the inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s Sing Me A Song contest.
With the help of Debra Krol, parent volunteer and B.C. registered music teacher, the class co-wrote My Canada, a song all about what Canada means to them.
Two brainstorming sessions produced images of expansive greenery, snow-capped mountains, rivers, lakes and oceans, as well as feelings of freedom. Freedom to play with friends, sunbathe on a beach, go to school.
Freedom to live without war.
Freedom to live in peace.
“Oh my goodness, there were so many things, mountains, rivers, multiple languages, just being able to go out on the street and play,” said Krol of the ideas that flowed. “The kids really liked their freedom.”
Over a two-month period, Krol took the young patriot’s words and matched them to the melody in her head. Once the lyrics were in place, the students added various movements and hand gestures to accompany the music.
It was a project that wasn’t easy by any means, and turned into more work than Krol had initially envisioned, but was well worth the effort.
“The kids loved it,” said Krol. “They loved having their own song, an original that nobody had sung before.”
The contest fulfilled several areas of the Grade 4 curriculum, including social studies, writing, music and presentation skills. But more important, it made the class part of history.
“I don’t think that’s quite hit them yet,” said Cuervo. “I don’t think they’ve realized the impact this song could have.”
By winning, the school will receive $1,000 that will be used to purchase a new piano. As well, a scheduled visit from Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon is planned for the final day of school.
“This is going to be a huge memory for our kids to meet somebody that high up in politics,” said Cuervo.
The Sing Me A Song contest is part of the lead up to Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017.
Schools, community choirs and amateur musical groups were invited to write and sing an original song inspired by Canada’s 150 years. All submissions had to have a minimum of 15 voices and were judged on musicality, spirit and originality.
To view a video of the class singing My Canada visit The Progress website at www.theprogress.com