North Island Concert Society photo Jowi Taylor, award-winning writer, broadcaster, holds Voyageur.

Six String Nation comes to Port Hardy with nationally famous guitar

Jowi Taylor’s showing, organized by the North Island Concert Society, will happen Nov. 17.

Voyageur, a 64 piece guitar which has travelled over 300,000 kilometres, will be visiting Port Hardy. Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jowi Taylor will put on a multimedia showing about the nationally famous guitar.

The presentation “goes beyond Canada’s cultural clichés, galvanizing audiences with a story that is as deeply personal as each individual in the room and as vast as the country itself. This is storytelling at its most compelling and emotional,” Taylor said. He will also be visiting Port Hardy Secondary School and Eagle View Elementary School to present a culturally relevant and engaging historical story, on top of presenting at Port Hardy Civic Centre.

“Six String Nation distills stories of diverse cultures, communities, characters and events from every province and territory of Canada into a single guitar called Voyageur,” the press release stated.

During the Nov. 17 show, two locals will have an opportunity to play the guitar. “The Voyageur guitar will be played by local musicians Jeremy Parker and Cody Woelfle. Opening the program is North Island Children’s Choir from Port Hardy, and Sisters of Song from Port Alice,” continued the press release.

The guitar itself is comprised of “so many pieces that tell the story of Canada from countless personal, cultural, historical and community perspectives,” the release stated. “It’s been played by hundreds of musicians in countless styles from many cultures including some of Canada’s top artists.”

One of the many pieces that make up the guitar includes what is known as the golden spruce from Haida Gwaii.

Taylor stated retrieving a piece of the golden Sitka spruce tree, called Kiidk’yaas, was “an extraordinary process with 18 months of dialogue with Haida Gwaii.”

“Even then, literally as we were leaving it became apparent that there was no unanimity” amongst the Haida Gwaii nation, he stated. “In the end, it was an extraordinary contribution from a community that didn’t want to contribute anything. It was a healing gesture on their part.”

The presentation, Taylor said, will “draw people together to share the story from everyone’s perspectives.”

And as for how much the guitar has travelled, Taylor also mentioned that he “likes to think the guitar is home at any place in Canada as soon as it’s played by a local.” He noted that over 15,000 people held the Voyageur guitar since the project launched.

The Peabody award-winning writer conceived the idea of Six String Nation as far back as 1995.

The project combines what Taylor mentioned is a “fascination with music, media, community engagement, and the dynamics of Canadian history and multicultural identity.”

In 2015, Taylor was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada for Six String Nation. Residents are encouraged to buy tickets online by going to the North Island Concert Society’s Facebook page or in person at the Port Hardy Visitor Centre, Cafe Guido, Port Hardy Museum, or Flora Borealis.

The event will take place Nov. 17 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.niconcert.org for more information.

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North Island Concert Society photo The showing is on Nov. 17 at Port Hardy Civic Centre starting at 7:30 p.m.

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