BC World Music Collective brings worldwide journey to RPAC

Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre will play host to the ‘World music super-group’

The BC World Music Collective. Image: handout

Bringing together 13 talented musicians from across the globe who now call British Columbia their home, the BC World Music Collective is a collaborative project, taking listeners on a “worldwide journey without ever leaving home.”

With musicians hailing from Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Zimbabwe and the UK, the project celebrates the multiculturalism that makes up the population of B.C.

The collaboration began back in 2015 when the artists were brought together by Vancouver Island Music Festival’s director Doug Co for a one-off performance. With only one week of intensive rehearsals to bring it all together, the hard work paid off and the performance turned out to be a huge success.

It was then that the band decided that they weren’t satisfied with just one performance. After a few weeks of planning, the group decided to turn the BC World Music Collective into a long-term project.

Since then, the band has taken their high-energy performances to numerous festivals and concert venues across the province. In October, the band will perform at our very own Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

“We chose the BC World World Music Collective to kick off our 2018/19 season … because they are flat-out exciting and amazing to watch and experience,” said Revelstoke Arts Council (RAC) chairperson Carol Palladino, on why they chose to bring the band to Revelstoke, “The Revelstoke Arts Council strives to present high quality professional artists across several genres and this fabulous group ticks all the boxes.

“A few members of the collective are also in the B.C.-based band the Paperboys, and if you saw them this summer at the Streetfest in Grizzly Plaza in August, you will know that the you will have the best time ever!”

“We are so excited to be bringing such a highly talented, diverse and passionate music group to Revelstoke,” added RAC Executive Director Margot Wyllie “Being a small and somewhat remote community doesn’t have to mean missing out on experiencing culture and music from around the world.”

BC World Music Collective focuses on each of the musicians telling their stories and how they came to be in B.C.

We spoke to band member Tom Landa ahead of the performance.

Revelstoke Mountaineer: Tell us a little bit about your background.

BC World Music Collective’s Tom Landa. Photo: handout

Tom Landa: My background is from Mexico. I was born and raised in Mexico City and I moved to Canada when I was fifteen. I moved to a small town in Ontario called Thunder Bay and the first couple of years I was real keen to just fit in to my new culture and fit in to Canada. I kind of abandoned everything that was Mexico and I tried to get rid of my accent. I was basically just ignoring my Mexican background and it wasn’t until I was older that I got back in to my Mexican culture. I started playing guitar when I was fifteen and writing songs and at the time I was more influenced by music that was coming from England or Canada as opposed to Mexico. That really came later in my early twenties when I got reacquainted and got back in touch with my roots and where I was from.

RM: What does being part of the BC World Music Collective mean to you?

TL: It’s important for me to be a part of this collective because I feel that what we’re doing is important in this day and this space in time. I think that modern politics have made people divisive. I think modern US politics have made it OK to be xenophobic and racist, so I think it’s important now more than ever to have a different voice — a voice that is proud of multiculturalism, that’s proud of people that come from other places. I wish I could say that the current US politics doesn’t affect us because we live in Canada, but I think it very much does. So I think that it’s really important to have this outlet that is the opposite — that is about unity and multiculturalism and about people coming together and sharing different ideologies and different ideas and sharing where they come from. And from a musical standpoint, I don’t currently think this is being done. It’s not only multicultural, but it’s multi-generational. It goes from people from their sixties to those who are in their twenties. It’s both women and men and I think it ticks off a lot of boxes with a lot of people from different cultures and different walks of life.

Finally, what’s your favourite thing about British Columbia?

I adore this province! I think the whole Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful spot on earth. I think we are blessed with what we have here from mountains to forest to oceans and lakes and rivers and just abundance…abundance and beauty are two words that come to mind. I’m proud to be a British Columbian, as well as being of Mexican heritage.

BC World Music Collective will perform at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on October 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.