2020 City of Waterloo Artists in Residence invite the Community to Sing Along

Posted On Wednesday May 27, 2020

The City of Waterloo is pleased to announce award winning artists Richard Burrows and Christa Mercey as the 2020 Artists in Residence. Throughout the summer, Burrows and Mercey will present opportunities for the community to participate in an art project culminating in the creation of two community anthems, O Canada, and an original song, We are Waterloo.

“We are pleased to offer this unique programing and hope to unite the community through the power of song,” says Astero Kalogeropoulos, manager of arts & culture.

From May to September, the community is invited to follow Burrows and Mercey as they provide weekly instruction. Community submissions will be assembled into videos that will showcase the talent and the resiliency of Waterloo as we all navigate the challenges of the isolation period caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The residency, which differs from other years, invites the people to participate from their homes by submitting videos that are in keeping with the weekly instruction provided by Burrows and Mercey.

Each week, new elements of the two songs, O Canada and We are Waterloo, will be added. Participants of every level of musical ability are encouraged to follow along, create their own videos, and submit their creations. Submissions will be assembled into final versions of the songs which will premiere as part of Waterloo’s online Canada Day celebrations and at the end of September as part of the city’s Culture Days programming.

“In these uncertain times we turn to music to relax us, to ground us and inspire us, and remind us that we are all in this together as a community,” say Burrows and Mercey. “A strong community elevates all of us together, we encourage you to try something new and break the monotony of isolation. Take these times to reflect on change, and challenge yourself to bring positivity to your community. Join us in celebrating our culture, for We Are Waterloo.”
The Artist in Residence program is a result of the City of Waterloo culture plan. This program animates public spaces and explores community stories by providing opportunities for the public to work with local artists in the creation of a community art project.

The program will launch along-side the Final Fridays digital art market on May 29, 2020. For a full program schedule, visit waterloo.ca/createwaterloo

Media contacts:

Shelly Reed 
Communications consultant

Sonya Poweska
Culture program specialist