Alison Mackay, who has played violone and double bass with Tafelmusik since 1979, is active in the creation of multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural programming for the orchestra. The Four Seasons, A Cycle of the Sun, which places Vivaldi's masterpiece in the context of early music in India, China, and the Canadian North, has toured across North America and Asia and has been made into a feature documentary film. The Galileo Project has been seen by audiences across three continents; it has been honoured in Australia with a Helpmann Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and by the International Astronomical Union with the naming of an asteroid, "197856 Tafelmusik." Her theatrical celebration of baroque music and painting, House of Dreams, has toured across North America, Australia and New Zealand and has been released on DVD, shot on location in London and Venice. In 2006, her children's adventure, The Quest for Arundo Donax, was awarded the Canadian Juno Award for Children's Recording of the Year. Under her leadership, Tafelmusik has sponsored two city-wide arts festivals: the 2005 Metamorphosis Festival was a presentation of music, art, dance, film, and theatre inspired by the stories in Ovid's Metamorphoses and the 2008 Sacred Spaces, Sacred Circles Festival was a celebration of architecture and arts in the worship spaces of many cultures in the city of Toronto. She is the recipient of the 2013 Betty Webster Award for her contribution to orchestral life in Canada.
Photo credit: Sian Richards