Feb 25, 2020

The Local Threads of The Indigo Project

Indigo Quilt by Marc Garneau students. Photo by Dahlia Katz.
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz

One of the most exciting aspects of The Indigo Project has been the participation of secondary school students in the GTA. Students have been involved in both artistic and musical activities.

When you join us for this concert at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre and Meridian Arts Centre, you’ll want to give yourself a moment pre-concert or at intermission to enjoy a very special quilt on display.

 Indigo Quilt by Marc Garneau students. Photo by Dahlia Katz.Indigo Quilt by Marc Garneau students. Photo by Dahlia Katz.Indigo Quilt by Marc Garneau students. Photo by Dahlia Katz.Indigo Quilt by Marc Garneau students. Photo by Dahlia Katz.
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz

This past December, grade 10 art students at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in Thorncliffe Park began this project. Inspired by the story of the textile tokens of the London Foundling Hospital, each student dyed a square of ethical white cotton in indigo, and then decorated it with pieces of fabric and embroidery representing the bonds of family and friendship. Mentored by their teacher, Hilary Masemann, and local textile designer, Kate Austin, these students were very excited to have had the chance to work with indigo.

Student choir performing on stage of Jeanne Lamon Hall. Photo by Dahlia Katz.
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz

Additionally, as a part of The Indigo Project, we have 50 high-school singers — a first for Tafelmusiik and one of Elisa’s dreams! Students from Earl Haig Secondary School and Unionville High School choirs have been mentored by Suba Sankaran, (the world/fusion vocalist who will be in the concert) and Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Director Ivars Taurins. We are grateful to teachers Kelsey Taylor (Earl Haig) and Larry Beckwith (Unionville) for all of their hard work. Read their biographies below.

Student choir performing on stage of Jeanne Lamon Hall. Photo by Dahlia Katz.Student choir performing on stage of Jeanne Lamon Hall. Photo by Dahlia Katz.Student choir performing on stage of Jeanne Lamon Hall. Photo by Dahlia Katz.Student choir performing on stage of Jeanne Lamon Hall. Photo by Dahlia Katz.
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz

The Indigo Project has opened up so many opportunities for outreach activities and collaboration with young people around the city. See below for behind-the-scene photographs, from indigo dying to choir rehearsals!

Join Tafelmusik and the student choirs, and see the amazing quilt on display from February 27 to March 3. More info and tickets


The Earl Haig Secondary School Senior Choir, conducted by Kelsey Taylor, is one of seven choirs within the school’s Claude Watson Arts Program. All vocal ensembles in this specialized program are made up of passionate and dedicated students, combining the school’s vocal majors with other students interested in pursuing vocal arts at an advanced level. Most recent achievements and highlights include gold and platinum standings from regional festivals with invitations to compete at the provincial and national level, numerous community performances, and opera repertoire workshops with staff and performers of the Canadian Opera Company. Collaboration is truly at the heart of Earl Haig’s music program, and the Senior Choir is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with all involved in Tafelmusik’s The Indigo Project this year.


The Unionville High School Chamber Choir, conducted by Larry Beckwith, is made up of auditioned students from grade 9 to 12 who are part of the intensive Arts Unionville music program. The choir gives many performances a year, including showcases at the Markham Theatre, "songbook" musical theatre cabarets with pianist David Warrick, as well as festival and other special guest appearances. They are honoured to be part of The Indigo Project.


The Indigo Project - Marc Garneau dyeing projectThe Indigo Project - Marc Garneau dyeing projectThe Indigo Project - Marc Garneau dyeing projectThe Indigo Project - Marc Garneau dyeing project
Photo credit: Devon Klaas

Earl Haig Secondary School Choir Unionville High School Choir

Earl Haig School Choir with Ivars TaurinsEarl Haig School Choir with Ivars TaurinsEarl Haig School Choir with Ivars Taurins
Photo credit: Laëtitia Lancellotta

The Indigo Project
Suba Sankaran
Ivars Taurins
Alison Mackay

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