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Sacred Sounds: Creator, Christianity, and Finding Paths Forward


The Encounters series offers a musical experience that is free and accessible to all. This special concert also marks the beginning of Soundstreams’ 40th anniversary season’s Encounters series. Seats are limited, patrons can reserve their free admission ticket by reserving tickets. Encounters strengthens the potential for all communities to have equitable access to the arts regardless of economic or social status, and to bridge differences across communities.


  • Rebecca Cuddy, mezzo-soprano
  • Roger Twance, trumpet
  • Rachael Kerr, piano
  • Rena Roussin, curator/moderator

In the first of these concerts, Rena draws on music and meditative readings from Christian and Indigenous spiritual traditions. By bringing these faith systems into dialogue, her intention is to allow the concert to contain and contemplate numerous contradictions.

We acknowledge the reality that the Christian Church has caused irreparable and profound harm to Indigenous peoples and communities, while also acknowledging that numerous Indigenous people practice the Christian faith and have found joy and meaning in its music and teachings. At the same time, we celebrate Indigenous spiritualties, Creator, and matriarchal spiritual practice through song and word. By also including music that thinks about space and place, we strive to point to land and more-than-human relations as spiritual entities. In bringing all of these practices together, our intention is to honour the diverse and multifaceted roles that faith can play in our lives and in society, while also considering histories of harm and how we might move forward in a spirit of healing, grace, and compassion.

Rena Roussin is a musicologist who studies art music and opera as activism, with an emphasis on strategies of anti-coloniality, Indigenous representations, and narrative sovereignty. She also studies historical constructions of disability and gender in music, and is currently completing her PhD in musicology at the University of Toronto. Rena is passionate about joining her academic work to applied work in the arts: in addition to her work with Soundstreams, she is a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Indigenous Circle of Artists and Musicologist-in-Residence for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. A reconnecting Indigenous person of Métis and settler background with additional Haida ancestry, Rena is honoured to be working with the Indigenous Encounters program, and hopes to use the opportunity to be of service to and amplify the voices of Indigenous artists from Tkaronto – land she is a guest on – and to acknowledge the many Indigenous communities, peoples, and stories that form Tkaronto’s urban Indigenous community.

The Toronto Heliconian Club in Yorkville, will serve as the evening’s venue for the event. It is the oldest association of its kind in Canada, founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually. Members range from women who have earned great distinction to those in the early stages of their careers.

Sacred Sounds: Creator, Christianity, and Finding Paths Forward is supported by TD Bank Group.