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B.C.-filmed documentary decolonizes Canadian opera with Indigenous voice

‘The Lakes’ features Westbank First Nations elder Delphine Derickson
TELUS original documentary The Lake is available to watch online. (Contributed/TELUS Originals)

A new TELUS original documentary looking at the Syilx people and the first settlers in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley is now available to the public.

‘The Lake’ is a musical work of cross-cultural collaboration centred on the journey to decolonize a 1950s Canadian opera.

The film features Westbank First Nation elder and artist Delphine Derickson and Canadian soprano Heather Pawsey. It was directed by Vancouver’s John Bolton. Together, they transformed the historic opera composed by Barbara Pentland to incorporate Syilx perspectives and bring the original production to life on film with an oral history of the successes and failures of the project.

The Kelowna-based film is about two hours long and can be found at

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Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

A video journalist with Black Press Media. I recently made the exciting move from my radio anchor position at AM 1150 to this new venture.
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