A very pleasant evening that, through music and poetry, will transport you back into a world as familiar as your very own Canadian backyard.”

— Paul Hopkins

Lost Islands: a reflection on personal geography and memory presented by the Cygnus Trio, with guests Arie van de Ven and Paul Hopkins 

Sound, music, images, geography: all these concepts influence our memory. Think of a place from your childhood. What do you hear, what do you see? How can you describe this feeling of remembering the past? In a sense, the places we have made our homes and have now left are lost to us; we may be able to physically return, but our memories preserve it in a different way. Stories of islands which disappear after a first discovery or even after being inhabited for a time permeate Canadian folklore, from the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence to more isolated islands in the Great Lakes and beyond. The prevalence of these stories suggests a deep collective sorrow for remembered times and places which, once gone, are gone forever. The Cygnus Trio, in collaboration with composers with deep geographical ties, offers a program of music and poetry reflecting on this loss and the relationship between memory and location. The program features works by four Canadian composers, folk tunes and poetry. Anita Perry and Selwyn Redivo offer musical meditations upon the landscape of the Okanagan Valley, past home of brothers Ben (flute) and Jonathan (guitar), and the trio will premiere Ontario native Arie Van de ven’s Algoma Miniatures. The musical components of the program are tied together with literary reflections by W. B. Yeats, Jane Urquhart and Nancy Holmes, tying a deep sense of place to the remembrance of the past.


Arie van de Venis a composer and violist from Toronto, Ontario. 
Writing music for a variety of contexts, Arie's music exists between conventional styles. Informed by deep interests in Ontario fiddle, klezmer, and contemporary music, Arie brings a unique sense of humour and narrative to his compositions. He is a mainstay in the Toronto youth filmmaking scene, having scored twenty short films since 2014. Recent works include “Facade” by Carol Nguyen and “High Scores Hang” by Adam Bovoletis (winner of the 2015 SOCAN Audio/Visual Award for Fiction). Arie's current collaboration with Adam, Cookstown: The Musical (a short musical comedy about competitive cooking) has recently finished recording and is now in production. Arie's concert music has been performed in Canada and the United States by ensembles including the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the Ton Beau String Quartet. A founding member of The Yacht Club composers collective, Arie regularly writes and presents new work in Kitchener-Waterloo, frequently incorporating elements of theatre and improvisation into his work. He is currently 
studying viola with Christine Vlajk and composition with Cameron 
McKittrick at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Paul Hopkins​ has been working in the Canadian film, television, and  theatre profession for over 25 years. From 2007-2014, he was the Executive Director of Repercussion Theatre, Montreal’s 
Shakespeare-in-the-Park. For Shakespeare-in-the-Park he has 
directed Harry the King! (2014), The Taming of the Shrew (2012), The Tempest (2008) and As You Like It (2009). Other directing credits include the Montreal Fringe hit and Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival selection, Teaching Hamlet; The Elizabethan Bath Project for Concordia University’s Theatre department; and Stravinsky’s Mavra, and Christopher Sly, by Dominick Argento, for Opera McGill. As an actor, Hopkins has enjoyed a diverse career working in theatre, television and film. Most notable are his two seasons at both The Stratford Festival and the Atlantic Theatre Festival and, on television, his role as Michael ”Mouse” Tolliver in Armistead Maupin’s More and Further Tales of the City. Currently, he is participating in the five-year international research project, Early-Modern Conversions: Religions, Cultures and Cognitive Ecologies. In 2012, Hopkins was honoured to be a finalist for both the Christopher Plummer Award for Excellence in Classical Theatre and the Bluma Appel Mentorship for Directors.