Skip to content

TBSO brings music back to students with the Spirit Bear Project

Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is inviting students in singing the Spirit Bear Song.
Shy-Anne Havorka
Award-winning Indigenous singer-songwriter Shy-Anne Hovorka, singing the Spirit Bear in one of the program's videos.


Thunder Bay — The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is inviting students all across Northwestern Ontario to join them and award-winning Indigenous singer-songwriter Shy-Anne Hovorka, in singing the Spirit Bear Song.

Thanks to the Hannah and Victor Stevenson Fund through the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, all elementary and senior elementary students can participate in this collaboration at no cost.

Every year the TBSO offers a Symphony Sing-Along program for city students to join in a multilingual chorus that comes together in two local schools over several nights. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic made that impossible. Sharing music and song with the youngest members of our community is important to the TBSO so this year this program will be a bit different.

Students all across the region are invited to participate in a virtual collaboration. All Elementary and Senior students can submit a video recording of themselves singing The Spirit Bear Song. These recordings will be put together to form a regional choir of students singing with the TBSO and Shy-Anne Hovorka in a Spirit Bear Song music video.

Students will receive project videos, where they will learn the Spirit Bear Song, and how the Spirit Bear represents courage and healing to the Indigenous peoples. They will learn that when they sing the song, it is sung four times in order to include everything and everyone in the four directions (East, South, West & North), all nations, all cultures, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

Through consultation with our Indigenous community members, Spirit Bear Project has been designed to bring our whole community together through music. And maybe it will help us get through the cold dark days of winter and this pandemic – together but safely distanced!

Learn more about the Spirit Bear project and how you get involved at