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Russell Wallace is an award-winning composer, producer and traditional singer from the Stʼatʼimc and Lil’wat Nation. Wallace learned about traditional singing from his mom Flora Wallace from Xaxlip/Lil’wat. His music can be heard on soundtracks for film, television and theatre/dance productions across Canada and the U.S. Wallace received a Leo Award for best music for a documentary for his work on “1491” the TV series and received the Lieutenant Governor’s Art and Music Award in 2022 for artists who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, community engagement, and commitment through fostering and mentoring others in the fields of Visual Arts, Music or Performance. 

Wallace’s music has been performed internationally and was featured at Biennale Arte 2022-The 59th International Art Exhibition in Venice. He works with many choirs in Vancouver and has been the Director of Indigenous Vocal Ensemble at Vancouver Community College.

The Gift

by Russell Wallace 

SATB a cappella   –   CP 1247   – 3:15   
TBB a cappella   –   CP 1519
Simple yet powerful, authentic and moving: these words describe Russell’s wonderful celebration chant.

Forgotten Warriors

by Russell Wallace

SATB a cappella – CP 2318 – duration 4:25

Russell Wallace created this song’s melody for the film “Forgotten Warriors” (Loretta Todd, National Film Board, 1996, available on the internet). The song recalls the freely-sung traditional First Nations music, which sometimes has a strong rhythmic pulse and at other times enjoys rhythmic freedom. Russell Wallace and Sam Dabrusin (member of VCS) transcribed the freely-sung melody from the film track and arranged it for VCS. 
The film tells of our Indigenous veterans’ contributions during the two World Wars and how these veterans were treated upon returning to Canada. Although fighting for the Crown gave them Canadian citizenship, it cost them their Status under the Indian Act and no longer had a community to return to. They also soon discovered they were not being given the kind of employment opportunities and financial and housing assistance other veterans enjoyed. As Indigenous Veterans Day approaches (November 8th), it is important that we remember these forgotten warriors. Weh hey yo we (These lyrics are based on indigenous vocables from the western part of North America.)