A scene from “The Bee” video posted to Surrey City Orchestra’s Youtube channel, with animation by Kenny Hawksworth.

A scene from “The Bee” video posted to Surrey City Orchestra’s Youtube channel, with animation by Kenny Hawksworth.

VIDEO: In Disney style, Surrey orchestra’s ‘The Bee’ buzzes about World Food Safety Day

Springtime project is the group’s latest pandemic-era video

Surrey City Orchestra’s latest video features a hard-working bee, a violin/piano duo and the look of a retro Disney-style cartoon.

“The Bee” clip buzzes with 83 seconds of animation by Kenny Hawksworth and Francois Schubert’s music performed by Ellen Farrugia and Linda Szentes.

“For this bee, it’s been a rough day,” says a post on the orchestra’s Youtube channel. “Rain, pesticides and angry onlookers won’t stop him from pollinating the plants we love and depend on.”

The video salutes World Food Safety Day on June 7, when “we need to start thinking about how important even the smallest animals are to our food chain.”

Violinist Farrugia, board chair of Surrey City Orchestra (SCO), says the video concept first came to life back in March, while she practiced at home.

“I was staring at this piece called ‘L’Abeille,’ and a potential project started to take shape in my head,” Farrugia recalled. “My son Patrick introduced me to his friend and animator Kenny, and we starting brainstorming as to what an average day in the life of a bee might look like.”

“The Bee” is the latest pandemic-era video created by SCO, following Canada Day, Remembrance Day and other online efforts in 2020.

Founded in 2017, the orchestra will continue to make short videos for upcoming City of Surrey events, Farrugia noted, and hopes to raise enough money to produce an educational space video, ‘The Planets,’ this fall. By February 2022, SCO aims to resume in-person concerts at Surrey’s Bell Centre for the Performing Arts.

She says a large part of the orchestra’s mandate is to produce family-friendly performances that appeal to, and introduce musical instruments and styles, that they may not be accustomed to hearing, and so encourage exploring music education.

“Producing an engaging pre-recorded video of an orchestra or small group performing for families to watch online, with everything else out there, is a tall order,” Farrugia said. “Paring a performance with fun animation that has a message, is indeed more accessible.”

Music for “The Bee” was recorded April 18 in SCO music director Stuart Martin’s home studio, and edited by Patrick Farrugia, a musician with pop-punk band The Alleyway Saints.

Hawksworth, a Vancouver Film School grad, completed the story-boarding and animation in just over a month.

“When creating ‘The Bee’ I was reminded of how poorly we humans treat the natural world,” said Hawksworth, who graduated from North Delta’s Seaquam Secondary in 2013. “Our obsession with convenience has caused a lot of unseen suffering. The way we treat our oceans and air have impacts that future generations will have to inherit, and I fear we’re already past the point of no return. Saving the Bees is a very important issue to me, and I hope the film helps spread awareness, and reminds people we’re part of something bigger, even at the smallest level.”


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