Colombian Independence Day festivities include virtual concert and Niagara Falls illumination

On July 20, 2020, the date that marks 201 years of Colombian Independence, landmarks around the world will light up with the tricolors of the national flag. While the Empire State is among the most famous buildings to use its tower to tribute nations with a tradition that started in 1976, Niagara Falls will use its cascading walls of water as a natural canvas to project the stripes of Yellow, Blue and Red. The light spectacle will be broadcast via Facebook Live, starting 10:30 pm (CST) and accompanied by the music of the National Anthem performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia.

As the first time for Colombia to have the colors of the flag illuminate the 53-meter drop of the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara, Ontario, for audiences who want to participate, the celebration will be streamed on three Facebook pages: @CancilleriaCol @ColombiaNosUneMRE @sinfonicadecolombia

“We receive with deep emotion the invitation of the Colombian Embassy in Canada to celebrate the national holiday on July 20,” remarked the Orchestra’s manager Juan Antonio Cuéllar. Cuéllar, who arranged the Anthem for the sound and light show, emphasized the participation of two choirs from Cali, conducted by María Claudia Ferreira. “This version of the National Anthem is highly emotional, full of hope for our country. It is also an international voice of support and solidarity with our compatriots in Canada, and throughout the world, going through the difficult moment of the pandemic,” said Cuéllar.

The illumination culminates a day in which celebrations will be virtual, given partial lockdowns in Bogotá, and curfews in most cities, including Medellín and Barranquilla. With Colombian musicians under stay at home orders, the Ministry of Culture will host Colombia Crea Talento concert starting 5 pm, in which 40 artists will perform on some of the important stages of the country, among them, Teatro Colón in Bogotá, the Adolfo Mejía in Cartagena and Municipal Theatre Enrique Buenaventura in Cali.

Many of the invited recording artists have opted for performing outdoors with the landscapes of Puerto Carreño, Valledupar, Quibdó and Tumaco as their backdrops. The broadcast will also be via Facebook Live @MinCultura and YouTube channel of the Ministry of Culture. “It will be a historical concert because it represents the value of working together for our artists, in the midst of this crisis. In this national celebration, music allows us to build bridges between regions, genres and generations,” said Minister of Culture Carmen Inés Vásquez.

Among the musicians and bands who will perform are Carlos Vives, Maía, Sebastián Yatra, Cali y el Dandee, Chocquibtown, Jessi Uribe, Morat, Pipe Peláez, Fanny Lu, Cabas and Jorge Celedón.