Thursday, October 31, 2013

Symphony Community Day with the VI Symphony - a FREE EVENT

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents:
Saturday, November 16, 2013
FREE Evens at the Port Theatre
Musical Instrument Zoo (11 a.m. -12 noon)
NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club Family Event (11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)
Symphony Rehearsal (12:30-1:30 p.m.)
Reserve your Complimentary Ticket: 250-754-8550
CALLING ALL SLEUTHS – there are mysteries to be solved! MYSTERY #1 - How does a French horn sound? A bassoon, clarinet, bass, cello, violin, trombone, trumpet, or oboe? When we listen to music on our iPhones, iPods, computers, TVs and at the movie theatre we hear sounds, but do we know the instruments they come from? MYSTERY #2 - How can we learn about instruments, music and musicians? MYSTERY #3 - And how do all the sounds come together to make music? Let the Vancouver Island Symphony reveal the answers to these mysteries on Saturday, November 16 with their increasingly popular Symphony Community Day – it’s FREE!
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ZOO (11 a.m. - 12 noon) – Mystery #1 Revealed 
So you’ve always wanted to know what it feels and sounds like to play a trumpet? Come along and find out. Symphony musicians will be in the lobby of the Port Theatre to help kids huff and puff and have a blow, zing some strings and pull a bow, make a toot or have a hoot, or try some rhythm with percussion precision. Many a musician will declare that all it took was someone showing them an instrument for them to decide and declare that was what they wanted to be when they grew up - a violinist, cellist, flutist, trumpeter, etc.
NOTEWORTHYKIDS FAMILY EVENT (11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.) – Mystery #2 Revealed
The VI Symphony has fans! They are the NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club. At the NoteworthyKids Family Event you can find out about NoteworthyKids adventures, about how they meet and learn about a musician and their instrument, and about the benefits of being a member of the club. But, there‘s a mystery not being revealed here – and that is who the musician of the day will be. You will have to come to the Family Event to find out.
SYMPHONY REHEARSAL (12:30 - 1:30 p.m.) – Mystery #3 Revealed
Find a seat in the theatre, take in a symphony rehearsal, and watch as all the musicians and their instruments come together to make music. The conductor, Maestro Pierre Simard, will gesture with his baton and work with the musicians and guest artist to change a phrase here, add an expression there, to give the music just the right feel, ready for the concert that evening!
So bring along your sleuthing friends and family, and anyone who loves solving mysteries. FREE TICKETS must be reserved for the Symphony Rehearsal by calling 250-754-8550. Donations towards the NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club are welcomed.
FOR INFORMATION call 250-754-0177 or visit

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Cousin Lived Next Door - Film Premiere

Laksakla Productions Ltd. presents
The World Premiere Screening of
My Cousin Lived Next Door
Saturday, October 12, 2013, 7 p.m.
Quadra Island Community Centre
$5 Suggested Donation
(Proceeds to Qwallawyuw Headstart Preschool Program)

Quadra Film-maker gives Premiere Screening on Home Turf

Photo Credit: Don Chaput
Award-winning Kwagiulth film-maker Lori Lewis hosts the world premiere screening and celebration of her new short fiction film ‘My Cousin Lived Next Door’ this coming Saturday, October 12 at 7 p.m. on home turf in the Quadra Island Community Centre. Says Lewis, ‘This will be the only screening of the film before it has a year of touring international film festivals.”

First independent production - In 2008 Lewis received the Best Live Action Short Award at the 33rd Annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco for directing ‘Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners’, a film that continues to be aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). This past year, with assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts, Aboriginal Media Program, Lewis and her company, Laksakla Productions, took her script for ‘My Cousin Lived Next Door’, and with producer Heidi Ridgway and a local cast and crew, created the first piece of fiction to be filmed in Cape Mudge Village, with additional scenes in Campbell River and Vancouver. “We started filming last October,” says Lewis. “This is a complete community effort, utilizing Quadra Island’s current and burgeoning film talent.”

Top Canadian talent - The Canada Council grant allowed Lewis the opportunity to bring on board some of the best production people in Canada: Don Chaput, director of photography, is known for his documentary work for APTN, CBC, BCTV, BBC, NBC, PBS and Vision; John Gurdebeke, editor, from Manitoba, has been film editor and sound designer for Guy Maddin (well-known Canadian director) and Isabella Rossellini; Marie Clements, actor, is a Métis playwright, performer, director, producer and screenwriter, and her work ‘Unnatural and Accidental’ received seven nominations at the Genie and Leo Awards; Russell Wallace, actor and composer, is a traditional Lil’wat singer who has received Juno nominations, and Aboriginal Music and Native American Music awards.

New talent – The cast boasts a group of talented local First Nations youth, and introduces Nyla Carpentier in her first screen role. Carpentier was last seen in the North Island touring schools with Axis Theatre’s ‘Raven Meets the Monkey King’.

The story‘My Cousin Lived Next Door’ tells the tale of Mary and Nelly, two very close cousins and best friends who grow up on a coastal Native Reserve in British Columbia. Although they are next-door-neighbours, their childhood experiences lead them on two extremely different paths to adulthood. The film, a captivating montage of scenery and imagery, recalls their different journeys as Mary reflects upon her life through her successful and perfect façade.

Where to from here? “I would love to have the film travel to international film festivals around the world,” says Lewis. “At the moment it has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival and the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival.”

Admission: A suggested donation of $5 at the door will go towards the Qwallawyuw Headstart Preschool Program in memory of Ruth Kenkel, late of Cape Mudge Village. There will be refreshments and a toonie drive to help raise funds for festival submissions.

Further resources:
Facebook –
Don Chaput –
John Gurdebeke -
Marie Clements –


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vancouver Island Symphony - Paris, Romance

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents
Paris - Romance
Guest Artist: Alexandre Da Costa, Violin
Conductor: Pierre Simard
Saturday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.
Port Theatre, Nanaimo
Tickets: 250-754-8550

Paris – Romance and Alexandre Da Costa

Come to Paris, city of romance, on Saturday, October 26, as Alexandre Da Costa, international violinist, joins the Vancouver Island Symphony as they embark upon their 19th season Passport to Great Entertainment, a symphonic journey to some of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The renowned Pierre Simard conducts the dedicated and talented professional musicians of Vancouver Island’s virtuosic orchestra in a program of exquisite, refined and romantic French music – with the gentlest of intimacy and the fieriest of passion. This first concert of the season is also the first of the VI Symphony’s Timeless Treasures classical series designed for the connoisseur and the novice giving it a casual ‘first go’. Says Simard, “Our Timeless Treasures series displays both the familiar and the unexpected, famous masterworks, compelling orchestral gems, and jaw-dropping soloists.”

The music: True to his word, Simard will raise his baton poignantly as the audience sits in silent anticipation of the opening bars of music for a brand new season. A single gesture and so begins Gabriel Fauré’s very familiar, haunting and melodic Pavane (made popular by artists like Barbra Streisand and Jethro Tull, and many a movie and TV show). Jean Sibelius’ passionate, dreamy and spine-tingling Violin Concerto in D minor is played with delicacy and passion by Da Costa, Juno Award winning violinist and a magnificent artist. Then, like dancing slowly, sensuously and rhythmically along the banks of the River Seine, the orchestra performs Maurice Ravel’s tender and nostalgic Pavane pour une infante défunte followed by Georges Bizet’s joyful and frolicsome Symphony in C Major.

Alexandre Da Costa: Young, dynamic, (drop-dead gorgeous) and intense, Da Costa is known musically for his sensuality, irreproachable technique, sensitivity and temperament. He was born in Montreal in 1979 to an artistic family, in a household filled with music, and started playing the violin and piano at a very young age. By age nine he was hailed as a musical prodigy and began performing with professional orchestras. So began his illustrious career of over a thousand concerts and recitals throughout North America, Mexico, Europe, United Kingdom and Asia. Da Costa has recorded live performances for the BBC, CBC and radio in Germany, Spain, Austria, USA and Japan and has 12 CDs. In 2012 he received the Juno Award for “Classical Album of the Year”. Now he comes to Nanaimo to thrill the audience with his soaring, passionate, sensitive and powerful violin for Sibelius challenging concerto in which the virtuosic parts are like flashes of lightning in the clouds - quick and brilliant!

Tickets: Season and individual concert tickets are available by calling the Port Theatre Ticket Centre at 250-754-8550. For more information about the music and composers come to the Pre-and Post-concert talks.
For information about the VI Symphony visit:  Keeping Music LIVE!
About Alexandre Da Cost, visit:

Popular Pleasures Series - Vancouver Island Symphony

Popular Pleasures - Passport to Great Entertainment
The Vancouver Island Symphony - from cirque to movies to rock and roll – for the whole family
By Rosemary Phillips

It’s hair-raising! Spine tingling! It’s rapturous, exciting, thrilling and yet totally embracing. It’s this year’s exciting Popular Pleasures series being presented right in the very heart of Nanaimo by and with the Vancouver Island Symphony under the baton of the illustrious Pierre Simard. And tickets are on sale now (for the series, individual performances and family 4-packs). 

There’s no need to go to New York or Toronto of L.A. The shows are coming to YOU - starting with Christmas like no other as Cirque de la Symphonie returns to Nanaimo with their Christmas Cirque Spectacular; then bringing on the red for Valentine hearts and the Hollywood Red Carpet experience comes Movie Music Mania; and, presenting music that everyone of every age around the world will recognize, it’s the brilliant Jeans’N Classics Band joining the VI Symphony and Symphonic Chorus for The Best of the Beatles.

Christmas Cirque Spectacular
Three shows - Friday, December 6, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 7, 3:00 and 7:30 p.m.

What Tchaikovsky does for the ears, Cirque de la Symphonie does for the eyes in their return visit to Nanaimo (after last year’s sold out performances). In this colourful festive celebration, world class aerialists, acrobats, dancers, contortionists and jugglers present breath-taking, jaw-dropping performances above and on stage while the VI Symphony performs all-time Christmas favourites - highlights from the Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Sleigh Ride, Polar Express Suite, Little Bolero Boy, and Deck the Halls.

“I always love coming to BC,” says Shana Lord, a fearless aerialist and mother of two little children who has family on Vancouver Island. Before heading to the world spotlight Shana was a national elite gymnast from Vancouver and with Cirque du Soleil. In Nanaimo Shana will soar above the audience to the beautiful Skater’s Waltz, and with Russian trapeze artist Alexander (Sasha) Fedortchev, she will float in the air to the Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker. She adds, “I just love the feeling of flying over the orchestra.”

Says producer Bill Allen, “This program is a lot of fun and includes quick change acts, a spinning frame and cube, hula hoop, ball - and more.”  Both Bill and Shana agree - this is a Christmas Cirque Spectacular that will thrill the whole family – especially the young.

Movie Music Mania
Two shows - Saturday, February 15, 2014, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Walk the Red Carpet, just like in Hollywood, and enjoy the limelight as you enter the world of Movie Music Mania. Relive the mood, action, scenery, images, characters and storylines as amazing musical scores from Academy Award-winning and nominated composers like John Williams, Howard Shore, John Barry, James Newton Howard and Ennio Morricone, unfold like great symphonies. Expect the unexpected. Be prepared for a sensational musical experience as you discover that music does make the movies! It’s pure Hollywood magic featuring the VI Symphony and Symphonic Chorus – and surprises!

The Best of the Beatles
Two shows - Saturday, April 26, 2014, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The talented Jeans’N Classics Band presents the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album and popular hits: (Just like) Starting Over, Across the Universe, Eleanor Rigby, My Sweet Lord, Woman, Because, The Long and Winding Road, and Let It Be. With its experimental innovation and influences, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became a global hit, and has been and still is considered the most important rock and roll album ever made.

Says lead vocalist Jean Meilleur, “In our history books the Beatles will be a massive root in the tree of popular music. Their music crosses every border and transcends every generation. This music has been compared to classical in the way it is written and the chord progressions - it’s music that will last forever, like Beethoven.”

Adds guitarist and Jeans’N Classics founder Peter Brennan, “The Beatles were the big initial influence for me, for sure.” While the Jeans’N Classics Band travels across North America performing the music of various artists from Led Zeppelin to Chicago, says Peter about The Best of the Beatles, “This is one of my favourite shows, my favourite eras.”

Join Jean, Peter, members of the Jeans’N Classics Band, the VI Symphony and Symphonic Chorus (all conducted by the dynamic Pierre Simard) for this multi-sensory experience in which the orchestra will sound like - a pop band! And wear your jeans!
TICKETS: Tickets for Popular Pleasures (the series, individual performances and family 4-packs) are available now by calling 250-754-8550.
For more information visit - Passport to Entertainment - Keeping Music LIVE!
Cirque de la Symphonie (
Jeans',N Classics Band (