Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nanaimo BAR NONE

Festival Nanaimo presents the 2nd Annual
Nanaimo BAR NONE Variety Show
Showcasing Supreme, Scrumptious Nanaimo Talent
Produced by the Vancouver Island Symphony
Presented by Thrifty Foods
Saturday, March 14, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo
Tickets: 250-754-8550 www.porttheatre.com

Supreme Nanaimo talent – BAR NONE!

Take sensational Nanaimo talent layered with rhythmic, smooth and silky sounds of musicians and singers, luscious visions of dancers, lights, colour, sets, costumes and action, and the tantalising taste of delectable world-famous Nanaimo Bars, chocolates and ice-cream, and you have the supreme blockbuster Nanaimo BAR NONE, a delicious family show at the Port Theatre on Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Produced by the Vancouver Island Symphony (and part of the fabulous Festival Nanaimo), Nanaimo BAR NONE will appeal to all ages and all tastes. Says popular producer, director, violinist and entertainer Calvin Dyck; “I’m really excited about the different art forms. There’s really good variety - like the layers of the Nanaimo Bar. It’s the fabric of Nanaimo life!”

First layer – Combine the following crunchy, sublimely chocolaty ingredients: the energetic Vancouver Island Symphony Symphonic Children’s Choir, led by Patricia Plumley; the graceful senior Tempo Dance members performing ‘Dark Paradise’; the dynamic Weber Clarinet Quintet; award-winning 13-year-old singer Lilu Scott; clarinetist Christopher Lee, a recent graduate of the Juilliard School of Music; and jazz pianist Patrick Courtin tinkling the ivories.

Second Layer – For the creamy-sweet filling, blend: outrageous humour and virtuosity of the VIS Quartet and ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’; sensational rhythms of Miss Nanaimo Ambassador (Leora Gueulette) tap-dancing to ‘Stuck In the Middle with You’; soft sounds of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet and Telemann String Quartet; hot tapping Tempo Dancers; and passionate voices of the Malaspina Choir. Add a reading or two by Nanaimo’s poet laureate, Naomi Wakan, then sprinkle in moments of joy, celebration, laughter, wonder, rapture and pride – and spread evenly.

The topping – Ah well, we can’t give it all away but we can reveal a huge, spine-tingling, all-cast grand finale, chugging along with the Royal Hudson. Meanwhile there are surprises, and, like the delight of real Nanaimo Bars, Nanaimo Bar chocolate and Nanaimo Bar ice-cream (all available at intermission), this show has to be experienced LIVE to be savoured. The audience will be left craving more – BAR NONE!

Tickets Tickets for this scrumptious experience are; students, $15, general $24, and eyeGo $5, and are available online at www.festivalnanaimo.com. Festival Nanaimo passes ($108) are available by calling 250-754-8550.



Monday, February 9, 2015

Motown Meets Gospel - LifeBridge Benefit Concert

LifeBridge Benefit Concert
With guest artists: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
And sensational Abbotsford singer – Crystal Hicks
Saturday, March 7, 7 p.m.
Silent Auction, 6-7 p.m.
Bakerview Mennonite Brethren Church
2285 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford
Tickets: $20 at Level Ground Church Office (604-854-8181) and House of James

Motown meets Gospel
for LifeBridge Benefit Concert
“Heal the world, make it a better place”… Michael Jackson

Take the infectious hand-clapping, toe-tapping, finger-snapping energy of over 90 singers in the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir, the thrilling voice of Abbotsford’s very own Crystal Hicks, and rhythms of the Good Noise band, all under the direction of Gail Suderman, and you have a rocking, raising-the-roof evening of Motown influence and Gospel music for the LifeBridge Benefit Concert on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Bakerview Mennonite Brethren Church at 2285 Clearbrook Road.

Keith St. Jean, director of LifeBridge Recovery Ministries, an organization that bridges the gap between community, church and those in recovery, says, “Last year’s concert was fantastic. People were and are still talking about it.”

While the concert is a fundraiser for LifeBridge, says St. Jean, “Most importantly, it tells our story. LifeBridge helps people on the road to finding their life, their spiritual direction, and provides a foundation for their future. We all desire meaning and the ability to find someone and something we can trust in; and we all need love, to be loved, to love. How do we heal the world? One corner of the world at a time, even if it’s only one person - then we have helped make the world a better place.”

Motown meets Gospel: Says Suderman, “The songs we have chosen for this concert support all that LifeBridge is doing, responding to people’s daily needs, looking after our fellow human. The lyrics are awesome! It’s Motown meets Gospel – Motown with a Gospel flavour.”

Says St. Jean, “I’m really excited! These are all on my own playlist!”

They couldn’t be more perfect: Stevie Wonder’s ‘Have a Talk with God’; Billy Preston’s ‘That’s the Way God Planned It’; a riveting, heart-melting, spine-tingling medley of Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’ and ‘We Are the World’; and Jackie DeShannon’s super hit, ‘Put a Little Love in your Heart!’

A special tribute: Suderman adds, “Andrae Crouch changed the whole face of Gospel music. He passed away just a few weeks ago, so we are adding a tribute to him with some of his favourites.”

The Good Noise choir: Now in their 11th season, the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir has performed many benefit concerts for charitable organizations and has shared the stage with Barbra Streisand, David Foster, Holly Cole, Dee Daniels and Jim Byrnes, to name a few famous artists. The choir has also appeared on many television shows, like ‘Gospel to Go’ for Vision TV.

Feel good music: Suderman explains, “One of the reasons why we are and do what we do, and how I choose the music, is to bring a sense of love and hope for everyone. The audience was wonderful last year in Abbotsford. They sang along, with tears in their eyes – that’s just one of the reasons why we said we’d love to come back. And, we are having a lot of fun preparing the music!”

You can hear and see the choir perform on video at www.goodnoisevgc.com, then come along and see them LIVE! There’s nothing like the real thing!

Silent Auction: To help in raising funds for LifeBridge there will also be a silent auction. The doors open at 6 p.m. with time for viewing before the show and during intermission.

Tickets: Are $20 and can be purchased at Level Ground Church Office, 31216 King Road (phone 604-854-8181) and House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford.

For more information visit: www.lifebridgeministry.com and www.goodnoisevgc.com

Monday, February 2, 2015

Life, Laughter & Love with Natalie Choquette and Calvin Dyck

Presenting Life, Laughter & Love
A lighthearted Valentine’s concert
Natalie Choquette, La Diva comedienne
Calvin Dyck, violin
Carmen Hollett, piano
Friday, February 20th, 7 p.m.
Matsqui Centennial Auditorium (City Hall)
Tickets: ($22 plus tax and fee) at House of James & King’s Music
Who could ask for anything more…
Life, Laughter, Love… and Dessert!

Smooth! Creamy! Decadently divine! The most exquisite ingredients imaginable are coming together on the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium (City Hall) stage on Friday, February 20th, at 7 p.m. for a delicious evening of Life, Laughter & Love.

Like world-class confectionery bakers, the hilarious and outrageous Natalie Choquette (diva comedienne and soprano extraordinaire) returns to Abbotsford to team up with Calvin Dyck (popular director, producer and violinist), and pianist Carmen Hollett, to present an evening filled with sensational music, joyful laughter - and desserts.

Desserts you may ask? Says Natalie (a globetrotting multi-linguistic entertainer whose incredible talent and stage-wardrobe can leave you gasping for breath), “Calvin and I thought Valentine’s and sumptuous food go hand in hand – so we are performing beautiful music from around the world with a theme of love – and desserts.”

Imagine: Silky, soft and sweet Crème Caramel of France accompanied by La Vie en Rose, the luscious Flower Duet from Lakmé, and Salut D’Amore; then savour velvety Dulce de Leche (Portuguese candy of milk) with the tango Oblivion and Por una cabeza (made popular in the movie Scent of a Woman).

Imagine: A bite of America’s scrumptious Whoopie Pie (cream-filled chocolate cake) and relish in My Funny Valentine, Tea for Two, I Could Have Danced All Night, and Serenade for Sonja; then crunchy mouthfuls of Apfelstrudel (a German and Austrian pastry that just oozes with apple) and the melodies of Heidenröslein, Im Chambre Séparée, Kreisler Libeslied and Schon Rosmarin.

Imagine: A tempting Russian Vatrushka (sugary yeast-bread pastry) together with toe-tapping Otchi Tchornia, Moscow Nights, Katyusha, Somewhere My Love (from Dr. Zhivago), Dark Eyes and Czardas; then melt with Italian Gelato (ice-cream) while listening to Si, Mi Chiamano Mimi from La Bohème, Mattinata, and O Mio Babbino Caro; and finally, the most famous Viennese culinary specialty, the oh-so-delectable Sachertorte, and a sensational medley from Sound of Music.

Extra toppings: Sprinkled between musical delights are stories garnished with love, humour and drama – served with highly enjoyable audience participation. Says Calvin, “I love what Natalie does, how she draws you into the story – she has a way of transforming a concert into a dramatic experience.” Not wishing to leave the audience wanting, Calvin adds, “While we are not able to offer all these amazing desserts, there will be special sweet treats at intermission, door prizes, and of course, surprises!”

Chuckles Natalie, who has wonderful memories of loving audiences in Abbotsford, “It’s so exciting when you know the people there; you already love them ahead of time.” Then she adds, “We will be able to have our cake and eat it too! Who could ask for anything more?”

Tickets: Be it love of life, family, friends, or that special someone, Life, Laugher and Love will be a totally satisfying musical and gastronomical adventure for all. Tickets are $22 (plus tax and fee) at House of James and King’s Music.

For more information and videos about Natalie Choquette visit: www.nataliechoquette.com then come and see her LIVE.
For more information about Calvin Dyck visit www.calvindyck.com.


He Sings, She Sighs with the Vancouver Island Symphony

He Sings, She Sighs
With the Vancouver Island Symphony
Guest Artists: Ken Lavigne, Tenor
Nadya Blanchette, Soprano
Conductor: Pierre Simard
Presented by the Cowichan Symphony Society
Thursday, February 12, 7:30 p.m.
Cowichan Performing Arts Centre
Cowichan Tickets at 250-748-7529
Presented by the Vancouver Island Symphony
Friday, February 13, 7:30 p.m.
Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street
And Saturday, February 14, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo
Qualicum and Nanaimo Tickets: 250-754-8550 www.porttheatre.com

Put together the heart-warming charm of tenor Ken Lavigne, the passion and creamy voice of soprano Nadya Blanchette with the Vancouver Island Symphony under the baton of Pierre Simard - and WOW! He Sings, She Sighs – we melt!

On Friday, February 13 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, and on Saturday, February 14 at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo (both at 7:30 p.m.) the VI Symphony presents He Sings, She Sighs, a Valentine special filled with drama, romance, amusement, and the most melodic arias and songs you can imagine, filled with seduction, love, fantasy, pleasure and desire – a real adventure for the heart.

He Sings: You just can’t help loving Ken Lavigne, one of Vancouver Island’s favourite performers. His warm, pure and silky tenor voice touches the soul. With his relaxed, huggable and genuine stage presence, humorous banter, passionate dreams and perfect choice of popular and favourite songs, he charms his way into the hearts of audiences wherever he performs.

She Sighs: And where there’s love, there’s soprano Nadya Blanchette; passion, seduction, femme fatal, ingénue and Carmen all rolled into one. With her rapturous, warm, creamy voice she sings everything from great arias to Broadway favourites. Her charisma, contagious humour, spontaneity and versatility enchant audiences around the world.

This is love: Be it love of life, love of family, friends, or that special someone, says Ken, “It’s a great show with beautiful music, weaving our own stories, and those of the music. It’s a concert that will appeal to all lovers. We are singing duets and solos from West Side Story, South Pacific, Moulin Rouge, and on the operatic side, from Tales of Hoffman.”

Says Nadya, “It’s a romantic event celebrating love with exquisite music and immortal songs that we have embraced over the years. There will be vignettes, playful comedy and romance in a rapport between Ken and I, the Baton and the audience as we sing these emotional and theatrical melodies. It’s a wonderful happening around love.”

Tickets: For Thursday, February 12 in Cowichan Valley, at 250-748-7529; for Friday, February 13 in Qualicum and for Saturday, February 14 at the Port Theatre at 250-754-8550 or online at www.porttheatre.com

For more information visit www.vancouverislandsymphony.com
Celebrate 20! – An Awesome Party – Keeping Music LIVE!

For information about Ken Lavigne visit: www.kenlavigne.com
For more on Nadya Blanchette visit: www.nadyablanchette.com