Category: Music and Choir

News related to music within or outside of UCV

North Shore Unitarians – Amahl and the Night Visitors

The North Shore Unitarian Church has sent along this invitation.

Amahl and the Night Visitors” is a truly magical one-hour opera for all ages by Gian Carlo Menotti which tells the story of a young shepherd boy with wonderful imagination who experiences the magic of Christmas in a life-changing way.  It includes a heartwarming story, comedy, and beautiful music. 

The cast includes NSUC congregation members and a young singer from Bowen Island as Amahl.

We’re offering two performances in our Sanctuary: 2 pm on Saturday, Dec. 15th and 3 pm on Sunday, Dec. 16th.  Adult tickets are $20 if purchased ahead of time, or $25 at the door. Children are free, but please bring a pair of mitts, or socks, or even a gently used sleeping bag for the downtown shelters.

All proceeds go to the North Shore Unitarian Church.

Choir Sings Gjeilo – Plus Lots More

Here’s some background on the choir concert. This year, the Chalice Choir’s Advent Concert features two pieces by the young (40) Norwegian-born composer Ola Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo). Dark Night of the Soul and Luminous Night of the Soul are both based on poetry by St. John of the Cross, a sixteenth century Spanish mystic, a contemporary of Teresa of Avila. St. John is considered one of the foremost poets in the Spanish language. These exquisitely layered pieces involve both piano and string accompaniment. They have been a delight to learn and we look forward to sharing them with you.

But that is not all we have for you. Anne Duranceau and Edgar Bridwell, along with a few of their friends, will present some lovely string music. The ensemble and the choir have prepared several beautiful songs and Lyndon Ladeur, our tenor lead, will dazzle you with an aria from his upcoming performance in Opera Mariposa’s production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte (Nov 30, Dec, 1, 7, 8 at Marpole United.)

After our annual singalong, you will be invited to join us for a reception in Hewett Centre.

Want a preview? You can listen to Dark Night of the Soul and Luminous Night of the Soul here:

An evening to warm your heart and jump-start your holiday spirit. Please join us!

Tickets: $20 (or pay what you can) available at the door.

Bios below

Lyndon Ladeurtenor | Ferrando

Lyndon Ladeur’s favourite roles to date include Marco in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers and Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. His major concert repertoire as a soloist consists of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Gounod’s Messe solennelle en l’honneur de Sainte-Cécile. He made his international debut as part of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival to a sold-out crowd at the Royal Hall in Harrogate, UK where he performed Marco in The Gondoliers. For this portrayal he was named the winner of the Best Male Vocalist award, as well as being nominated for Best Male Actor. He was given a 2018 Vancouver Academy of Music Emerging Artist Grant to contribute to this experience. He is also the reigning winner of both the Senior Classical Voice and Vocal Variety competitions at the BC Provincial Performing Arts Festival. After that, Lyndon was named a winner of the BC Provincial Concerto Competition.

dgar Bridwell was born in Illinois but has lived in BC and Montreal most of his life. He started violin when he was five years old. He later played, recorded and toured internationally with several Swing and Rockabilly bands, but came back to classical music a few years ago.

nne Duranceau was born in Montreal but lived mostly in Quebec City. After a career as a classically-trained dancer, she studied the contrabass at Laval University and obtained her Master’s Degree in Music at the University of Arizona, also travelling to participate in many workshops and festivals where she had the opportunity to work with several masters of international renown. She plays with several ensembles, among which Sinfonia, and the Klezmer group Mad Nomad.

We’re a Welcoming Home for Many Artists, Musicians and Creatives

For many years, UCV has been a welcoming home and refuge to a wide variety of artists, musicians, and creatives of all disciplines and backgrounds.

Our beautiful Sanctuary, with its wonderful architecture, ambiance, and acoustics, has become a favoured venue for local concerts, piano recitals, music festivals and plays. It has been the home of the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival for many years, and regularly hosts the Vivaldi Chamber Choir, Jubilate Vocal Ensemble, Vancouver Chinese Choir, West Coast Chamber Music, Highs and Lows Choir, and of course our own Chalice Choir. The Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and Elektra Women’s Choir even have their office spaces on the UCV campus!

Other regular rental clients of ours include the Pacific International Youth Music Society and the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association, among many others.

Elaine Joe at our grand piano playing for the Highs and Lows choir who practise every week in our sanctuary.

Each month, our Arts Committee curates a new exhibition in our Sanctuary and Fireside Room, giving local artists the opportunity to have their work seen by hundreds if not thousands of congregants and visitors.

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild meets in the Hewett Hall monthly, and provides its members an opportunity to have a ‘show and tell’ of their latest creations.

Another UCV tenant, the Multifaith Action Society, produces a Multifaith Calendar each year that features beautiful community-sourced artwork from around the world as a means of promoting interfaith harmony and cross-cultural dialogue. Over 30,000 copies of the calendar are distributed across North America and beyond annually.

We have hosted book launches and readings from a number of renowned authors, and the UCV campus’ many unique and storied spaces have also been featured in a wide variety of television shows, movies, and amateur films. Most recently, the Hewett Hall and Fireside Room were transformed into courtroom sets for the Johnny Depp film Richard Says Goodbye.

Marcus Hynes is the person to contact about booking space at the Unitarian Centre.

We are proud of UCV’s commitment to and embodiment of the arts and look forward to many more years of serving Vancouver’s creative community!

To inquire about booking a space for your creative event, please contact Marcus at 604-261-7204, extension 0, or by email.

Cabaret — A Full House and Lots of Fun

The biennial Chalice Choir–and Friends–Cabaret had a full house, great music and lots of fun. Here are some photos thanks to Gail Stephan.

The Chalice Choir of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver brightened up a cool rainy evening with their spring cabaret, Fascinating Rhythms, in Hewett Centre Saturday April 28, 2018.

The hall was beautiful with bright saris, flowers and snack food, the wine and beer pleasant, the program varied and the atmosphere cheerful. Every seat was full and the audience participation in a couple of the numbers raised the roof.

The full choir sang folk songs, including two crowd-pleasers by Stan Rogers, a Gershwin medley and a collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs. In between the first and last sets, JES (Jane Slemon and friends), soloists and small group numbers rounded out the program.

Tsunami-Damaged Kimono Fabric – Reimagined

Peace Building Event

Love, Hope and New Life

Remembering March 11, 2011

Seven Years after the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake /Tsunami

3 Related events: March 7-9

Click here for personal stories from Tama Copithorne and Judy Villett

Wednesday March 7th, 7:30pm  

Talks and Music

Eriko Shiomi, Music & Art Producer, Japan

Keiichi Hashizume, Music Educator & Clarinetist, Japan

Julia Lin, Author – ”The extraordinary bonds between Taiwan and Japan”

Dr. David Edgington, Professor Emeritus, UBC – “Building back in devastated communities”

Dr. Eiichiro Ochiai, Professor Emeritus, Juniata College, Penn. – “Health problems related to the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident”

Thursday March 8th, 10:00am-4:00pm

Textile Art Workshop

Eriko Shiomi & Judy Villett, Textile artist

Friday March 9th, 7:30pm

Music for Peace and Textile Art Display

Japan: Keiichi Hashizume, Clarinetist

Vancouver: Keiko Alexander, Pianist I Bo Peng,, Cellist I Winds Choir & Egret Choir


Sponsored by:

Artistic Studio LaLaLa, Tokyo

Egret Music Centre, Vancouver

Vancouver Program Committee:

Judv Villett <> 604-521-1191

Tama Cooithorne <> 604-224-2646

Antonia Chu <> 778-322-5566

Cecilia Chueh <> 604-889-1114

Registration Recommended: 604-436-5995

***Participation by Donation***


Remember – Learn – Participate

Celebrate the incredible resiliency of the Japanese people and the way the world has helped,

especially their close neighbor Taiwan,  and friends in Canada.

Everyone is invited to participate in the 5OX5O cm Textile Art Workshop at Hewett Centre,  UCV on March 8th from 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Erika Shiomi will talk about the rescue of kimonos and fabrics from a historic shop, KAMESHICHI in lshinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, north of Fukushima, flooded by the tsunami. She will describe the cleaning and recycling process, bringing garments to show and sell made from the precious fabric. Thousands of 5OcmX5Ocm squares have already been made in Japan and around the world to be displayed during music performances organized by renowned clarinetist Keiichi Hashizume from Japan.

Participants are encouraged to think about their memories of the tsunami disaster and make a personal image using a scrap of the kimono fabric that Erika will bring from Japan. Add your own fabrics or use some that will be supplied. Embellishments and special threads may be incorporated. Stitch by hand or machine or don’t stitch at all! Images may be applied using iron-on fusible web – no sewing. No experience required!

Sharing materials and skills is encouraged. Several irons and sewing machines will be available, or you may bring your own machine with extension cord.

The finished 5O cm X 5O cm pieces will be donated by participants, either left at the end of the workshop or brought early the evening of the closing concert. All of the pieces will be safety-pinned together to provide a heartfelt back-drop for the talks and musical performance that are part of this memorial event.

Your work will then return to Japan to be part of the ever-growing collection from all over the world to be displayed in the new Culture Centre that is currently under consideration in lshinomaki.

A light Japanese and Taiwanese lunch will be provided during the workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring family and friends to attend the opening talks on

Wednesday evening and a very special finale concert on Friday evening to see your work and more than one hundred 5OX5O textiles brought from Japan.

For more information and to register for the 5OX5O Textile Art Workshop

please contact Judy Villett: 604-521-1191


Summary of the 3 Events

This series of events will be well worth attending! I’ve been fascinated following the background of these music, art and peace-building events. (from Mary Bennett, UCV Arts Committee).

Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Peace Building Textile Art and Music Event – Remembering March 11, 2011 – Main Hall…/peace-building-textile-art/

Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – 50 x 50 Textile Art Workshop – Main Hall

Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Music for Peace and Textile Art Display – Sanctuary…/music-concert-textile-art/

All events at the Unitarian Centre

Click below for 2-page description of the three events

Do feel free to print out and share with friends.

Page 1 – word doc – Description of 3 events   Page 1 – pdf – Description of 3 events

Page 2 – word doc – workshop description   Page 2 – pdf – workshop description


March 7-9th Arts Event – How It All Began – by Tama and Judy

Canada-Taiwan-Japan Connections

By Tama Copithorne

Love, Hope and New Life is a three-day arts and music event at the Unitarian Church marking the 7th anniversary of a great natural catastrophe and human tragedy of March 11, 2011 in Eastern Honshu in Japan (The Fukushima area).

Offering these events all started with the exhibition of our Vancouver based artist, Judy Villett’s exhibition, “Colours of Canada” in late December, 2017. I rushed to see Judy’s textile art exhibition in late December last year, a few days before the exhibition was to be closed. A fine example of Canadian social art!

I called my good Taiwanese Canadian friends who are interested in music and art to see if they would like to go with me to see Judy’s exhibition. They knew nothing about it but they were delighted to join me at the exhibition at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. We all went together to see the exhibition the next day.

At the exhibition, my Taiwanese Canadian friends told me just by chance that their friends in Artistic Studio LaLaLa (Tokyo), a Japanese social art organization approached them to help introduce their work in Canada, Vancouver in this case. The LaLaLa has already visited many countries in the world to promote peace following the tsunami and the nuclear disaster in 2011. Having been often involved in international cultural projects, I immediately suggested that we should all help bring this important art and music public event to Vancouver, to which my good Taiwanese Canadian friends and Judy said “Yes, let’s!” The timing presented us a challenge, as the LaLaLa with its principle individuals, music and art producer, Eriko Shiomi, and a well known clarinetist and music educator, Keiichi Hashizume, were already planning to come to Vancouver this March. We felt this is a significant starting relationship with them for Vancouver, so we started working on its presentation in our city on March 7, 8, and 9.

Personally speaking, I feel privileged to have good Taiwanese friends in our community who are interested in Japan. Japan and Taiwan has most of the time had a mutually helping and enriching history unlike Japan’s negative history with other Asian countries. Taiwan quickly came to assist Japan’s recovery from the great earthquake/tsunami catastrophe of 7 years ago. Taiwan raised over twenty billion Yen (nearly $250 million) for Japan’s recovery that time. Japan has also come to rescue Taiwan quickly whenever disasters hit the country. There is a mutual appreciation of each other.

Connections with Japan

By Judy Villett

The terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan in 2011 felt close to me in several ways. I have visited Japan and have great respect for the visual arts and crafts there, forming friendships with textile artists there. As well, a close family friend was teaching school in a town near Fukushima in 2011. He survived, moving inland with his fiancé’s family. He kept us informed during and after the tsunami. Finally, one of my sons lived and worked in Japan for several years. We followed the whole event with horror and helplessness from Canada, and are still very concerned with the nuclear plant and the fact that radiation from it has caused Japanese friends to leave Tokyo and avoid the whole area. There are unknown consequences still affecting the ocean.

I was elated with the opportunity that arose via Tama Copithorne, a friend from the UCV Book Group, and her friend, Cecilia Cheuh. Through their musical/choir connections, we are able to help present a workshop using some of the rescued kimono fabrics…..a chance for me to take part, even this long after the event.

Helping Eriko Shiomi from Tokyo with her workshop gives me a chance to handle the precious relics and help create something meaningful and symbolic with them. There will be a direct connection as the work goes back to Japan.

I look forward to learning more about the catastrophe and Erico’s use of larger pieces of fabric to make original garments to sell as a fundraiser to replace musical instruments for children.

I will donate my time and some of my own fabrics as well as iron-on/fusible webbing for those people who don’t sew to help them make simple fabric collages.

I am looking forward to the speakers and world-class music. I have already learned about the strong connection between Taiwan and Japan from Tama and Cecilia, and feel privileged to be part of the world community supporting the survivors.

Judy Villett

Click here for details about the three day public event on March 7, 8 ,9.


Save the Wild Salmon – What Can We Do to Help?

farmed atlantic salmon

by Tamiko Suzuki

The Environment Team is proud to sponsor an evening of education and fundraising  where we will hear from Indigenous leaders working to remove open-net fish farms from their waters. Julia McIntyre-Smith and Chiefs Ernest Alfred and Willie Moon will speak of the relationship between the wild salmon, the environment and their Indigenous communities. Dr. David Suzuki will talk of the science linking fish farms to the decrease in wild stocks.

Spawning wild salmon

This will be a powerful, moving evening and you will come away with new appreciation for the imperiled wild salmon and the Peoples whose cultures they are so entwined with.

The talk will be held in the Sanctuary, followed by refreshments and a silent auction in Hewett Hall.

There you  will also find tables set aside to brain

storm ways to further help the wild salmon defenders.

We will post here decisions made to carry on this initiative.


Julia McIntyre-Smith’s Youtube Channel



Entry by donation (suggested $20)

Doors open to the Sanctuary at 6:30pm. Feb. 16, 2018

Event Details





We’re All Here – Chalice Choir Plays PuSh

We’re All Here

by Leslie Hill (far left) 

UCV’s Chalice Choir spent an exhilarating evening Friday night (January 19, 2018) on stage in The Events, by David Greig, a play about a lesbian priest’s journey through the trauma of surviving a mass shooting that kills everyone else in the community choir she directs. Despite the darkness of the subject matter, the play is ultimately redemptive. The cast involves two actors and a choir – a different choir every night. Singers are required to learn the music and discouraged from reading or seeing the play in advance. The first ‘practice’ with the actors comes an hour before the audience arrives.

It’s unnerving, to say the least.

“You’re not supposed to act,” Richard Wolfe, the director, told us. “We want you to focus on the performance on stage just like the audience. You’re a kind of Greek chorus.”

Fair enough. I’m certainly no actor; in fact I was so mesmerized by the play, I didn’t even realize until the last scene that I’d been on the edge of my chair the whole night. Luisa Jojic as Claire, and Douglas Ennenberg as the Boy were riveting. Doug Ennenberg, of course, is one of UCV’s own, but I doubt any of us was prepared for the sense of menace he exuded, or  his extraordinary and raw physicality. He also portrayed a psychiatrist, the Boy’s father, a school friend, Claire’s partner, and a politician, shifting easily from one character to another. Luisa Jojic, a veteran actor from Bard on the Beach, was brilliant as the anguished survivor, a priest who has lost her faith, and is searching fruitlessly for answers. Under the supervision of Mishelle Cuttler, the production’s music director, we sang our own opening number and the seven songs that are part of the play on cue. In the last scene, we moved out and filled the stage to sing directly to the audience, ‘We’re All Here’, a community choir, participants and observers both. I teared up. It was an extraordinary night and a wonderful privilege.

Now I need to go back and see another night with a different choir.

The Events plays in the Russian Hall until January 28 as a part of Vancouver’s Push Festival.

Tickets click here. Note opportunity to volunteer and see for free.

A list of the choirs can be found here.

Drumming with Aline LaFlamme — More, Please!

Drumming with Aline LaFlamme

  • by Mary Bennett

As part of our annual Women’s Gathering, Aline LaFlamme led a drumming workshop.

We learned three songs: Four Directions; Strong Woman and Gratitude songs. I, for one, hope to get a chance to sing and drum to these songs again. Like several other women in the workshop, I’d brought a drum I’d bought some years ago and very rarely used. Now it’s out, it wants to come out and play more often. We were told that all three songs are public songs and we are invited to sing and drum them any time.

The workshop was from 1 to 4 pm and Aline came back to join in the potluck dinner and also lead an opening round dance when we started the circle dance part of the evening.

7 Natural Ways of Healing

Aline tells us there are seven natural ways of healing that we can all use any time to help ourselves: talking, crying, screaming, singing, laughing, shaking and.. dancing!  Let it be a dance!

Aline and her group Daughters of the Drum led the recent March On – Vancouver march on January 20. She welcomed all to join her and the group at the start of the march.

Margo Elfert and Tamiko Suzuki of UCV are members of Aline’s group and would enjoy having other Unitarians join the march with them. The group includes both aboriginal and settler members.

Margo is exploring with Aline the idea of a monthly drum circle at UCV. Contact Margo if you’d be interested in joining in.

Here are youtube links for two of the songs we learned.

Strong Woman Song

The Strong Woman Song is performed by Raven Hart-Bellecourt and Lisa Muswagon.

Lakota 4 directions Song

I couldn’t find a link for the Gratitude Song.

You can see Tamiko and Margo here at the recent March On – Vancouver event with the Daughters of the Drum.

Chalice Choir performing at PUSH Festival – Jan 19

The Chalice Choir will be one of the participating local choirs in this production of The Events as part of the Push Festival

The Events: Chalice Choir does PuSh Fest, Friday January 19th

This month, our choir will be one of 13 choirs to join actors Douglas Ennenberg and Luisa Jojic onstage for a full-scale Canadian Premier performance of The Events. Secret Songs – Love, Fear, Beauty – One Night Only!

About the play:

Claire, a left-wing lesbian priest – and a young man with a violent design. The play is not filled with violent acts. It follows Claire’s attempt to understand how someone could do an awful thing. David Greig’s daring new play explores our destructive desire to fathom the unfathomable and asks how far forgiveness will stretch in the face of atrocity.
January 17-28 @ the Russian Hall. Tickets @

More details:

Douglas Ennenberg and Luisa Jojic will be performing in the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival with Pi Theatre at the Canadian Premier of “The Events” by David Greig. January 17-28 @ the Russian Hall. For one night only, January 19th, the Chalice Choir will be joining the performers onstage to sing specially prepared songs, and to act as the presence, or ghost, of a community.
Once again Pi Theatre is bringing Vancouver the international work it needs to see. The journey of Luisa’s character is at the height of any great Shakespeare play. Douglas will be playing 11 complex characters. The form balances experimentation with resonance. A different choir every night will fill out the full breadth of our little world.
Come to see some of our many collaborators – we will be joined onstage by 13 local choirs (that’s 250 community members!), and 5 guest speakers. Find the dates for your faves or friends on the Pi website.
There are great prices for PuSh Passes and Youth Passes available on or buy tickets through
Tell your friends!

About the Play

“I don’t want to understand what happened to me, I know what happened to me. I want to understand what happened to him.”  The Events tells the story of Claire – a right-on, left wing female priest who leads a choir in a community setting.  Claire experiences something terrible – a young man she vaguely knew turns a gun on those who ‘aren’t from here’ in an attempt to make his mark on society.  This is not a biopic of such terrible events.  The play is not filled with violent acts.  It follows Claire’s attempt to understand how someone could do such an awful thing, and how this leads her on a path to self-destruction.  The play focuses on the reaction of communities to acts of aggression and how hard it can be to move on.  David Greig’s daring new play explores our destructive desire to fathom the unfathomable and asks how far forgiveness will stretch in the face of atrocity.
This image was taken in December 2017 for our concert.

If you’d like to connect with other Unitarians to meet up for arts and culture events, you could join our email group, where we share recommendations and sometimes form a group to attend an event together.