Island Soul Choir welcomes the Bel Canto Singers

It will be a joyful celebration of song and spring with the Island Bel Canto Singers

In a joyful celebration of song and spring, Island Bel Canto Singers will open the show for the Island Soul Choir’s Mornin’ Stars a-Risin’ concerts in Parksville on June 2 and 3.

The 20-plus voice women’s choir from Nanaimo, led by Lionel Tanod and accompanied by Sharon Sinclair, is delighted to be performing on the same stage as Island Soul Choir, a 100-plus voice choral phenomenon co-directed by Brian Tate and Karla Mundy.

Island Bel Canto Singers have a wide-ranging repertoire — from classics to folk, show tunes to jazz and contemporary to world music.

One of their choices for the Island Soul Choir concerts will feature a song composed by Brian Tate called Klee Wyck, a haunting piece about artist Emily Carr.

This year the choir is celebrating 15 years of bel canto (beautiful singing in Italian).

It all started in August 1997, when 17 women responded to a local ad for singers in a new women’s choir. Their spirit of teamwork, coupled with the inspired leadership of their director Irene Thompson, saw the choir grow in both size and popularity over the next three years.

In early 2002, Christine McMahon took over the director’s position, and the choir continued to flourish.

Island Bel Canto Singers welcomed their current leader, Lionel Tanod, in 2005. Tanod has expanded the choir’s repertoire and has built connections with many other musical groups in the community. He was a key figure, along with a number of choir members, in the creation of the Nanaimo Sings! choral festival in 2008, that involved 14 community choirs in a three-day festival.

Many accompanists have supported the choir over the years, including Elaine Ursulack, Sharyn Andruski-Collins, Gillian Guy and Rie Okamura. Since 2002, they have been truly blessed to have Sharon Sinclair as their accompanist.

Throughout the years, the choir continues to thrive as a result of everyone’s commitment to teamwork and choral excellence. This is, beyond a doubt, a group of women who truly love to sing and have fun together.

To help mark their special year the Island Bel Canto Singers are thrilled to be invited to participate in the upcoming International Kathaumixw Choral Festival in Powell River, July 3 to 8.

That festival is, coincidentally, celebrating its fifteenth anniversary.

Island Bel Canto Singers regularly perform two concerts at Christmas and one in the spring in Nanaimo.

Their concerts often provide a venue to showcase up-and-coming artists.  They are proud to count such rising stars as the young pianist Devon Joiner among this group. Traditionally, after their concerts, they hold a meet-and-greet reception with home-baked goodies and refreshments for the audience.

To learn more about the upcoming Island Soul Choir concerts on June 2 at 7:30 p.m. and June 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Knox United Church in Parksville, visit or call Laurene at 250-248-2097.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the following outlets: Fascinating Rhythm and Guava Apparel in Nanaimo, Mulberry Bush Bookstores in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, Laughing Oyster Book Shop in Courtenay, and Blue Heron Books in Comox. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under.

Visit for more information.


— Submitted by the Island Soul Choir



Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The Oceanside Minor Lacrosse Association will honour their many volunteers on June 26. (PQB News file photo)
Oceanside Minor Lacrosse to honour volunteers on June 26

Appreciation event set for Parksville Community Park

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read