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Art Beat: Voices and instruments ring across the Coast, it's concert season

Here are some of the upcoming choir performances
Ayham Abou Ammar stars in Peace By Chocolate, a 2022 film feature being screened at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse on Monday, December 5.

The Inspirato Vocal Ensemble inaugurated the Advent season with two performances for capacity audiences on Nov. 26 and 27 at Calvary Baptist Church in Gibsons. Under the direction of Sarona Mynhardt, the 25-voice choir was accompanied by pianist Toby Aldren and flautist Bernard Blary. 

The choir performed 16 numbers ranging from the reverent Adoramus te to a tongue-in-cheek arrangement of The Nutcracker In About Three Minutes. Three soloists — Corrine Thorsell, Jane Osborne and Roberta Cuthbert — were featured in the ensemble’s toe-tapping rendition of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Anita Couvrette delivered a heartfelt performance of Maya Angelou’s poem Amazing Peace. 

Many musical performances are scheduled for the upcoming weeks. On Dec. 2 and 3 at 7 p.m., A Cappella Strait and Choralations Children’s Choir, under the direction of Janice Brunson, will present Winter Songs with special guests Grace Notes Youth Strings under the direction of Sarah Poon. 

Friday’s performance takes place at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt, and  Saturday’s is at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Gibsons. Tickets can be purchased in advance (with cash) at Strait Music in Sechelt, or by emailing [email protected]

On December 11, harpist Janelle Nadeau brings an intimate portrait of Christmas on the Canadian prairies to the Pender Harbour School of Music. Nadeau will be joined by medieval instrumentalist Joaquin Ayala for the 2 p.m. performance. Details and tickets are available at On December 16 at 7 p.m., the Pender Harbour Choir will present a selection of seasonal numbers at the same location. 

On Dec. 10, The Wild Voices and the Sunshine Coast Youth Choir will present Solistice Songs at the Camp Sunrise Chapel in Gibsons. Tickets are available via 

The Sunshine Coast Community Orchestra Association’s annual Christmas Concert takes place on Dec. 11. The Coast Symphony Orchestra (conducted by José Ceron-Ortega) and the Suncoast Concert Band (conducted by Tak Maeda) will present a program of traditional and contemporary Christmas favourites, accompanied by the Choralations Children’s Choir. The concert takes place on Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m.; tickets are available at Strait Music and at the door. 

The Suncoast Phoenix Choir makes two appearances bearing Songs of Comfort and Joy on Dec. 17 (St. Hilda’s) and Dec. 18 (Calvary Baptist), at 2 p.m. on both days. See details at 

The Coast Messiah Choir reassembles for a couple of performances of the seasonal portions of Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. both nights. Performances take place at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church. Concert tickets are available at and Strait Music.

A last peace of chocolate 

The final film of the Sunshine Coast Film Society season will be screened on Monday, Dec. 5 at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse. 

Based on the true story of the Hadhad family, Syrian refugees who arrived in Nova Scotia via Lebanon in 2016. Tareq (Ayham Abou Ammar), the charming young son — and only family member to speak passable English — dreams of continuing his education at a Canadian medical school, while his father (Hatem Ali, in his final film role) laments the bombing of the family’s chocolate factory in Syria.  

Society membership (available via is required to attend screenings, and tickets are priced at $10. The movie starts at 7:30 and doors open half an hour before.