Lively City: Choral concert, casting call, Culture Days and more

Choral fans, here’s one you won’t want to miss. (And I swear I’m totally not just saying this because I’m part of this choir.)

In any case, the Amabilis Singers, under the direction of Burnaby’s Ramona Luengen, made a journey onto the international stage this past summer with a tour of Italy – singing in a number of amazing destinations that included the Pantheon in Rome.

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The touring choir has returned home safely and is polishing up some of its favourite tour repertoire for a homecoming concert, set for Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church, 8255 13th Ave. in Burnaby.

Tickets are $20, or free for children under 11. You can buy at the door, or call 604-503-2074 to reserve.

(For the record, I won’t be singing in this concert – I wasn’t part of the tour. But I will be in the audience cheering on my compatriots! Join me, won’t you?)


Casting call

Do you have a young performer in your home?

St. Timothy’s Church in Burnaby is holding a casting call for a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 1 to 5 p.m.

A press release notes that the production is being mounted by the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster Arts Movement, and proceeds are going to the local ministry at St. Timothy’s and affordable housing initiatives.

“This contemporary and musical adaptation of one of the great works celebrating the Christmas spirit aims to raise awareness of housing needs in our community,” said co-producer Heather Robertsonin the release.

Rehearsals will be held Monday and Tuesday evenings for performances running Thursday, Dec. 10 to Saturday, Dec. 12.

Young people aged 10 to 16 who like to act, sing, dance or play an instrument are invited to audition. Email Heather at heather


Culture Days events

You may have seen a round-up of some Culture Days activities in Burnaby in the last edition (Wednesday, Sept. 16) – here are a few more highlights of the weekend happening around town.

The Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre is getting in on the fun with a couple of different events.

On Saturday, Sept. 26 from noon to 4 p.m., the centre is hosting a Make Your Own Mingei event in connection with the ongoing exhibition of Japanese folk art. Drop in to the centre at 6688 Southoaks Cres. to take part – the fun is happening in the Ellipse lobby on the main floor.

At 1 p.m. the same day, there’s be a special Mikoshi talk – a mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine, which serves as a vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between a main shrine and a temporary shrine during a festival. You can see an authentic mikoshi and learn more about the tradition.

Or, for those interested in South Asian cultural history, SFU is hosting an interesting exhibition.

Simon Fraser University Library will hold a month-long exhibition of photographs, magazines, novels and other archival materials in Komagata Maru and Beyond: South Asian Cultural History. You can find it in the entrance level lobby of the W.A.C. Bennett Library on the Burnaby Mountain campus at 8888 University Dr.

Culture Days is a nationwide celebration of arts and culture running Sept. 25 to 27. Check out www. for details.


Author reading

Here’s an interesting author reading coming up at the McGill branch of Burnaby Public Library.

Joanna van der Gracht de Rosadowill be at the library on Monday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. for a reading from Circles – her biography of her relative, Gisele van Waterschoot van der Gracht.

During the Second World War, Gisele hid her Jewish friends in her tiny apartment on one of Amsterdam’s main canals. She later married and moved to Greece, living in a restored monastery on the island of Paros, where she began painting circles.

“Circles represented to her the resilience and continuity of life. She also referred to her groups of painters, writers, friends and family as her circles,” a press release notes.

De Rosado grew up in North Vancouver but left for South America at the age of 18. She currently lives in Mexico, where she blogs at Her talk is free, but space is limited – register online at 604-299-8955, in person at the library (4595 Albert St.) or online at

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