lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Phoenix in 1986/1987 - A Season to Celebrate!

5 May. 2013 Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


Phoenix Choir’s fourth season turned out to be a season filled with success and celebration! 

But, the season started off with nervous anticipation as we awaited the announcement of the winners of the CBC Choral Competition.  In the meantime, we had our annual Fall Retreat (once again at Deb’s cabin at Brunswick Beach) and Rosemary Lindsay married Ken Lister.  We also said goodbye to Janet and Richard Kidd who moved out to the East Coast, but we welcomed a number of new members to the Phoenix Family – Sheryl DeCoste, Joy Smith, Dennis Colpitts, David Cousins, Stuart Tarbuck and Ray Nurse.

Finally, on September 28th, the CBC announcement came, and we were ecstatic!  First place in the Chamber Choir category, and second place in the Contemporary category.  And best of all – we were being advanced to the European Broadcasting Union’s International Choral Competition, “Let the Peoples Sing” to represent Canada!

Thrilled with our competition success, we headed back to Nanaimo in October to perform and be hosted by A Cappella Plus…a choir that, 27 years later, is now conducted by our own Rosemary Lindsay. The circle is complete!

Phoenix Choir 1986 Trip to Nanaimo BC


Our Fall concert on November 9 turned into the Celebration Concert. And, we also celebrated the launch of our brand new logo, created by Signals Design. Over the years it has graced many types of clothing, glassware, letterhead, buttons, and gave us instant recognition in print.

For Christmas, there were several events inaugurated that became part of the Phoenix tradition for years to come.  First of all - Isadora’s Restaurant on Granville Island! Phoenix held our Christmas concert over two evenings in Isadora's, to sold out crowds. Carols, sing-alongs, a lovely dinner…it was a smash hit! The next night, on December 23rd, we met up to go caroling through different neighbourhoods, knocking on doors and surprising people with some pretty high quality caroling. And, on Christmas Eve, we headed to CBC at 6 am and performed live on the Early Edition radio show. It was a lovely way to celebrate the season!

In March we had publicity photos taken for the first time, and we chose the Museum of Anthropology to be the location.


And then, another first - in April 1987, Cortland decided to call in some reinforcements.  He combined his two favourite choirs - The UBC Chamber Singers and Phoenix - so that we could perform a set of 16-part pieces.  This collaboration gave us the first glimpse of our current members Brian Day and the 17 year old Leanne Dalton, then Patenaude! Leanne, you look SO YOUNG!  CBC also invited us into the studio to record this concert for broadcast.


In May, judging for the International Choral Competition “Let the Peoples Sing” took place in Helsinki, Finland. There were 17 finalists chosen from around the world…and Phoenix placed second! We were overjoyed!  To gain such success on the international stage in four short years seemed like an amazing feat - how could we top that?  (well, stay tuned and see...things got even MORE exciting in a couple years...)

Another brand new experience was offered to Phoenix in July. We were hired to sing for three days on the soundtrack of a Hollywood movie called “The Unholy”.  Of course, we all went to see it when it was released the following year.

Our season of success and celebration wrapped up at Spanish Banks in August, at our second annual Beer BBQ. No doubt about it - THIS was going to be a tough year to top!

In 1986/1987 Phoenix was…

Sopranos Altos Tenors Basses

Margaret Barry

Sheryl DeCoste

Rosemary Lister (Lindsay)

Josie Martens

Charlene Gallaher

Deborah Mehes (Gibson)

Barb Paul

Joy Smith

Dennis Colpitts

David Cousins

Stephen Grant

Giles Gysel

John Whyte


Elliott Dainow

Al McLellan

Paul Nash

Ray Nurse

Bill Paul

Stuart Tarbuck

If you're enjoying the Phoenix History Project, please be sure to leave us your email address so we can keep in touch with you in the future.  More to come next week - Season 5 in 1987/1988!