2018-19 Annual Report

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Chor Leoni 2018-2019

Our 27th Season

Annual Report


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Members of Chor Leoni First Tenors Corey Hollett Ken Hollett Noel Hollett Shaun Jackman Derek Kief Bob Keyes Mark MacDonald Cliff Reinhardt Peter Spira William Ting Jaime Vargas

Second Tenors Stephen Baker Kevin Chiang Charles Crossin Byron Hanson Kyle Harland Bruce Hoffman Reid Howard Liam Kearns Jim Knight Rod Lock Bryn Orth-Lashley Marc Petrunia Keith Sinclair John Wyness

Section Leaders Mark MacDonald, Byron Hanson, Greg Martin, Michael Soderling


Board of Directors Baritones Joseph Anthony James Carter Ken Cassidy Jonathan Easey Ian Farthing Mike Fletcher Doug Graeb Conor Graham Phil Jack Mike Jackman Peter Joosten Tom Kidd Paul Larocque Dougas Leung Greg Martin Rob McAllister Greg Mohr Daniel Sheinin Ted Steiner

Basses Douglas Au-Lange Rick Bennett Paul Birch Lucas Brown Stash Bylicki Garth Edwards James Emery Ed Friesen Travis Fuchs Barry Honda Eric Kristensen David Love Chris Moore Shinil Park Bob Rankin Larry Smeets Michael Soderling Nicholas van der Velden

Honorary Lifetime Members Christopher Gaze, o.b.c., m.s.m. Martha Lou Henley, c.m.

CHAIR Rick Bennett Treasurer Secretary Marni Johnson Rod Locke MEMBERS AT LARGE James Carter, James Emery, Leanne Denis, John Geddes, Conor Graham, Fred Lee, Peter Joosten, Masato Oki, Patricia Penner

Staff Artistic Director: Erick Lichte Executive Director: Stash Bylicki Production Manager: David Carpenter Manager of Marketing & Patron Relations: Bruce Hoffman Administrative Assistant: Derek Kief Digital Media Producer: Phil Jack Archivist: Eric Kristensen Accompanist: Ken Cormier FOUNDER Diane Loomer, c.m.

MARGARET HILLIS AWARD FOR CHORAL EXCELLENCE Chor Leoni was thrilled to receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from the professional choral organisation, Chorus America. If there is an Oscar for choral music, this is it, and we are truly honoured to be the first Canadian adult volunteer choir recipient. The Hillis Award looks at an ensemble’s past and present, assessing not only the excellence of its performance standards and contributions to Canadian music but also its organizational strength and financial stability over a significant period of time. We proudly share it with our beloved founder Diane Loomer, C.M., every lion who has ever stood on the risers, the volunteers who have helped us over the years, every donor who has chosen to support us, our brilliant Artistic Director, Erick Lichte, and you, our amazing audience.


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Report from the Artistic Director by Erick Lichte I am always amazed and humbled by the reach which Chor Leoni brings to its community, but more than this, it is WHAT Chor Leoni brings to the world that excites me. This is an organization which performs by its values, rehearses by its values, and lives by it values. I am proud that these men hold themselves to such high standards for their music and their actions. It is remarkable that the men of Chor Leoni make so much room in their lives for sharing all that we stand for.

Erick Lichte

Report from the Executive Director by Stash Bylicki This season was the first in which we fully embodied our new strategic plan. In it, we cite a bold new vision: To engage and enrich the world through the art of male choral singing. As lofty as it is, at the core, it represents our fundamental belief that the work we do can inspire, build communities, and change lives. In our case, “the world” can hit close to home or far afield, whether it’s an audience member moved by the reflective beauty of Zachary Wadsworth’s When There Is Peace oratorio, a young singer given the opportunity to work with world-renowned Cantus, a composer across the country who is inspired by a call to action, or a fan in Indonesia who streams Star of Wonder on Spotify. These are all ways that Chor Leoni has touched lives this year. I’m so proud of everyone who gives their heart and soul to this choir: the singers, board staff, our donors, volunteers, and friends. This year we were awarded the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the most prestigious choral award in North America. It’s something we should all be very proud of. In the choral world, we are among giants. We are fortunate to have such a supportive community around us, but if I may be so bold, Vancouver is fortunate to have such a generous and magnificent group of singing men! Congratulations and thank you for a spectacular season.

Stash Bylicki


Our Vision To engage and enrich the world through the art of male choral singing.

Our Mission

Our Values

Chor Leoni inspires audiences, trains artists, educates youth, and advances the male choral art form by creating, promoting, and presenting male choral music.

Supporting and supported by one another, we

We create transformative experiences for our performers, audiences, and communities. We champion Canadian culture at home and abroad.

• thrive on the joy of making and sharing music, • insist on and cultivate excellence, diversity, inclusiveness, and respect, • embrace courage and innovation, • are dedicated to engaging, building, and improving communities through our art, and • aspire to continuous growth as musicians and individuals.

Report from the Chair by Rick Bennett This is my first Chair’s Report to the Society. I’m happy to report I haven’t wrecked anything over the past year. As Marni reports, 2018-19 was very successful financially. This is a tribute to the whole Chor Leoni family, but I would like to acknowledge in particular the tireless efforts of Marni and Stash, whose jealous guarding and meticulous reporting of every penny make the Board’s financial oversight job a breeze. Still on matters financial, the Board very recently approved establishing a new Chor Leoni Foundation as a separate, related entity that will take charge of our endowment funding. There will be more about this in the days ahead, but it should mark an important step towards ensuring Chor Leoni’s long-term financial stability. We recently approved Erick’s updated 3-5 Artistic Plan, an exciting program that will stretch us musically, financially, and organizationally but always guided, through its innovative projects and collaborations, by our Strategic Plan. Hang on to our hats! The policy front can often seem more mundane, but here too the Board did important work in approving our new Respectful Environment policy. I would like to salute the Board itself on your behalf. Although often unseen, it would be difficult to imagine a group more passionately dedicated to Chor Leoni and our Mission, Vision, and Values. Its collective wisdom and devotion to our cause inspires me daily. May I say from all of us, to Marni, John, Fred, Leanne, Masato, Paddy, James, Joos, Conor, and especially Rod as he completes nine years of exemplary Board service as our Secretary, thank you from the bottom of our lionly hearts. —Rick


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Composer In Residence Zachary Wadsworth The most common question from audience members when I tell them that I’m Chor Leoni’s first Composer-in-Residence is: “What in the world is a Composer-inResidence?” After explaining that, no, I don’t live in Vancouver (though I wish I did!), I tell them that the title is a metaphor: being “in residence” isn’t so much about geography as it is about artistic closeness. It means that every piece I write for Chor Leoni is a collaboration between me, Erick Lichte, the members of the choir, and the audience. I think of the first piece I wrote last year, When There Is Peace. Truly, it took a village to create this oratorio (all 1,090 measures of it!), and it was shaped by input from its librettists, performers, conductor, and so many others. This piece generated so many wonderful memories: listening to Chor Leoni’s incredible performance on CBC Radio on the morning of Remembrance Day, and an audience member approaching me in tears after the performance, wondering how her father’s experience of the Great War might have aligned with the stories in the oratorio. After the premiere of When There Is Peace, I spoke with audience members, Erick, and choir members about what they think we all need from contemporary choral music. These conversations led to the next two pieces I wrote last year. Snowflakes emerged from hunger among the choir members to explore the winter season in a new way, and Future Folk Songs addresses the question of how we sing about the problems of our own times. This, to me, is the most special aspect of a residency — together, we make the music that we want and need to hear. This residency has made me feel like a member of the Chor Leoni family (dare I say, an honorary Lion?). I’m truly excited for the next collaborations as I enter my second year as Composer-in-Residence!


“. . . being ‘in residence’ isn’t so much about geography as it is about artistic closeness.”

an Armistice Oratorio


27th Annual Remembrance Day Concerts

by Zachary Wadsworth | Libretto compiled by Erick Lichte & Peter Rothstein With Lawrence Wiliford, tenor, Arwen Myers, soprano, Borealis String Quartet, Martin Fisk & Robin Reid, percussion

November 10 | 3pm & 8pm | St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver November 11 | 3pm | West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver

National Broadcast Spotlights New Oratorio BY KATHERINE DUNCAN Host and Producer, Choral Concert CBC Music

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share Chor Leoni’s world premiere of Zachary Wadsworth’s Armistice Oratorio, When There is Peace, in a national broadcast on Choral Concert. It was the perfect way to launch 6 hours of special programming on CBC Music, honouring the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. Zachary is a young, Canadian/American composer who writes some of the best, most beautiful music for choir in North America. I knew him from his years in Calgary, where I heard (and sang) several of his works, so I was excited by Chor Leoni’s choice of Zach as their first Composer in Residence. His new oratorio more than lived up to my expectations! When There is Peace takes listeners on journey through war, from the soldiers’ point of view: to the battlefield; to the armistice itself with its surreal moment of silence, followed by joy and singing. Then, years later, you share in former soldiers’ memories of friends who didn’t return. I loved how the carefully chosen mix of poetry, diaries and letters in the libretto carried the story along, offering perfectly paced moments for reflection. The choir was extremely well prepared, and performed with a range of tone colours perfectly suited to the changing mood of the story. Soloists, string quartet and percussionists all handled their parts with skill and style. Throughout, Erick Lichte led with artistry and a collegial, positive energy — even in the potentially high-stress situation of a recording session taking the place of a dress rehearsal! Chor Leoni pays tribute to Remembrance Day every year, and it was clear to me as a visitor that you have a very deep commitment to the day, the subject, and an excellent rapport with your audience.

“I loved how the carefully chosen mix of poetry, diaries and letters in the libretto carried the story along.”

On behalf of Choral Concert and my colleagues on CBC Music, thank you for your vision and commitment to honouring an important historical marker, by creating a deeply moving and beautiful modern work of musical art.


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

CHRISTMAS WITH CHOR LEONI December 14, 16, 17 | 8pm | St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver December 17 | 5pm | St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver December 15 | 3pm | West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver

Silent Night’s Personal Connection BY GREG MOHR This past Christmas marked a very special anniversary for the Mohr family — the 200th anniversary of Silent Night, the words of which were written by my great-greatgreat-great-great-great Uncle, Joseph Mohr. Joseph was the parish priest in the town of Oberndorf, near the Austrian-German border.


speak to the human heart. It is the vision of a world no longer at war, of people living in a time of calm following the depths of a sea of despair. These are palpable, human desires and longings.

The story of the origin of Silent Night may be quite familiar to you: the church organ was broken and Christmas Eve worship services were fast approaching. Father Joseph Mohr handed Franz Gruber a poem that Joseph had written two years earlier, but had stuffed it into a desk drawer for some unknown time. But now was the time! Franz Gruber, the church organist and local schoolteacher, frantically composed the music and, later that evening, Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber sang Silent Night, accompanied by Franz on the guitar.

While Silent Night is part of my family’s story, others experienced Silent Night in a new way as a result of that linkage to the past. We long for connection to place and to people. We might know about certain historical events or stories, but there is something about a personal connection that makes the story come alive. Erick spoke of this when addressing the audience prior to our closing Christmas with Chor Leoni with this beloved song. Meeting a real, live human being whose ancestor was part of actual historical events connects us to that story. It comes alive in new ways. We take greater interest and listen more closely to the story.

For 200 years, that song has been sung throughout the world, and it is a favourite at our Christmas concerts. There is something about the simple melody and the poignant words longing for peace that truly

I am thrilled and humbled that the story of my personal connection to this beloved song inspired people to draw closer and share a moment of beauty and stillness as part of Christmas with Chor Leoni.

“Connecting to the history makes the story come alive.” concert sponsors

“Chor Leoni’s gorgeous new Christmas CD will be in heavy rotation in my house this season. Among other gems they do a profound rendition of my song Star of Wonder. I thank them for including me in their holiday festivities!” — Terre Roche Facebook, November 21 at 6:36pm


From Franz Biebl’s soaring Ave Maria to Tori Amos’ driving Star of Wonder and Erick Lichte’s iconic arrangement of Silent Night as sung in their performances of All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, this collection explores the many moods and sounds of the holiday season. Rich and lush, this recording features a mix of a cappella singing alongside works accompanied by piano, piano fourhands, and hammered dulcimer. Star of Wonder was recorded at Vancouver’s storied CBC Studio One with producers Erick Lichte, who recently produced the acclaimed all-Ešenvalds recording Door of Heaven for Naxos Records, and GRAMMY award-winning producer, Steve Barnett. Ave Maria | O Little Town of Bethlehem | The First Noel | Star of Wonder | O Come, All Ye Faithful | What Child Is This? | Star of Wonder | I Wonder As I Wander | Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening | Silent Night | O Come, O Come Emmanuel


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

CAPELLA March 1, 2, 3 | 8pm | Vancouver Playhouse March 2 | 4pm | Vancouver Playhouse

Choral, Jazz, and Pop Together BY JODI PROZNICK I had the great privilege of collaborating with Erick Lichte and Chor Leoni during the 2018/2019 season. We performed a series of concerts that celebrated both the impeccable choral singing of Chor Lioni and beautiful songwriting from a variety of genres. As Erick and I were communicating about the project, we both agreed that a well-crafted song, no matter what the genre, has the power to transform. With this spirit in mind, we set out to find songs that speak to the heart that could be arranged in such a way to explore and enhance the textures, lyricism and rhythm of each piece. I was thrilled to be able to put together a band of wonderful, award-winning musicians and to get the chance to perform a wide variety of repertoire which included two of my own compositions off of my JUNO-nominated album Sun Songs (Cellarlive). As a composer and songwriter, there is no greater thrill than standing on stage hearing your music performed by a world class ensemble. Their performance brought tears to my eyes every night. Listening to Chor Leoni sing a number of beautiful and diverse songs from songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Peter Gabriel, Gord Downie, Sting, and Stevie Wonder was a thrill for both me and the band. The collaboration was a huge success and I hope to have the chance to work with Erick and the ensemble again in the future.


“ . . . a well-crafted song, no matter what the genre, has the power to transform.”

ALBERTA & NORTHWEST TERRITORIES TOUR March 24 | 3pm | McDougall United Church | Edmonton, Alberta March 25 | 7pm | Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre | Camrose, Alberta March 26 | 7:30pm | Northern Arts and Culture Centre | Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Lions North of 60 BY MARGO NIGHTINGALE Director, Aurora Chorealis Yellowknife Choral Society March 2019 will be remembered as the month Chor Leoni came to Yellowknife, singing to a full house at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre and giving a workshop with our local choirs, Aurora Chorealis and Ursa Miners. At our workshop, Erick Lichte gave Aurora Chorealis a new level of understanding how to sing Estonian music. He then helped Ursa Miners to embrace the rhythmic elegance of renaissance music, and soon after got us to “sing off the page” when singing pop songs. We were the lucky beneficiaries of his tremendous knowledge and skill and his personal warmth, humour, and generosity. During the concert, Chor Leoni gave us goosebumps. They made us laugh. They made us cry. In return, we gave them our adoration: a standing ovation and demands for encores. Afterwards, I gushed about my joy seeing their joy, about their talents, the creation of community and the breadth of music performed. These remain true. But there is something more basic to relish and celebrate. We got to see and hear 65 fabulous male singers perform fantastic music. Men singing together creates a true power we need to see and hear more in our world. Thank you, Erick and choir, for making this journey and to all the funders and organizers who made it possible!


“Men singing together creates a true power we need to see and hear more in our world.”



Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

vanman male CANTUS & CHOR LEONI April 12 | 7:30pm | Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, UBC

Inclusivity and Brotherhood BY SAMUEL GREENE Bass, Cantus Male Vocal Ensemble

There is something extraordinary about the instant camaraderie that is fostered when singing with a tenor/bass ensemble. It’s the thing that attracted me to singing in my youth, and a privilege I’ve been able to enjoy throughout my career. Participating in the VanMan Male Choral Summit in April 2019 was a highlight of the season. Chor Leoni creates an atmosphere of inclusivity and brotherhood, and it was immediately palpable during our first rehearsal with them. Not only was the “work” made lighter by convivial collaboration, but Chor Leoni lives up to its name: each singer performed with poise and strength; a regal king of beasts in their own realm! What I loved most, however, was their commitment to young singers in their MYVoice program. The impact that Chor Leoni made with these young people was apparent in the students’ preparation and intention in their music-making. Cantus was fortunate to drop in at the last minute and put a cherry on top! The real work was put in earlier through the care and attention to detail of Chor Leoni. I am encouraged that the future of music is in the hands of these sensitive and artful young tenors and basses.


“What I loved most, however, was their commitment to young singers in their MYVoice program.”

choral Summit SUMMIT Concert

April 13 | 7:30pm | Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, UBC

Connected By Song BY JONATHAN EASEY Second Tenor

As this was my first ever VanMan, I went into Summit Concert day with no expectations and very little knowledge as to what would happen. By the time it was over, however, I was blown away. It started with rehearsals — both for us as Chor Leoni and the entirety of the festival choir comprised of male choral singers from all around western Canada and beyond. It was a real treat to get to know them over lunch backstage at the Chan Centre and in between rehearsals! After lunch we enjoyed a fantastic workshop by Cantus — a professional male choral ensemble that came to perform and educate at the Summit. The workshop included a Q&A that offered a really fun opportunity to ask seasoned professional choral singers questions about what it’s like to do this for a living. I was astounded at how in-sync each Cantus member was with the others, and the incredible sound they made (not to mention this is where Erick’s favourite new phrase — ghosty tones — came from!). To open the evening’s Summit Concert, Musqueam Elder Doris Fox offered a heartfelt and generous greeting, shared a song, and got us all to connect to one another. The concert brought together Chor Leoni, Cantus, the Festival Singers, and the various MYVoice choirs from around the Lower Mainland. By the end of the evening, my heart was full and my head was spinning from all the wonderful music!

“By the end of the evening, my heart was full and my head was spinning.”

concert sponsor


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Educational Outreach MYVoice Full Circle On the Chan Stage BY LUKE MCANDLESS-DAVIS

VanMan Festival Singers Travelling for VanMan


The VanMan 2019 weekend was a jam-packed experience, full of camaraderie, growth, joy, and above all, music! For the Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir, it was a wonderful opportunity, not only to perform in such a phenomenal setting, but also to learn from Erick, and the men of Chor Leoni. We left VanMan inspired to make music more passionately and deeply. We are tremendously grateful for the invitation to participate in VanMan, and we hope to do so again. For me personally, it also marked a special home coming. My life was forever changed back in 2011, when I joined MYVoice. I was immediately taken not only with the beauty of the music we created, but more importantly the sense of community that I had never before experienced with a group of young men. A life-long love of choral music was born, and nearly a decade later I am now a middle school choir teacher and the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir. It was a wonderful full circle moment to step onto the Chan Centre stage and conduct Orpheus in front of many of the same Chor Leoni Lions that initially inspired me to follow this career path. For me, the most emotional part of the weekend, was watching the young men of the current MYVoice choirs sing their hearts out. I was struck by the vital importance of this unique program: to give young men a place to discover their voice, to take risks, to be vulnerable, and to make art together. When I think of the current state of this world, I feel like this is exactly what we need. Thank you to Chor Leoni for ensuring the continuation of this essential program. It changed my life, and it continues to change countless others.

“I was struck by the vital importance of this unique program.”


Being singers who love choral music and singing in choirs we’ve long been aware of Chor Leoni and for years enjoyed the group’s recordings. Though living in the Edmonton area, we were able to attend a few Chor Leoni live performances in Vancouver and always thought that one day it would be amazing to actually sing with the choir. So imagine our surprise when three years ago we visited the Chor Leoni web page and discovered there was a way to sing with Chor Leoni through the VanMan Festival. Though we missed the application deadline by one day there was still room for two Festival Singers, so we quickly signed up and were soon singing with Chor Leoni, Chanticleer and the Icelandic Men’s Choir — wow! That was followed by two more years of singing bliss as we actually sang on stage amongst Choir Leoni at the beautiful Chan Centre. The experience of singing with the Lions under Erick’s amazing leadership, with the other Festival Singers and the MYVoice choirs has truly been an experience never to be forgotten. Thanks for the foresight and generosity you’ve shown to include singers like us on your musical journey.

“An unforgettable experience.”

PROMYS Honour Choir Keeping My Musical Mind Engaged BY SHANE ATIENZA

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but at the start of the new year I had been feeling more and more disconnected from any involvement in music, something that had kept me sane throughout high school. I was not pursuing music in my (very busy) university studies, and the arduous new experience in academia prevented me from committing to any music ensembles. Nevertheless, I kept my eye out for ways that I could continue developing my musicality. I found that in PROMYS. I had just joined MYVoice when it was suggested that I audition for PROMYS. Although I was at first sceptical of what effort it would entail and of the reward it would provide, I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did. I was able to sing with talented, like-minded young men and work with a top-notch mentor in Erick Lichte. Though we were all different people with different skills and interests outside of our singing, we were connected by that amazing, awesome power of music, a kind of connection that I think we all need in our bustling, tiring lives.

“We were connected by that amazing, awesome power of music.”

Oh, and yes, having the opportunity to meet and perform alongside the exceptional members of Chor Leoni was also such a lovely experience for me as a young musician! Being a part of PROMYS was a highlight of my musical experience in 2019. It allowed me to stay engaged with music and singing, and that experience was an absolute treat.


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Canadian Choral Composition Competition

“Taking questions about my music is not something I generally look forward to (!), but my C4 experience was something

May 10 | 8pm | ANNEX


Thoughtful Questions, Surprising Answers BY ALLAN BEVAN Composer It isn’t often that a composer has the opportunity to hear one’s music rehearsed and performed with such care and grace, as I did at Chor Leoni’s 2019 C4 Competition. To have the opportunity to interact with conductor Erick Lichte, accompanist Ken Cormier, and the fine singers of Chor Leoni was very special indeed. The discussion of the interpretative aspects of the work in the supportive and thorough manner in evidence at the C4 Competition raised many compelling and important questions about the relationship between composition, notation, performance, and the perception of text and music that will remain with me always and positively influence my future compositions. The final part of the competition where the winning works were presented to a receptive audience was another highlight. Taking questions about my music is not something I generally look forward to (!), but my C4 experience was something different. Thoughtful comments and questions from both the audience and the choir led me places I might not normally go and I admit to being surprised by my responses, a few of which seemed to come unbidden from somewhere deep within, well beyond my everyday consciousness as a composer. Thank you, Chor Leoni!



this concert Generously supported by

CHOR LEONI IN THE COMMUNITY Along with our self-produced concert series, Chor Leoni performs at fundraisers and pop-up events throughout the year. We are honoured to lend our voices to these great causes as a way to give back to a community that supports us so generously. We were pleased to sing for:

The Pacific Assistance Dogs Society fundraising event | September 8 CKNW Pledge Day | December 4 CBC Open House & Food Bank Day | December 7 Vancouver Public Library pop up performance | December 7 BlueShore Financial | June 11 US Consulate General Independence Day Event | July 16


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Fundraising Events At Home

Lions Share

September 19 | Cecil Green Park House, UBC TOTAL RAISED: $72,952

June 8 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lobby TOTAL RAISED: $37,724

A capacity crowd gathered to launch Chor Leoni’s 27th season with At Home, the choir’s fundraising gala held at UBC’s stately Cecil Green Manor. This marked the choir’s 16th annual gala, and true to tradition, tail-coated choristers acted as charming hosts, servers, and entertainers. A pop-up performance by MYVoice delighted the guests and contributed to a successful evening that raised over $70,000.

The aim was to move from our soloist-driven Chor Leoni Idol to an event with full choir participation, and Lions Share delivered with an evening of entertainment and fun in the grand lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Pulling out all the stops, three teams performed Broadway favourites, rock n’ roll classics, and ballads as they vied for support from the 400+ audience. Team Tonal Kaleidoscope’s show-stopping and fully choreographed performance of From Now On eventually earned them the winner’s title. Kudos to the team leaders and choir members for their creativity and commitment to making our first Lions Share such a success.

Chor Leoni thanks At Home Chair Lesley Stowe and the hardworking At Home Committee for leading this very successful event. We also thank BlueShore Financial for their generous support of At Home.

We also thank the Lions Share committee for their dedication and hard work that ensured a successful event.

AT HOME COMMITTEE Lesley Stowe, Chair Larry Burr, Stash Bylicki, David Carpenter, James Emery, Noel Hollett, Fred Lee, Rob McAllister, Paul Larocque, Erick Lichte

TEAMS Team Tonal Kaleidoscope – Greg Martin, leader Team Class Act – Byron Hanson, leader Team Game of Tones – Derek Kief, leader CELEBRITY JUDGES Sophie Lui, Vikram Vij, Symone LIONS SHARE COMMITTEE Stash Bylicki, David Carpenter, Bruce Hoffman, Avneet Johal, Derek Kief, Paul Larocque, Fred Lee, Erick Lichte, Derek MacDonald


A DONOR’S PERSPECTIVE Our Lives Are Richer Because of Chor Leoni BY LESLEY STOWE The first time I heard of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir was after an “At Home” event my parents attended over 15 years ago. My mother was in a trance for days and could not say enough about the intimate setting and the quality of the performance that this ensemble gave in a private home. A few years later she encouraged my husband and I to attend “At Home” and I can still remember that as soon as the men broke into song the hairs on the back of my neck stood up; I was in awe. The talent, enthusiasm and dedication of this group is something I wish everyone could experience. Founded in 1992 by Diane Loomer, c.m. the mission of the “Choir of Lions” has been to introduce audiences in Vancouver and beyond to the beauty of this type of music. Although primarily focused on a classical repertoire the choir sings music of all genres and time periods, and often performs more than 35 concerts a year. Now led by the talented and spirited Erick Lichte, the choir continues to grow under his artistic direction. We feel so fortunate that Chori Leoni calls Vancouver home and consider them to still be a bit of a hidden gem in our city. Everyone who has the opportunity to experience the magic of Chor Leoni is touched by their music and in whatever way we can we must all support them both financially and by being their ambassadors. Our lives are richer thanks to the singing of Chor Leoni.

“As soon as the men broke into song the hairs on the back of my neck stood up; I was in awe.”


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report


Thank you to our friends and supporters who made a donation to Chor Leoni this season. Your gifts are so important to our activities and let us shine. Giving levels are named after the stars of the constellation Leo, The Lion, and this list acknowledges donations received from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.

Total: $


REGULUS ($10,000+)

Paul & Margaret Birch, RBC Foundation ADHAFERA ($5,000 - $9,999) Thomas Anfield, Bob & Judy Hager Family Fund, Alix Brown, Leslie & James* Carter, Darlene & Paul Howard, Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation, Marni Johnson & Gordon Roberts, William Wood NOVA ($2,000 - $4,999) Dick & Val Bradshaw, Vincent Carey & Ed Friesen, Stephanie Carlson, Pete Chamberlain, David Cousins, Richard & Valerie Dunsterville, Conor Graham, Joan Henderson, Erick* & Ashley Lichte, Margaret Mason & Brian Taylor, Nader Mirhady & Chris Salton, Bruce Munro Wright, Patricia Penner, Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation, Ian & Jane Strang, The Howard Foundation, Colleen & David Torrison, Eric & Beverley Watt DENEBOLA ($500 - $1,999) Joan Apel, Marsha Belanger, Rick* & Lorraine Bennett, Ruth Brodie, Stash Bylicki* & Katerina Kwon, Nina & John Cassils, Liz Chaston, Coast Capital Savings, Karen Cook, Leanne Denis & Robert Aguayo, Count Enrico & Countess Aline Dobrzensky, Shannon Dolphin, Garth Edwards*, Brian Fearncombe, The Christopher Foundation, Douglas Gordon, Doug Graeb*, Jim Green & Vivian Thom, Martha Hazevoet, Carol & Richard Henriquez, Patricia Hudson, Douglas & Donna Hume, Jean Hurst, AllWest Insurance, Mike Jackman*, Anne-Marie & Peter Kains, Gary & Louise Kenwood, Robert* & Deborah Keyes, Jim Knight, Paul Larocque*, Christine Lattey, Angie MacDougall, Tara May, Maureen McIntosh, Joan McLeod, Cindy McPherson, Lindy McQueen, Liz Meekison, Jennifer Meldrum, Alan & Mary Lou Miles, Renee Nielly, Diane Norton, Masato Oki, Papertech Inc., Provincial Employees Community Service Fund, Bob* & Margaret Rankin, Val & Michael Seager, David Smith, Mary-Anne Stowe, The Reid Family Charitable Gift Fund, Chris Wilson ZOSMA ($200 - $499) Sue & Bob Adams, Joan Anderson, Richard Anderson, Jean Arthur, Cora Ashburner, Paul & Laura Baker, Brenda Benham, Ron Bergeron, Carlson Family Fund, Kevin Chiang*, Ted & Dorothy Chiasson, Judith Coffin, Ken Cormier*, Rita Cousins, Kimberley Cudney, Elizabeth Dean, Isabelle Diamond, Frances Dowdeswell, Brian Duncan, Elsie & Audrey Jang Fund, Shirley Enders, Lynn Eyton, Ian Farthing*, Glenys Galloway, John Geddes, Joy Gibson, Rusty & Lindy Goepel, Norma Goldie, Judy Hager, Greg Hall, William Hesse, Johanna Hickey, Floyd Hill, Kevin Hisko, Bruce Hoffman* & Dean Brown, Arlene Howard, Patricia Howard, Reid Howard*, Kathleen Hurl, Isabeau Iqbal, Muhammad Iqbal, Bill & Heather Ireland, Carole Jinks, Peter Joosten*, Margaret Kidd, Tom Kidd*, Ellen & Richard Kief, Vlad Krajina, Fred Lee, Lynn & Russel Lichte, Roderick Locke* & Quinn Crosina, David Love* & James Harcott, Jill & David Lyall, Greg Lypowy, Gerald Lyseng, Derek MacDonald, Mark MacDonald*, Greg Martin*, Rob Mayhew, Mary McDermid, David & Brenda McLean, Debbie McLean, Douglas McRae, John McVie & Cheryl Armstrong, Peter Mercer & Ginger Shaw, Greg* & Laree Mohr, Elize Nel, Shona Neufeld, Christine Nicolas, Jane Nicolson, Don & Heather Risk, Peter & Elfriede Rohloff, John & Marilyn Ross, John & Jacki Ross, Peter Schutz, Jean Scribner, Larry Smeets*, Peter Spira* & Valerie Duma, Joan Stewart, Lesley Stowe & Geoffrey Scott, Lisa & Terry Turner, Jaime Vargas*, Marie Wagstaff, John* & Sue Wyness, Linda Yorke RASALAS ($75- $199) Hugh & Diana Alley, Janet Allwork, Mamie Angus, Ogake Angwenyi, Sam & Mary Balden, Karen Bartlett, Rebecca Bennett, Maureen Bennington, Dianne Bentz, Deb Berto, Norma Boutillier, Susan Boutwood, Jamesie Bower, Charles Budd, Marilyn Bullock, Burnaby Central Secondary School, Joyce Campkin, David Carman, Sandra Chapman, Hui Chiang, Woody Chiang, Mimi Chow, Jan Christilaw, Kathy Ciechanowski, Larry Clausen & Myron Story, Burke & Hanneke Corbet, Denise Cunningham, Irving Dardick, Margaret Decicco, Marcus Degenstein, Moyra Dobson, Rita Douglas, Eleanor Elliott, James Emery* & Rob McAllister*, Maia Farish, Diane Fast, Catherine Fenn, Linda Fraser, Debra & Blair Friesen, Michael Frost, Jeanette Gallant, Bridget Gilbride, Carolyn Goodall, Jean Gregson, Kirstin Hain, Anja Haman, Sabina Harpe, Peter & Sylvia Hart, Barbara Hodgins, Ken* & Rosalind Hollett, Dan & Pam Horner, Tina & Rick Hulbert, Maria Irvine, Shaun Jackman*, Ingrid Molly Jonsson, Stan Kellett, Eric Kristensen* & Geoff Reid, Pei Chih Kuan, Jason Kur & Haydn Gurmin, John & Lulu Leathley, Sandi Lee, Sandra Lee, Karen Leung, Thomas & Connie Longworth, Jan Louden, Jo Ann Malysh, Sandi Mcintosh-Kocaba, Brian McMillan, Gay Mitchell, Laree Mohr, Theresa Mulligan, Barbara Nelles, Aldred Neufeldt, Shirley Nickerson, Alexandra Nicolas, Jim O’Hara, Marti Oppenheimer, Chris Owen, Samantha Parton, Barb Pearce, Elizabeth Petrie, Muriel Richards, Catherine Rickey & Ross Ramsey, Adrianne Ross, Clare Saadien, Barb & Lawrence Sauder, Milton Schlosser, Marion & Andy Shaw, Marilyn Slade, Helen Smith, Jane Srivastava, E J Stamp, Alexandra Starosta, Peter Suedfeld, Doug Syms, Marion Tennant, Marilyn Thorsteinsson, Timbre! Choir, Ken & Patsy Tolmie, Derek von Essen, Alison Watt SUSTAINING DONORS GIVING BY RECURRING MONTHLY DONATION Brenda Benham, Paul & Margaret Birch, Stash Bylicki*, Kevin Chiang*, Garth Edwards*, Ian Farthing*, Doug Graeb*, Conor Graham, Kyle Harland*, Joan Henderson, Bruce Hoffman* & Dean Brown, Reid Howard*, Jean Hurst, Mike Jackman*, Shaun Jackman*, Bob* & Deborah Keyes, Jim Knight, Eric Kristensen* & Geoff Reid, Roderick Locke* & Quinn Crosina, Mark MacDonald*, Greg Martin*, Tara May, Lindy McQueen, John McVie & Cheryl Armstrong, Jim O’Hara, Patricia Penner, Bob* & Margaret Rankin, Don & Heather Risk, Peter & Elfriede Rohloff, Helen Smith, Peter Spira* & Valerie Duma, Colleen & David Torrison, Jaime Vargas*


* Indicates current choir member

FINANCIAL REPORT 2018-19 SEASON 2018-19 was another strong year for Chor Leoni financially. Performance revenues exceeded budget and accounted for 35% of total revenue. Fundraising efforts continued strong, with donations and sponsorships coming in $50,000 above budget. The majority of expenses (69%) related to performance, CD production and management, education programs, the Alberta and Northwest Territories tour, and other artistic endeavours, all in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan. The Tour Fund was partially drawn down as planned, to supplement the choir members’ contributions toward the Alberta and the Northwest Territories tour. The Choir’s Diane Loomer Commissioning Fund grew by $7,023 to support future commissioning projects. The Choir’s capital assets were written off, given their low remaining value. Bottom line performance was well ahead of the budgeted loss of $21,571 which represented the net cost of the 2019 tour. However, above-plan revenues allowed the Choir to undertake one-time expenses such as development of a new website, and still end the year with a surplus of $9,456. Chor Leoni remains financially very healthy. The organization continues to invest in its strategic plan initiatives and is well positioned for continued progress toward its goals.

Marni Johnson Treasurer

REVENUE Performance revenue $338,765 Touring revenue from members $19,334 Donations and sponsorship $152,193 In-kind sponsorship $76,409 Government grants/gaming $203,787 Foundations $64,949 Endowment income $32,538 Raffles and auctions $29,302 Recording sales $26,948 Membership dues/other $18,545 REVENUE TOTAL $962,770 EXPENSES Performance-related expenses $649,095 Office and administration $120,552 Administrative personnel $172,374 CDs and recordings $6,269 Amortization $3,848 Other $1,176 EXPENSE TOTAL $953,314 NET INCOME (LOSS) $9,456 ASSETS NET ASSETS – Beginning of year $103,927 NET ASSETS – End of year $113,383 Change in Net Assets $9,456 Net Assets Operating Fund $58,505 Touring Fund $9,721 Diane Loomer Commissioning Fund $45,157 Capital Assets $0 TOTAL NET ASSETS $113,383

REVENUE 2018-19

Performance revenue 35.2% Touring revenue from members 2.0% Donations and sponsorship 15.8% In-kind sponsorship 7.9% Government grants/gaming 21.2% Foundations 6.7% Endowment Income 3.4% Raffles and auctions 3.0% Recording Sales 2.8% Membership dues/other 1.9%

EXPENSES 2018-19

Performance-related expenses 68.1% Office and administration 12.6% Administrative personnel 18.1% CDs and recordings 0.7% Amortization 0.4% Other 0.1%

NET ASSETS 2018-19

Operating Fund $58,505 / 52% Touring Fund $9,721 / 8% Diane Loomer Commissioning Fund $45,157 / 40% Capitol Assets $0 / 0%


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

The Diane Loomer Founders’ Circle The Diane Loomer Founders’ circle recognizes those friends who have chosen to leave a gift in their will or estate to Chor Leoni. We named the circle after our beloved founder, Diane, because gifts of this magnitude ensure the legacy of Diane and Chor Leoni lives on for many years to come. We are so thankful for the commitment, foresight, and generosity of those who have left an estate gift, and we are honoured to acknowledge you in your lifetime for your unwavering support of Chor Leoni. MEMBERS Rick* & Lorraine Bennett, Paul & Margaret Birch*, Ann Coombs, James Emery* & Rob McAllister*, Ian Farthing*, Jean Hurst, Jacqueline Joys, Len & Shauna Kirkham, Eric Kristensen* & Geoff Reid, David Love* If you are considering a gift in your will or estate plans to Chor Leoni, please contact us. We would be happy to provide sample will wording or chat with you about the incredible impact of your gift. Please contact Stash Bylicki, Executive Director, at 778.886.4612 or stash@chorleoni.org. * = current choir member


ARTiST THOMAS ANFIELD Chor Leoni would like to thank artist Thomas Anfield for creating his stunning work “The Lions” to our fundraising efforts. Inspired by photographer Emily Cooper’s photos of jumping singers used in the season’s marketing, Thomas imagined an airborne choir. This 60”x 48” acrylic on canvas painting was a hit at our At Home event where it was the star item in our live auction. Thank you Thomas for sharing your creativity so generously with Chor Leoni!

sponsors Government and corporate sponsorships allows us to share our music with thousands in the community, inspire young men to sing, and sustain our busy season of activities. Thank you to all the organizations that sponsored us this season.

government sponsors

major sponsors

concert sponsors

sustaining sponsors

Print & Media sponsors


Choir Leoni Men’s Choir | 2018-19 Annual Report

Number of


CHOR LEONI Erick Lichte Artistic Director





Number of WORKS



Christmas with Chor Leoni




4,431 Instagram FOLLOWERS:



MOST ENGAGING FACEBOOK POST: Jun 9/19: Vancouver’s Chor Leoni has won the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence | CBC Music 4.1K People Reached 1.4K Engagements 269 Reactions 26 comments 41 shares

284 1,025 149 72 2,164 68,546 21 221,284 1,277KM 343

Total number of






VanMan Festival Singers




Wedding Qawwali by A. R. Rahman



Furthest DistanceTRAVELLED to sing: (San Francisco)

Expected travel time, Vancouver to Edmonton:

1.5 hours

Number of

DINNERS consumed:


(A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H+) x I = 221,284 km

Actual travel time, Vancouver to circling above Edmonton, to Calgary, to Edmonton:

7.5 hours

A: Vancouver–Edmonton = 823 km B: Edmonton–Calgary = 281 km C: Calgary–Edmonton = 281 km D: Edmonton–Camrose = 95 km E: Camrose–Edmonton = 95 km F: Edmonton–Yellowknife = 992 km G: Yellowknife–Calgary = 1271 km H: Calgary–Vancouver = 678 I: 49 lions