Cultural excellence

NANAIMO - Eveline O’Rourke and Vancouver Island Symphony
recognized for their contribution to community.

Eveline O’Rourke received the Honour in Culture Award for her dedication to helping cultural growth in the community.

Eveline O’Rourke received the Honour in Culture Award for her dedication to helping cultural growth in the community.

Watching cultural organizations grow and bloom is beautiful to Eveline O’Rourke.

For more than 15 years she has dedicated her time to ensuring the cultural fabric of the community continues to develop. In mid-March she was honoured for that dedication during the City of Nanaimo Cultural Awards at the Port Theatre. She received the Honour in Culture award, given to people who have dedicated and supported cultural growth in the community. The Vancouver Island Symphony was given the Excellence in Culture award.

When O’Rourke learned she was receiving the award from a friend she thought it was a jest.

“I thought she was joking so I laughed. I couldn’t believe it actually. I am certainly honoured,” she said. “I devoted myself to things I believe in.”

O’Rourke was involved in bringing the dream of a professional orchestra in Nanaimo to life. She said the idea appealed to her and in 1995 the symphony was launched. It started with performances in St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

“The first concert was just thrilling. It was packed,” she said.

Then in 1998 she had the pleasure of seeing the Port Theatre open. She said it was so rare that a concert hall opened in Canada that dignitaries and press from across the country attended the opening.

“It’s a big occasion,” said O’Rourke. “During the opening of the concert hall there were five trumpets in the top lodge playing this fanfare. It was so startling and so moving. It was one of the prominent highlights in my life.”

The Port Theatre is home to the Vancouver Island Symphony. Pierre Simard, the symphony’s conductor, said he’s proud to be part of such great music making.

“I am thrilled that we have a symphony with musicians of such quality on the Island,” said Simard. “Their devotion, professionalism, enthusiasm and team spirit make it a pleasure to conduct with them monthly.”

The orchestra is able to inspire future generations of musicians with its community days and kids programs.

“I am a father of three myself … so I am a direct witness of the importance and impact of the arts and music in particular,” Simard said. “We bring them on a unexpected and unusual journey of discovery of four centuries of history… we hope that music will stay with them for all their lives and will become an important part of their development as human beings.”

Simard said the symphony is embarking on an exciting season. It has launched a five-year project, which asks five composers to write five new concertos for the principal players over the next five years.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Accident closes Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino

Watch DriveBC for updates on road closures

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read