Norman Foote performs with local children during a concert at the Port Theatre Nov. 15.

Singer followed laughs

Hearing children laugh was enough for Norman Foote to know he was on the right career path


Hearing children laugh was enough for Norman Foote to know he was on the right career path.

The musician was travelling the wilds of Australia with a family of puppeteers, providing musical accompaniment for the puppet show.

It was the first kids show he performed, having met the puppeteers while busking in a city in New South Wales, in Australia. They wanted a new musician to join their tour, and the deal was sealed over dinner.

“They had puppets everywhere and it fascinated me,” Foote said.

They hit the road, the puppeteers in an RV and Foote following in his own vehicle, and toured Australian towns and villages for the next five months.

“It all ended up by accident and I realized it was just a natural fit for me,” Foote said. “It was an amazing experience.”

He used his folk, blues and swing style on children’s music, writing for Disney, Shari Lewis and characters Toopy and Binoo, Max and Ruby. Last year he won the Juno Award for best children’s album for My New Shirt.

That album had a strong Nanaimo connection, featuring John Forrest, a former member of the Vancouver Island Symphony, who produced, co-wrote and played on many of the songs.

The album was recorded at Raincoast Studios, by the late Jerry Paquette.

“I call it my little CD that could,” Foote said.

During his Nanaimo concert at the Port Theatre Nov. 15, he is joined by a 150-voice choir made up of students from Davis Road Elementary and North Cedar Intermediate schools – a choir Foote dubs his ‘wall of sound’.

The children’s teachers – Doug Roszmann and Lesley Croghan – teach parts of the songs and Foote appears to pull it all together. Throughout the actual concert, the 150-voice choir is seated on the stage to watch the show.

“It’s very vibrant,” Foote said. “I’m kind of a modern-day vaudevillian.”

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. Please call 250-754-8550 or visit

For more information, please visit

Just Posted

Province willing to talk with Lantzville about traffic management for Island Highway

Lantzville councillor plans to ask ministry to install traffic time signs on Highway 19

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lack of coverage of Liberals was ‘chauvinism’

There’s a responsibility to report a balanced gender approach to this campaign, says letter writer

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Bear sightings up significantly in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Fruit trees number one food attractant, says conservation officer

V.I. Raiders win, wait to find out playoff foe

Raiders defeat Valley Huskers 13-6 in BCFC regular-season finale

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read