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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lantzville opts against forming social media committee

Committee would have helped district council develop policy on social media behaviour

Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary has been fundraising for 120 years

Hospital auxiliary president says group pioneered Wi-Fi at hospitals on Island

Gabriola Island community bus sees 100,000th rider

Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express celebrated milestone Jan. 25

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor and council aren’t necessary

Instead of candidates, put municipal priorities on the ballot, says letter writer

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Protesters in Nanaimo preach peace in Iran

Rally sees gathering at Diana Krall Plaza in downtown Nanaimo

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

Most Read