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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Column: Sustainable society based on foundational services

Services tied to local populations puts sustainability above growth, says columnist

Beefs & Bouquets, July 1

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Regional District of Nanaimo wants Sandpiper water quality issues addressed quickly

Area G director Wallace says situation is ‘unacceptable’

B.C. reopening but tourism facing long-term recovery, say Vancouver Island MLAs

B.C. Liberals criticize lack of planning, NDP says consultation and response happening

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

Nanaimo RCMP issues warning about scam phone calls

Callers claiming to be government officials convince victims to buy Bitcoin

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Pedestrian injured in hit-and-run on Gabriola Island, suspected impaired driver arrested

Gabriola Island RCMP made arrest soon after Sunday night incident

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

Most Read