Singers welcome light on darkest night

NANAIMO - A winter solstice concert with Cari Burdett and special guests is being held at the Nanaimo Harbour City Theatre Dec. 20.

Sarah Wood

On the darkest day of the year, Vancouver Island singers will bring a little light into people’s lives with music.

Residents can enjoy the operatic voice of Cowichan Valley singer Cari Burdett and the melodic voices of Nanaimo singers Sarah Wood and Talia Bowell during the Winter Solstice Concert with Cari Burdett and Friends Sunday (Dec. 20).

“It’s going to be a great evening of music and I’m hoping to fill the house,” said Burdett.

She studied classical voice and opera. However, Burdett said she possesses a collaborative spirit and sought greater opportunities to mix genres and work with other artists. This collaborative passion comes through on her latest album, Magnolia. It’s a merging of opera, jazz and folk. On the album she sings a mix of classic and original songs.

“I don’t shy away from opera, but I don’t sing opera. I’m just trying to be honest about all the parts of myself,” said Burdett. “I’m trying to find a way not being shy about my operatic training but not being exclusive. I am not afraid of layers. I adore them. I think they create different colours.”

Burdett is also a music producer, teacher and owner of the Lila Music Centre. She also founded the Cowichan Community Threshold Singers, a group of people who sing to terminally ill patients. She started the group eight years ago, inspired by Kate Munger who started the original Threshold Singers group in the United States.

“It was like an arrow that shot to my heart,” said Burdett about why she started the group in Cowichan. “We go to care homes and sing at people’s bedsides. It basically is about offering love.”

Offering love and sharing people’s holiday wishes is also a big part of Burdett’s winter solstice concert. During the concert she invites audience members to write down their wishes or prayers for the coming year. These sentiments are placed in a box and Burdett and the other performers take them out one at a time and create a song out of them.

“It’s quite a beautiful moment,” said Burdett.

During the concert people can expect to listen to a diverse selection of music. The performers will sing classic fiddle and piano songs, a rendition of The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun, Baby It’s Cold Outside, and others.

“It’s a journey. It’s not one genre. It’s a mixture,” she said.

The concert is at 7 p.m. at the Harbour City Theatre, located at 25 Victoria Rd. Tickets are $24.15 and are available at

Just Posted

Young Nanaimo dancers to appear on NBC program ‘World of Dance’

Jacksun Fryer, 15, and Deeya Sharma, 12, among those competing for $1 million

Vancouver Island’s 10 worst intersections revealed

Saanich, Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan and Langford junctions make the list

Finalists announced for Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards

Winners will be honoured at an awards gala Friday, Feb. 22 at the Coast Bastion Hotel

Nanaimo Clippers beat league’s best team on trip

Clippers get past the Chilliwack Chiefs 2-1 as BCHL regular season winding down

Coldest Night of the Year walk supports people in Nanaimo experiencing homelessness

Island Crisis Care Society event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 23

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

New tutorial ‘Whales in our Waters’ launched by BC Ferries

A new tutorial has been launched for mariners and the general public about whales in the Salish Sea

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Most Read