Ken Lavigne will bring his Old Time Radio Roadshow to Victoria Dec. 10.

Ken Lavigne will bring his Old Time Radio Roadshow to Victoria Dec. 10.

Ken Lavigne brings vintage variety show to Victoria

Walking up to the stage to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Ken Lavigne was bubbling with joy, yet felt sick to his stomach.

Walking up to the stage to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Ken Lavigne was bubbling with joy, yet felt sick to his stomach.

Performing at the famous concert venue had been a lifelong dream, even though he had to pay his own way to get there.

A few things stand out that day six years ago for the 41-year-old former Victoria resident, who now lives in Chemainus with his wife and three children. It felt like an incredibly long walk past the New York Pops orchestra to the stage either for his execution or a big party, he recalls. He also took a moment to soak it all in.

“I sort of stepped out of that moment of the song and thought, you have to hang onto this, no matter what you need to remember this moment because it’s never going to happen again,” said Lavigne, who’ll be performing in Victoria Dec. 10.

“There’s something about that particular hall…you just feel the energy pulsing through you.”

Even though his family wasn’t musical, Lavigne loved to sing as a young child. At nine years old, he performed in the VOS production of Oliver. It was an experience that opened his eyes to the world of singing and dancing, and a place he felt he belonged.

Eventually, Lavigne fell in love with classical singing and music, and set his sights on becoming an opera singer, enrolling in the music program at the University of Victoria. It didn’t take long for his professional career to take off, and in 2004, Lavigne was recruited by an instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music to join a singing trio called the Canadian Tenors.

When the opportunity came along to be part of the group, Lavigne said it seemed like a natural progression, but he was worried about their debut and whether it would even fly.

“We were sort of feeling like we were inventing everything as we went along and didn’t necessarily know if what we had was something that would be really valued, but it turns out it was,” said Lavigne, who was the first to leave the group and venture out as a solo artist to pursue other opportunities.

“Within that particular group, we were living really hand to mouth and didn’t know what was going to be coming next. It was not necessarily an easy existence.”

One of those opportunities was fulfilling a lifelong dream of performing on one of the world’s greatest concert stages — Carnegie Hall. Nobody was asking him to perform, so Lavigne decided to make it happen himself. Soon, community members got on board fundraising to help with the staggering cost of $250,000 to rent the hall and pay for an orchestra. The tipping point, said Lavigne, was that the community also purchased his albums.

“The best way to support our local artists is by helping them out with buying some of their albums,” he said.

Despite performing for big names such as Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth and David Foster, Lavigne still has big dreams he plans to reach by making his own path. One of those dreams is to perform at the Sydney Opera House, which he also aims to do on his own, even though the cost is three times more than Carnegie Hall.

This time, however, he’s caught the interest of Detroit Public Television, which could film and air the show for viewers across Canada and the U.S. The network would also sell DVDs and CDs from the show. The project, however, has run into a few road blocks and will take more time than Lavigne originally anticipated.

In the mean time, Lavigne’s next venture is to record an album of his original songs and continue performing regularly across Canada and the United States, including Victoria where he’s always a big hit.

His latest Christmas show, Old Time Radio Roadshow, is a nostalgic look at the vintage variety radio shows of the 1940s. He’ll also play host to the tight harmonies of special guests, the Company “B” Vocal Trio.

Even though it’s not Carnegie Hall, Lavigne admits he still gets butterflies before he steps on stage.

“In a live theatre, you’re not sure what’s going to happen,” said Lavigne. “It’s a little bit of a high wire act, playing to an audience. Despite your plans, sometimes things can go sideways.”

The Old Time Radio Roadshow rolls into Victoria Dec. 10 at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. For tickets call 250-386-6121 or 1-888-717-6121.

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read