Canadian world music dynamo Tamar Ilana and trans-Mediterranean ensemble VENTANAS tour BC for first time in four years with latest album, Arrelumbre on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. (Submitted)

On Stage: The nose grows for Kaleidoscope season finale

Faith, love, music and an indigenous showcase fill out Island theatres

Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People presents the premiere of our adaptation of Pinocchio, running March 10 and 11, at the McPherson Playhouse.

For this final show of the Kaleidoscope season, Artistic Director Roderick Glanville is joined by his longtime friend Dean Heron. A Kaska/Tlinget artist, Heron helps bring this timeless tale of mischief, magic, and love to life on the McPherson stage.

In Pinocchio, the spirit of a boy trapped within a magical piece of wood embarks on a journey to return to humanity and find a home. Along his path, he finds mischievous tricksters blocking his way. His goal is to become a ‘real boy’.

Pinocchio wants to learn and be ‘good’ but is distracted on his journey by those that would take advantage of that innocence. Each of the teachers in Pinocchio are tricksters – they tempt him to selfish acts, or warn him away through mischief. But Pinocchio is also protected through the unconditional love of Gepetto and the Blue Fairy.

Kaleidoscope Theatre is the only professional Theatre for Young Audience company that provides a full theatre experience to Vancouver Island audiences. Now in our 44th season, our mission is to create original, innovative and relevant theatre experiences that stimulate and inspire young people to think critically about the world around them, and to engage in constructive and creative self-expression.

Tickets are $22 for adults, and $12 for children available through the Royal McPherson box office, 250-386-6121.

Victoria Baroque presents Music for Passiontide On Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

The musical offering of baroque works written for the Holy Week preceding Easter, features works by Bach and Pergolesi. Playing on instruments of the 18th century – including wooden flute, bassoon, strings and chamber organ – Victoria Baroque brings listeners closer to the soundworld of the Baroque Era.

Co-presented with the Church of St. John the Divine, Victoria Baroque will combine their talents with The St. John’s Chamber Singers, under the direction of David Stratkauskas. Two accomplished young singers, Hungarian soprano Adriána Kalafszky and Canadian mezzo-soprano Jardena Gertler-Jaffe, will star in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

The concert commences with Bach’s joyful Cantata for Palm Sunday, Himmelskönig sei willkommen BWV 182 for soloists, choir, and instruments. The second half of the concert is darker in tone, featuring Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, a setting of a 13th-century meditation on grief and loss, scored for two soloists and strings. The concert ends with a 16th-century choral motet for Good Friday, Ecce quomodo moritum by Jacob Handl.

The Victoria Baroque concert series continues on May 18 when highly acclaimed UK trumpet virtuoso, David Blackadder, is featured in a grand orchestral program for trumpets, horns, winds, and strings in works by Handel, Telemann, Purcell, and Biber.

All Victoria Baroque concerts are held at the Church of St. John the Divine. Tickets can be purchased at Munro’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, Long & McQuade (Victoria) or at the door: $28 general; $25 senior; $5 students and children.

For more information see

Belfry Theatre presents Pendulum – An Indigenous Showcase Feb. 23 and 24.

“This community-focused initiative honours Indigenous worldviews as they relate to reconciliation and community healing,” said Lindsay Delaronde. “Pendulum brings new life into the context of theatre and decolonizes the art form, which Indigenous peoples are so often left out of.”

Pendulum – An Indigenous Showcase includes: Ohen:ton Kariwentehkhwa, an Iroquois giving of thanks;

Breath in the Land, a contemporary local territorial acknowledgement of welcome and holding of space;

ANSWER, an all-female drum group who has been singing and sharing traditional songs throughout the community in order to keep tradition alive; Rage Flowers, a contemporary duet exploring decolonizing of the body through rage; and Ahousat, a Bear Song composed by Guy Louis Jr. and performed by members of the Nuuchanulth community, narrating the struggle and conflict of a man and bear before they unite as one.

Tickets are $30 available at 250-385-6815 or online at

At Chemainus Theatre, a singing Irishman, with little faith left in love and music, meets a beautiful Czech woman in a Dublin bar. They are drawn together by their shared love of music. From flirtation to friendship to an uncommon romance, the unlikely pair connects in search of long-forgotten dreams – a passionate pursuit that may just tear them apart.

At its core Once is a tremulous fable about hopeful yet contradictory forces falling slowly over two divinely connected souls. Guy gives up on his aspirations. Girl enters. Both temptress and muse, she is all that glitters, but more than gold. Girl, similarly, from her own aspirations has turned away and when she finds Guy she also finds limitless potential for art and beauty and love in her life.

The spark between them is instant and palpable. They want, and we want, desperately, for these two to follow the hope that lies in each other.

But it’s not just romantic temptation that’s been ignited here. Adding to the intoxication is the fact that each reminds the other of their greater aspirations, and different hopes they once held close. Caught there, like a suspended chord on a guitar, is where the woozy tension of this story resides.

The award-winning musical Once runs at the Chemainus Theatre now through March. Visit for ticket information.

Direct from Toronto, Tamar Ilana, the stunning vocalist and dancer and sought-after Canadian world music favourite, embarks on her first tour of B.C. in four years with stellar trans-Mediterranean ensemble Ventanas, stopping off in Victoria at Hermann’s Jazz Club on Thursday, Feb. 22, presented by Caravan World Rhythms.

Ilana and Ventanas return to British Columbia to present songs from their latest album, Arrelumbre. Her voice reaches new heights on the album, as fierce and powerful as it is delicate and ornamental. Tamar and the band skip from heart-wrenching flamenco arrangements in Spanish to mournful Sephardic love songs to playful Balkan party tunes – it’s no surprise the group has been nominated for four Canadian folk Music Awards. For their B.C. tour, the ensemble will also perform new, never-before-heard material which will be recorded after the tour.

Tamar Ilana has a history as dynamic and international as the musical tapestry she weaves. Her sonic versatility is matched by a diverse and talented team of virtuoso musicians playing violin, flamenco guitar, double bass, derbukka, cajon, and hand percussion. It’s a stunning assembly that is passionately accented by Tamar’s flamenco dancing and staccato footwork.

“I was raised to believe that we needed to preserve folk songs that might otherwise be lost,” says Tamar. “Ventanas preserves these traditions, while at the same time present them in an exciting way, both sonically and visually. We infuse them with new energy, dance and diverse instrumentation to keep things moving forward.”

This constant motion comes naturally to Tamar, who has lived and breathed the world’s music from girlhood, travelling with her mother, who is an ethnomusicologist and singer. Tamar and her mother performed as they roamed through Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Turkey, and sometimes she found herself wishing she could be like other kids.

Yet as she gradually came into her own as an artist, singing and dancing on stage went from being a childhood chore to a profound joy.

Tamar heads to B.C. fresh from a whirlwind period of creative explorations. She recently co-starred in Yal Farber’s prize-winning “Salom” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Tamar is also an original cast member of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s “Counting Sheep Revolution” a musical theatre production that has electrified audiences from Edinburgh Fringe to New York’s 3LD Theatre.

In Ventanas, Ilana has found the music to match her voice. Together, Ilana and Ventanas have performed at numerous packed events including the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; DROM, Golden Festival, La MaMa Theatre and APAP in New York City; Robson Valley Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival and Artswells, BC; Mundial Montreal; Sunfest, Summerfolk, and more.

Canadian world music dynamo Tamara Ilana and trans-Mediterranean ensemble Ventanas tour B.C. for first time in four years with latest album, Arrelumbre Feb. 22, 8 p.m. at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Tickets $20 advance, $25 door. Buy online at, or buy in person at Ivy’s Bookstore and Munro’s Books. Call 778-886-8908 for details.

Visit and for a taste of the music.


Victoria Baroque choir presents Victoria Baroque presents Music for Passiontide on March 18. (Simon DesRochers photo)

Adriana Kalafszky is among the featured soloists in Victoria Baroque’s Music for Passiontide. (Balazs Borocz photo)

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