2011 Tax Donations

It is the end of the year, which means not only is it time to pull out the winter blankets and snow boots, but also this is your final chance to top up this year’s charitable donations.   Out in Harmony (aka Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir) is a registered charity and dependent upon the financial support of our members, audience, and community supporters. 

Please consider making a donation.  Just go to our website www.outinharmony.org and press the button on the right which says “Donate Now through CanadaHelps.org”.   Payments may be made using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Debit, or Paypal.

It is very easy, you’ll get a receipt for your 2011 taxes, and you’ll be supporting a good cause.  You also have the option of turning it into a gift by making the donation in somebody’s name.   It’s win-win all around!

Member profile: Meet Lauryn!

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Lauryn began singing like an angel when she was just a toddler. Growing up on the East Coast, where music was an important part of daily life, she was frequently in demand with requests to do renditions of “The Bluenose Sails Once Again.” Later, she joined choirs in school and church, and carried over her love of singing to her migration to Toronto, where she was a member of Singing Out! and a women’s choir.

Upon moving to the West Coast, Lauryn promptly joined the VLGC, now Out in Harmony, and sings her heart out at practices and concerts. Lauryn works in communications and fundraising and has brought soome of those skills to her position as a new OIH Board member.

Everything old is new again!

I saw a young woman on the street today who looked like she had stepped out of a magazine – from about 1986.  I don’t think she was alive when her look was first in style, but she looked back, found elements that spoke to her and made them her own.  While there are some ideas (and fashions) that are best left in the past, there is also a lot worth keeping from times gone by.

Our choir has a new name – we are newly and outwardly expressing who we are and who we want to be.  We are also hitting a milestone: our choir formed 20 years ago this fall.  This is a perfect time to take a small pause, and look back over the life of our group, bringing forward some of the elements that have worked for us and helped us grow into the group we are today.  So our next concert, taking place January 22, 2011, will be comprised of some of the great music that we have sung and enjoyed throughout the last 20 years.  I’m looking forward to revisiting some favourites, and introducing our newer singers to some gems from our early days.

This is where you, our singers both past and present, and our audience, come in.  Which songs have been your favourites, over the years?  Is there a tune you heard us sing once and wish we would do again, or an encore that keeps bringing a smile to your face?  I’d love to hear about it.  I’d especially appreciate input from those who were at our concerts in the early days!

We’ll be at the 2010 Vancouver Pride Festival!

Mark your calendars: This year Vancouver’s Pride Festival Parade is Sunday, August 1st.  Here is a link to the website for Vancouver Pride: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

Please be sure to stop by and visit our booth at the Sunset Beach Festival Grounds, say ‘hi’ to folks and generally talk about how wonderful we all are, hand-out or receive information about the choir and how somebody can join us in September, and flirt with all the folks staffing the booth and walking by in their finest pride regalia (or lack thereof).

We’ll be there from 10am – 6pm, and look forward to seeing you.  If you are a current or past choir member interested in taking a shift staffing the booth, please comment below to let us know. We’d love to have you, and look forward to seeing everyone there.

New Name unveiled at “What’s In a Name” Concert

In 2010 the choir changed its name to Out in Harmony from Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir. This is the “unveiling” announcement made by choir member Denise Garzon at our June concert, “What’s in a Name?”

In the fall of 1990 when this choir was founded, the choir’s vision and purpose was clear – to give gay people a place to be themselves, to sing together in a mixed-gender choir, and to do so while being highly visible.  The name Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir was chosen specifically because it made it blatantly obvious at a glance that this was a group of women and men, who primarily identified as lesbian or gay, who sang together, -publically and proudly.

Much of that is still true today.

  • We are a mixed group of people who love to come together, blending our voices in song.
  • We are people who know that everyone is different, everyone is unique, and everyone needs a place to belong where they can feel safe and free to be themselves.
  • We are people who feel that it is very important to have a choir where everyone is welcome regardless of gender identity; of sexual, romantic or affective orientation; of musical ability or background; of physical ability, or of economic status.
  • We are people who know that being Out is an ongoing process, and that there is still a need for a choir that stands up proudly saying ‘This is who we are.  We are proud of who we are, & we are part of this community’.

What we are NOT, is that we are NOT only limited to Lesbians and Gay men, and THAT was the impetus for the name change.  We don’t want anyone to look at our name and think, “oh, that choir is only for lesbians and gays, & I wouldn’t be welcome there.”  We truly strive to be a community choir, welcoming and encouraging everyone who understands the importance of, and wanting to be part of, a supportive and public singing group that actively identifies as ‘Non-Straight-&-Narrow’.

[The main problem we ran into when coming up with a name was how to express all that in one catchy phrase that would both include everyone we currently have singing with us, everyone we hope will join us, and all those who we would be sure to accidentally leave out if we were to actually write down a list.  Because really, calling ourselves “The  Vancouver Lesbian, Gay, Sexual, Bisexual, Pansexual, Omnisexual, Queer, Questioning, Curious, Asexual, Heterosexual, Gender-Queer, Gender-Variant, Gender-Fluid, Trans, Transgender, Transsexual, Bi-Gendered, Pan-Gendered, He-She, FtM, MtF, Two-Spirited, Intersex, Cis-Gendered, Monster, Butch, Femme,  Polysexual, Monosexual, Other, …and Friends Choir” - that’s just going a bit too far, don’t you think?]

Therefore, after a year-long process of brainstorming and then winnowing down zillions of ideas and possibilities, we are proud to present to you

The choir formerly known as the Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir,

Out in Harmony! Vancouver’s Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Lesbian & Friends Choir

Welcome!

Welcome to Out in Harmony, the official new web site for the choir (soon to be) formerly known as the Vancouver Lesbian and Gay Choir. As you can see, this site is very much a work in progress. However, anyone wishing to join the choir should know that we will begin rehearsals again on September 7, 2010, after our summer hiatus . Please join us–we are a non-auditioned choir and our rehearsals are open to anyone interested in becoming a singing or non-singing member.

Rehearsals are held at 7:30 PM on every Tuesday at St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage Anglican Church, 1530 East 22nd at the corner of Dumfries Street in Vancouver (close to the intersection of Knight and Kingsway. If you have any questions, please do contact us at outinharmony@gmail.com.

In the meantime, have a great summer and see you at Pride!