Focus on The Arts

Singing through the pandemic

Director Brandon Leis leads Menno Singers in an outdoor rehearsal at Pioneer Park Christian Fellowship Church, Kitchener, Ont., last fall. (Menno Singers photo)

The Menno Singers choir of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., has been making music since 1955. At that time, Abner Martin, a recent graduate of Kitchener’s Rockway Mennonite School and a student of music, established a choir simply for the joy of singing choral music. The choir has continued to sing throughout the pandemic, albeit with significant adjustments.

Founding chorister reflects on retiring from his beloved choir

Members of Pax Christi Chorale rehearse a piece by Haydn. (Photo courtesy of Pax Christi Chorale)

“Singing has always been life-giving for me.”

Gary Harder moved to Toronto in 1987 as pastor of Toronto United Mennonite Church. His arrival coincided with the founding of Pax Christi Chorale, which was inspired by the success of a choir assembled as part of the celebrations of the 1986 Bicentennial of Mennonites in Canada. Harder has been a member of  the group from the beginning.

Sharing art and building community in the digital space

Actor Peter Fernandes is pictured in the recording studio taking notes from director Erin Brandenburg during the recording process for Theatre of the Beat’s digital audio-visual presentation of Forgiven/Forgotten. (Photo by Brendan Kinnon)

Since 2011, Theatre of the Beat has been sharing stories and starting conversations about a wide array of social justice issues, with the goal to make the world a safer, more just place.

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