It is with great excitement that we announce the “The Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas” is returning to the stage! It’s official! Tickets are now live for all tour dates across the province and we are thrilled to bring this year’s remarkable cast of musicians your way. We are overjoyed to return to the stage with Christmas classics and the magnificent joy that abounds when music and community come together.
We are featuring some incredible musicians this year! For the first time with the group, Quintin Bart joins us on hurdy gurdy and bass along with Natanielle Felicitas on cello. My longtime friend and colleague, Joaquin Ayala (not pictured here) will be returning on nyckelharpa, symphonie and harmonium.
Pinawa – November 24 – Pinawa Community Centre – 7:30PM
Winkler – November 26 – Emmanuel Mennonite Church- 2:00PM
Deloraine – November 28 – Winchester Theatre 7:00PM
Fannystelle – December 2- Children’s Afternoon Concert – 3:00PM
It’s a hallmark year in Pinawa with the Eastern Manitoba Concert Association celebrating its 50th season. Pinawa holds a special place in my heart and it is an absolute honour to kick off the tour in this heartwarming town.
Winkler is also celebrating a banner year with Southern Manitoba Concert’s 50th year of presenting captivating artists to South Central Manitoba audiences. We are honoured to be included among the shows in Winkler’s remarkable musical history.
Tickets available at The Flower Shop in Altona, Morklers in Morden and Bloom Floral Creative in Winkler.
Tuesday, November 28 · 7:00 pm
The Winchester Theatre will be shining with holiday music and light for the evening performance of beloved holiday classics. We are so grateful for the grassroots community support with tickets being available through our local friends in Deloraine.
To purchase advance tickets, you can call
Kim Sunaert at 204-522-5041 or Barb Williams at 204-665-2248.
Two Performances on Saturday, December 2
The Nadeau Ensemble returns with two shows in my beloved hometown, Fannystelle. For the first time, we’re presenting an Afternoon Children’s Concert at 3pm catering to the little ones in your life. Enjoy a shorter one-hour performance, interactive instrument demonstrations for kids, a carol sing-a-long of Silent Night with the show wrapping long before your nighttime routine.
The Evening Performance at 7pm also returns to the enormously supportive community at Sacred Heart Church. Featuring the Christmas classics you know and love, the show unlocks the warmth of the holiday season shared in our community brimming with Christmas spirit.
Thank you, Winnipeg! Tickets are flying for our Winnipeg performance at Club Regent Event Centre on December 5. Visit the link below to view the seats that remain and get yours secured now. We hope to see you there!
A huge thank you goes to our incredible sponsors for this year’s tour: Platinum Sponsor:
Nadeau Seeds Inc
Arnold Brothers Transport Ltd
Steinbach Credit Union
Scott Wolds Chartered Professional Accounts
Valley Agro Services Ltd
Thank you for stopping by! I wanted to take this moment to re-introduce myself and share a bit about what I do, the projects I have going on and what’s happening.
Musically speaking, I am so happy to say that there is a lot of great stuff on the horizon. I am thrilled to be able to continue working with groups like the Turning Point Ensemble, the Vancouver Opera, No-Chamber and of course, many of my own groups and solo endeavours. Being a freelance musician certainly has lots of challenges but one of the greatest rewards is the incredible diversity and range of experiences that I get to have.
Here is some information on some upcoming and incredibly diverse work:
Like most musicians, I have been performing for most of my life. My earliest form of gigging started with weddings when I was just nine years old. By the time I was thirteen years old, my parents were driving me to at least one wedding a weekend. I still have the little book where my mom diligently wrote in all of the details for the couple: where, when, what songs they would like and how many bridesmaids they had. Thankfully, today my couples have more song choices than they did back then! I know that it was so challenging to have to postpone weddings for couples during Covid but my silver lining is that I love playing weddings again. The joy, love and gathering of family and friends is so beautiful and I enjoy adding a little extra to that special day.
Here is me at my very first paid gig which was a wedding:
The harp has been in so many scenes of movies and tv shows in the last two years. Why you ask? Because the harp is awesome! I have seen it in countless scenes in Bridgerton (I love how they take popular music from today and make it classical or Baroque style- this is one of my favourite things to do!), in Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, in scenes of Money Heist, in Never Have I Ever and so many more! The result is people realizing how much the harp can add to any event! And if you want to go Bridgerton style, I play with incredible musicians who play the flute, violin, cello and more so we can create an incredible sound for your event! Here is a harp and flute duet with the beautiful, Erin Marks:
Something that gives me great joy is solo or chamber music concerts. This coming year, there is already so much booked to look forward to! If you are in BC but not living around the Lower Mainland, I might have a concert for you! If you are in the Gulf Islands, I am playing for the Pender Island Concert Society on November 20th and for the Fanny Bay Community Association on February 25th. For both of these concerts, I plan on showing my audiences what the harp can do! Is the harp ethereal, beautiful, relaxing and enjoyable? Yes. Is it also a diverse instrument capable of a wide range of dynamics, sounds, genres and interest? YES!
Here are two of my favourite pieces to perform:
Sizing up a bit are the ensembles I play with or the ones that I run with different incredible musicians. My group, The Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas has a show on the Sunshine Coast with the Pender Harbour Music Society on December 11th. After being postponed for two years by Covid, I am so happy to be dipping our toes back in the water with this warm crowd. We will likely be having more concerts but we are waiting to see what the government recommendations are at that time and we will go from there! I will be playing another Christmas show with the No-Chamber ensemble with my long-time friends and colleagues: Jeremy Berkman on trombone and Laura Vanek on flute. Joining us is the incredible jazz vocalist, Jennifer Scott. We will be playing two premieres of pieces written for our ensemble!
Here we are playing some music for the north shore community in the forest:
And here is how Christmas music can sound with flute, trombone and harp!:
Laura and I also have a duet where we have been doing recordings and concerts and have even made it into another permutation of The Nadeau Ensemble for the Oceanside Classical Concert Series in Parksville this past spring with Jonathon Lo on cello. As there is very little repertoire for our instrumentation, these fine musicians and I arranged much of the concert which was a thrill!
A super fun project that has emerged this year has been making music with my friend and fellow harpist, Lani Krantz. We performed as a duo and as a trio with percussionist extraordinaire Raphael Geronimo. Lani and I have bonded for years over our mutual pull toward certain kinds of music, improvisation, chart reading and having fun while doing it. We both have young children, so we share so much commonality and are always looking for ways to play together!
Check out this clip of one of our rehearsals. As you can see, we love to take our favourite things, and turn them on their heads!
For Large ensemble, my two favourite organizations that I get to regularly work for are the Vancouver Opera and the Turning Point Ensemble. I am pleased to say that following auditions for the Vancouver Opera, I am now officially the second harpist after being the Acting Principle Harpist for a number of years. I will be playing in Pearl Fishers in October, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in February and the Flying Dutchman in May at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. As for the Turning Point Ensemble, there is a concert in September, we are working with new composers throughout the year and we will be playing for Sonic Boom in May!
One of my favourite projects that I did in the past two years was with Turning Point for the 1+1+1 project. They asked one musician to work with one composer to create one video. I chose Dorothy Chang as my composer as I love the way she writes for my instrument. She is delicate yet strong, complex yet unafraid to simplify. She composed an incredible piece called “Shelter” which encapsulates the idea that in life, sometimes there are moments of complete chaos and madness, yet there are windows of stillness and beauty. Please visit this website to see the trailer of “Shelter” along with all the other videos. If you like what you see, you can watch the full videos by following the instructions on the site: 1+1+1 Turning Point Ensemble.
And if any of this sounds exciting to you, please have a look at my calendar page to see if there is anything that you would like to (or can) attend here: Calendar. Or if you have any questions or requests for bookings, please click here, fill out the form and I look forward to connecting with you!
Thank you for taking the time to hang out here and to get acquainted with what I do!
I know this year has been one for the books but I hope that you and your loved ones have been able to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times. At this time of year, most of us are usually preparing for holiday festivities, attending concerts, wrapping gifts, cooking for a gathering and living through the hustle and bustle of the season. What a change it is this year…
As for myself, I have toured during the holidays for the last 15 years so I get the honour of spreading Christmas cheer to my audience members through music. I love it so much and I miss it dreadfully as well as my family that I will not be able to see this season. But for me, the pandemic has also offered some silver linings. I have been able to spend way more time with my husband and our (almost) two year old son than we would have ever had the pleasure of doing if I was working, I get to cook quite a bit for my family and we are expecting again in January! Life is about to look very different again so we are grateful.
As for “The Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas,” trust me when I say: we miss playing for you and we hope to do it again next year! Joaquin has generously put together this little video as our virtual Christmas card to you here
And if you miss harp Christmas music, I have put my “Star of Night” Christmas album on here for free for your listening pleasure here.
If you are looking for something recorded this year:
Two of my colleagues who have created the “No Chamber Concert Series”once the pandemic began asked me to join them this season to do some recordings of Christmas carols in this unusual grouping of trombone, flute and harp! All the links will be posted on the link above and can be viewed directly on youtube as well here!
Finally, I am honoured to play with Musica Intima for Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” as well as a couple of other pieces. For those of you who are not familiar with the work, it is a piece written for choir and harp in 11 movements that are all exquisite. The release date is December 20th and it can be viewed after the ticket is purchased for two weeks here.
All the best to you and yours during this holiday season. Please stay safe, healthy and happy if you can and I look forward to reuniting with you all.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and yours!!
It seems that around this time, I start to see little memes or photos pop up on the internet asking Christmas to stay away for a little while longer. Though I understand where some people are coming from, for me and for other creatives, Christmas is a part of my life for about 8 months of the year. My goal: to give a concert that brings up the warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia, family and all of the good memories that come along with the season. My group and I go back and forth choosing which carol, which instruments and where to place the songs in the concert to create that atmosphere that “puts you in the Christmas spirit.”
So if that is the kind of experience you are looking for and if you are wanting something to do with a friend, loved one, grandma or niece, check out or dates and see if any work for you!
November 29th– Pinawa Community Centre, 7:30PM- Pinawa, MB
November 30th– Emmanuel Mennonite Church, 7:00PM- Winkler, MB
December 1st- Winchester Theatre, 2:30PM- Deloraine, MB
December 3rd- Holland United Church, 7:30PM- Holland, MB
December 4th- Sacred Heart Church, 7:00PM, Fannystelle, MB
December 5th- Burton Cummings Theatre, 7:30PM
December 7th- Horizon Stage, 2:00PM- Spruce Grove, AB
December 7th- Horizon Stage, 7:30PM- Spruce Grove, AB
December 13th- Sunshine Coast Arts Council- 3:00PM, Sechelt, BC
December 13th- Sunshine Coast Arts Council- 7:00PM, Sechelt, BC
December 14th- Lions Bay House Concerts, 7:00PM, Lions Bay, BC
December 15th- Maury Young Arts Centre, 4:00PM, Whistler, BC
Myself! (p.s. Did you see my posts on Instagram and Facebook about the ridiculously fun show I got to play with at Rogers Arena with THE WHO in October?!)
New to the group this year: Serena Eades. She is a vibrant musicians and person, a graduate from the Berkley School of Music and from the Sunshine Coast. She can sing, play all sorts of genres and textures on her instrument and we are so excited to have her!
Join us as we take you on a nostalgic journey that will craft lasting memories for you and the special people in your life.
And until then, all the best to you and your loved ones and I hope to see you there!
Many Canadians, myself included, have enjoyed traveling the world to see how others live and to enjoy new experiences. We want to understand and take pleasure in walking in someone else’s shoes for even a sliver of time. Recently, I experienced all of this in turbo mode in the comfort of my very own province. How does one do that you may ask? My advice: learn an instrument, play music you love (you might want to choose something more portable than a harp though), join a home concert tour and hop in your car! (Which must be packed to the brim by the way as pictures below:)
The most amazing part of this 14 concert tour was being able to connect with incredible, loving and warm people as well as being given the opportunity to share my music and stories to an open and receptive audience. I brought my harps from Vancouver to Salmon Arm, from Powell River to Victoria. Have harp: will travel!
I believe we all walk around life with layers of protection that we surround ourselves with around strangers and even those we love. However, on this tour, I believe that there was a certain amount of vulnerability from both the hosts and myself that allowed for the shedding of those layers to foster open and honest conversation. This was perhaps because there was already a foundation of trust, kindness and respect between us that was put in place well before I arrived on their doorstep as a result of the amazing work of the fantastic people who organizes these tours at Home Routes.
Home Routes connects complete strangers who then get to know one another through an unusual mix of music, meal sharing, late night conversation, openness and a desire to connect.
One night, Toby, my husband, joined me at one of the houses. Long after the guests had left and long after the clock struck midnight, we found ourselves sitting in the living room enjoying conversation with complete strangers. If you know me, you know that this is right up my alley. I love visiting with people and I love connecting with people (something my husband has bugged me about since we first met). If you know my husband, you know that this is not his natural habitat. Yet, there we were, visiting with this lovely couple and their bright and kind teenage children. At this point, Toby asked them what it was that drew them to hosting so many concerts a year, (6 per year if you host through Home Routes) moving all the furniture around, doing the marketing work, feeding the musicians, giving the musicians a room to sleep in for the night and all the other associated tasks when they were clearly already busy people. Their response was simple and beautiful and it hasn’t left me yet. To his question, they responded with “This”.
Simple. Plain and true: this. This connection. This community. This conversation. This thread that gives meaning to our lives.
Needless to say, if I didn’t feel grateful enough for the experience when I walked into the tour, I made up for it on the way out. I was so honoured and appreciative that these people put in so much work and effort to create a platform for me to be able to share my music, my voice and my stories. The space that both the hosts and Home Routes creates for conversation, for memories and for new friendships to arise is really a rare thing in this world and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it all.
Thank you to the hosts, their families and the guests for the space that you created which allowed me to feel valued as a musician and a human being. My sincerest gratitude also goes out to the team at Home Routes for everything you have done to make this happen and for asking me to be a part of it.
If you are looking for a home concert experience, things are always happening! Please check out the website of Home Routes to find out when there might be a concert near you! Home Routes
And check out this video of myself and one of the hosts playing a little number together.
Everyone lives such busy lives today. From waking up early in the morning to putting in a long day’s work, from dealing with daily demands of life to supporting our family and friends, both young and old. It is hard to feel like there is a moment to breathe let alone enjoy the day or the hours that live within it. Life then seems to become even more complicated with hardship in our personal lives and the tragedies that keep happening around the world. The weight of it all can, at times, seem almost unbearable.
I know that none of us are exempt from the trials of humanity. This is one of the main reasons I do what I do. I try to create spaces in concerts with my harp and voice where people can breath and relax. A place where they can forget, even just for one moment, all the adversity in life. A place where we can remember and focus on the light and happiness that also comes with our precious time here on earth.
Music during the holiday season
Despite our challenges, Christmas is a time to remind us why we value traditions, why we value family and why we hold onto hope. It is a time to reflect, a time to appreciate and a time to remember that the sun really will come up tomorrow.
This is why I am so excited to announce that this year, I will be touring “A Prairie Christmas”. Kim Robertson (lever harp) and Joaquin Ayala (nyckleharpa, symphonie and harmonium) are once again joining me in celebration of our joy of making music together, our long friendship and the holiday season. We will be performing seasonal and traditional pieces that reflect our diverse musical and personal backgrounds.
And, most of all, we look forward to sharing it with you.
Christmas Concerts Dates
We will be performing ten concerts in British Columbia and Manitoba. All of our dates can be found here: Prairie Christmas Tour. Check out any of our concerts in and around Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Winnipeg and some surrounding towns.
Tickets are already on sale at some of the venues and they are going quick!
There is something truly magical about harps and Christmas so this year, Kim and I are both excited to announce that we are each releasing Christmas albums! There will be more info about that coming soon as it might be a wee bit early for most of us to listen to songs of the season in September. We dive into the harp and the season in our own unique ways to create albums suited for different moods and energies during the season.
So bring your loved ones of all ages. Get away from the screens and share an evening of music with the the children and adults in your life.
Thank you for supporting our music. We all hope and look forward to sharing with you or new show this year!
As Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Let’s bring in the light and love this December. Looking forward to having you join us.
Change. That sometimes frightening and often exciting constant in all of our lives.
This year, there is much in my life that is and has been changing, especially in the month of December. Though the end of the year may seem far away to most, I think about it for a big part of the year!
For the first time, I will not be celebrating Christmas with my side of the family. Any French-Canadian, Manitoban-farm family knows that Christmas with your nearest and dearest is a pretty BIG deal. This got me thinking: what does this special season mean to me? What makes it so significant to so many? Is it the traditions, the food, the gathering of family and friends, the music and celebration? Or, is it possibly about the interpersonal relationships, the memories of Christmas past, the loss of loved ones, times of reflection and realization? What I have come to understand is that it can be all of this and so much more.
Christmas is so often filled with joy and happiness, but let’s face it, sometimes it can be a reminder of the less pleasant things in life. This is one of the many reasons why I love to play during this season. I want my audiences to remember the good times and I hope to help soothe the bad. I am so honoured to continue the custom of bringing beautiful music at this special time of year for all of those people who look so fondly upon this tradition and maybe for some who find it something of a trial.
As many of you know, I have been with the group Winter Harp for 10 years (wow, how quickly time flies when you are having fun!) but the full tour is not happening this season as our gifted director, Lori Pappajohn is taking a break for 2016. As a result, The Nadeau Ensemble was born and I am happy to say that we have eight concerts lined up for its inaugural Christmas season to bring music, love and joy to audiences.
This year, please come and join us in celebrating the season with:
I initially thought that I was going to do this as a solo show but then one day, I was speaking to Kim Robertson about my ideas. To give you a bit of the backstory, I met Kim about 7 years ago at a harp festival. I could barely speak when I met her as she was THE Kim Robertson, in the flesh. She has been a legend and a hero of mine since I was a kid, and she still continues to be. The second harp CD my mom ever bought me when I was a kid was hers! Most harpists can relate. I had the pleasure and privilege of touring with Kim for the last four seasons but this year, her December was open as well. Having her in the show is to have one of the world’s best harpists and arrangers on the team. Cue my happy dance. This is an opportunity that I never dreamed I would have had and I am so honoured to once again share the stage with her and to watch as she works her magic.
Listen to one of her beautiful arrangements of a classic carol, “Silent Night”:
Our dear friend, colleague and master of medieval instruments, Joaquin Ayala heard about it and jumped on the train… and then there were three!
I am now so excited to create a show that will hopefully make you feel like you are back in the living room of a loved one, surrounded by happiness, love and exceptional music. We will share the reasons why the season is important to us as individuals through a selection of our own little memories. Like in my family where we celebrate “Réveillon” which is our Christmas dinner served AFTER midnight mass. We still celebrate it to this day but one of my favourite memories is the first year I was old enough to stay up all night with the adults. I felt so special. Or one year when my Uncle literally got “the worst present in the world” which made everyone laugh so hard for what felt like half an hour. No one could stop laughing for long enough to even get a single word out, it was fantastic,
That’s an example of the memories that make up Christmas to me. What are your special stories? What are your new traditions?
So if you are around, please join us for this year’s “A Prairie Christmas” where we invite you into the living room of our memories and hopefully, also a place where we can help you create a new and lasting tradition for you and the important people in your life.
“The Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas” concert dates:
Nov 24- Gibsons, BC
Nov 26- Burnaby, BC
Dec 1- Fannystelle, MB
Dec 2- Winnipeg, MB
Dec 3- St. Francois Xavier, MB
Dec 4- Gretna, MB- Buhler Hall
Dec 6- Winnipeg, MB
Dec 8- Winnipeg, MB- Club Regent Casino
For more information, please visit my event calendar here.
While Heidi Krutzen, (who taught me in my last year of my degree) is away playing in England with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, (so exciting!), I have the honour of filling in her very big shoes at the Vancouver Opera Orchestra for the 2016/2017 season which means that I get to play the Nutcracker this season with the GOH Ballet.
Wait a second… I don’t think that’s how that saying goes. After having been the “entertainment” at about 500 weddings, it was a nice change for me to experience being on the other side, as the bride!
I was never one of those girls who always imagined her wedding day and who had it fully planned in my head. I must admit however, that after playing at so many, I had thought to myself: I wonder if I will ever get married? Who will it be to? If a wedding is in my future, I will certainly be choosing a dress I can dance in!
Luckily for me, my Prince Charming stepped into my life and I am grateful for him every day. He is thoughtful, kind, perceptive, caring, honourable, loving and the list goes on. We laugh every single day and I love the way we navigate through our discussions and plan for our future.
When we decided to get married and we started planning, we decided that the best place to have the celebration was at my parents’ farm in Manitoba. That way, the small group of people we were going to invite could all basically stay very close and we could make it a weekend event.
Almost all of the planning was relatively easy to do (thanks Mom!) and we thought we had everything under control…until 5 inches of rain fell in the 2 days prior, completely soaking the already wet grass right where we had pitched the party tent. The night before the arrival of all our guests, about 6 of us were standing in the tent, feet soaked in muddy water and it was clear something needed to be done. The next morning, my family and very close friends woke up early to head to the lumber yard (the only business in town) to get 70 sheets of plywood an entire pallet of 4×4’s and a zillion screws. We all spent the next many hours building a floor in the huge tent so that we would have a solid and dry surface to dance on. Check out this video my sister made to see what happened:
As the limo bus arrived with our out of town guests, my family put the finishing touches on the walkway. The floor turned out amazingly and I still can’t quite believe that we were able to make it happen. I am so incredibly grateful for it and chuckle back at the thought that we didn’t want anyone to do any work whatsoever; never mind building almost 2500 square feet of tent floor!
The next morning was the wedding!
The guys got ready at my grandparents’ house:
Meanwhile, in my parents’ house, a lot of the women were getting their hair and makeup done:
And then came my turn to slip on my dress.
I ended up getting ready in my parent’s room with them and my sister which ended up being a really beautiful moment in the day that we are really grateful for. With all the running around that had happened, it was our 15 minutes to just be with each other. It was very special to all of us as we are a really close family and it was so special to have that time together on such a momentous occasion.
Also at that time, I opened Toby’s card. He is a very sentimental and thoughtful person. It only took me 4 tries to get through it without tears.
Some finishing touches, and… off we go.
Toby and I had discussed if we were going to see each other before the wedding or not. We asked family to weigh in on the matter and it really opened my eyes to how important tradition is to people; those you would expect to want to keep with long-held customs and those you wouldn’t. Their opinions gave me a lot of perspective about what other couples must face when dealing with cross-cultural differences or even just variations of opinion. Marriage celebrations, and the ritual associated with them, can be a very big deal to the loved ones of the couple! I found it important to take their feelings into account during the planning process but to stay true to what we envisioned as well.
In the end, we decided to see each other prior to the ceremony so that our guests wouldn’t have to wait between the ceremony and reception (and so we could get a handle on our emotions!). A lot of people were very sentimental about our wedding so it was nice to at least see each other briefly beforehand so we could compose ourselves some and feel more comfortable making that walk down the aisle:
This post would not do the day justice if I didn’t mention the crazy weather. The day of our ceremony, many friends from around Manitoba said that they were thinking of us. They knew that the bulk of the weekend’s events were outdoors and it was pouring all over the province; while we were getting dressed the radio warning system announced that three tornados had developed (one not even that far from where we were!). This huge cloud pictured below graced us with its presence 10 minutes before the ceremony but decided to play nice. It sure made for some striking photos.
The time for the start of the ceremony came quickly. It was a very special moment which ended up being very emotional for many – it was beautiful. We didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen, because all of the people attending are extremely special to us.
I remember when I was a little girl, my Dad talked about how walking his daughters down the aisle was going to be a massive milestone for him and one he was both looking forward to and dreading. It was a very happy and powerful moment, for the two of us and many others…something I won’t ever forget.
So, what does a girl who’s played at 500 weddings do for music at her own? She hires one of her greatest friends, Jeannine, to perform!
In fact, there is no other person in this world that I envisioned playing at my wedding. Her and I have played a lot together over the years, all the way back to when I was small. We connect on both a personal level and on a musical one; it meant so much to me to have her there. During the ceremony, my little cousins walked down the aisle for us, as flower girl and ring bearers. My sister Kara officiated, my Mom and Toby’s parents each offered a reading, my cousin Kailyn passed along the rings and Toby’s siblings Jeff and Sally signed for us. We wanted this to be a family participation kind of wedding!
Having my sister officiate was really important to me. We are very close and the decision felt totally right to both Toby and I. She did an amazing job and I couldn’t be more grateful that she married us.
I’m not sure why we put so much rice in the containers but it ended up being hilarious. I wouldn’t be surprised if a rice paddy starts growing on my Dad’s beautiful lawn in the spring!
One of the reasons why we chose to get married this past summer and on the farm was because my grandpa George had not been doing well for quite some time; we wanted to be sure to have him attend. We are so happy that he was able to be there with us at the ceremony. He got to see the following picture a week before he passed away. He laughed when I told him that he looked like the Godfather with his son and grandson behind him, looking like hitmen bodyguards while Toby shook his hand. A handshake to seal the acceptance of Toby into “the family” perhaps? I am so glad that my Pere was able to be there.
What to do at the end of a wedding ceremony? Celebrate!
The whole gang!
A huge reason why we kept our wedding so small was because we wanted to focus on our families. With life being as busy as it is for everyone, we aimed to visit with each person and not be in a rush. We also wanted our families and friends from far away to get to know one another at least a little bit anyway. One of my greatest treasures from the weekend is having these family photos.
Like mother, like daughters.
When one doesn’t have a wedding limo, a golf cart proves to be even better. My cousin and his girlfriend surprised us with it! It was important to me that everyone could see and be a part of the whole evening so we placed our tables in a U shape with simple decor.
We placed our immediate family at our sides and my Dad was our emcee. I was quite adamant that the speeches were going to be from our parents and us but then people started taking the mic and sharing lovely stories and well-wishes which ended up being so beautiful and so special. We laughed and we cried and it was one of those moments that you can’t plan which ends up being better than anything you could have imagined.
It was so great to see everyone we love so much having such a good time. The festivities continued to the dance floor where Toby and I started with a slow dance for about a minute and then broke into the routine from Napoleon Dynamite. This was Toby’s idea, not mine, but I am so glad we did it. It was worth it just to hear everyone scream and to set the tone for what ended up being a dance-filled party until the wee hours of the morning kind of evening.
Our father-daughter dance was to an Alan Jackson song that my family and I used to dance to as kids, every Sunday morning with the music cranked up super loud. We danced together for 15 seconds before my sister jumped in and then immediately the party got started!
I am so grateful for all the work that everyon put into making our day so memorable and extraordinary. Everyone says that your wedding day goes by so quickly, but thankfully for us, we really felt like we had so many special moments throughout the weekend. We really were lucky to be able to take the to soak up all the love and happiness that were surrounded by.
So many people have asked us if anything has changed since we got married. Our lives and daily routines are still the same but our perspectives have definitely changed. We now have this deep sense of comfort in knowing that he now has a wife and I a husband. OMG!
We are also so happy and honoured to have spent such precious time with the people we love. We were reminded how lucky we are to have the health, happiness, love, friendship and trust of the many amazing people in our lives. These are bonds and relationships that are fragile and sometimes hard to find and we are so grateful to everyone who made the effort to come and of course to those who went way above and beyond to lend a helping hand or three!
The weddings I have played since I got married myself have left me feeling very warm inside as I now see these gatherings from another perspective. I admit that I didn’t always fully understand each wedding or some decisions the couples I have played for made, but now I know that none of that is important. The things that do matter are the couple cherishes each other, the families that have loved and supported them all the way up to that day, the joining of friends and family for a lifetime event and all those special hugs, comments, I love you’s and every other little detail. It certainly helps to make you realize what life is really all about.
Thank you to all of our wonderful friends and family for all of their hard work, energy and love but especially to:
My parents – without them, this wedding really wouldn’t be possible. They worked so hard to get the yard ready and bought all the decorations. My Mom fed everyone all weekend! I’ve really got some pretty amazing family.
My sister – without her, we wouldn’t officially be married and for all of her hard work.
My Uncle Deano – for his mastermind/project coordination work on the tent floor.
Everyone who worked on our floor – without them we would have been dancing in the mud. (I am still shocked and amazing that this happened and how wonderful you all were with making it so).
Elke – without her our tent would have not looked nearly as amazing as it did with her decorating.
Also a big thank you to our amazing friends and family who flew or drove to be with us on our wedding day.It wouldn’t have been the same without
A big thanks as well to our amazing vendors, especially:
Jeannine Guyot for her beautiful playing and singing. She can be reached at: [email protected]. For links of her playing, visit: Jeannine’s solo playing and singing and here with her Guyot Musical Trio. If you are in Manitoba, contact her for your next event! Jessica Stuart-Crump for her amazing designs on all our invitations, for her friendship and for coming a day early to help out with everything. She continues to do work for a large company you all know so you’ve likely seen her work all about. If you need anything designed, contact her! Love Laugh Cakes for our amazing desserts. She is as sweet and professional as her creations! Bisou Bridal for my beautiful dress. Deseo Bistro for our lovely and delicious food. Two Chicks and a Bag of Makeup for their amazing makeup for our families.
Sandy & Jen from Edward Cariere for the beautiful hair they did on the ladies!
Last but not least, we would not have this blog and the beautiful photographic memories without the stunning work of Mairen from Lucky Girl Photography. She also helped us hire her friend Jesse who took video of our day which we love as well. Check him out: Jesse Vanderhart. You guys were wonderful! Thank you!!
One of the best things about my career is the diversity it affords. As I reflect on this past year, I realize that my work has varied greatly throughout. From releasing my debut CD, to solo shows, wedding ceremonies & receptions, to large and small ensembles, choirs & orchestras and everything else in-between I am always up to something. On top of all that, one cannot overlook all the business & marketing side that needs my attention too! Lately, my harp and I are out of the house about 3-5 times a week for performances and I am constantly working on new and exciting projects. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all there is to keep on top of, but in these moments of reflection I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be doing what I love.
This Saturday marks the end of this year’s wedding season and I would like to take the time to share with you some of my most memorable experiences from this year’s nuptials.
A highlight for me was working with so many fabulous couples. The pictures below are from one of my favourite weddings this year, mostly because of Angie, AN amazingly sweet bride who wedded her partner Adam at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This ended up being the perfect setting for a modern and exquisite couple.
Here is the lovely couple walking out:
This couple did a great job with their decor, they hired fabulous people and it was very cool to watch their guests move around in the unique space.
I also had many requests for songs to play on the harp this year. Here is a list of my Top 5 well-known favourites for a live wedding playlist:
1. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis
2. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
3. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
4. Just the Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
5. Unchained Melody – Elvis
These are my top 5 favourite things about the weddings I play at:
1. When everyone is happy. Yes, it’s simple but true! It is so easy for me to see when people are happy and supportive and I love it when they are.
2. When, at the end of the aisle, the father hugs his daughter and then the groom. It is such a sweet moment.
3. When the couple has hired a supportive and experienced team of vendors. Every moment is seamless, effortless and executed the way it was planned.
4. When couples write their own vows. I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea but those are the ones that I love the most as they are so unique and special.
5. When the couple incorporates special details. This can be anything from a familial or cultural tradition, to lighting a candle to symbolize the presence of those who could not attend. These are the moments and touches that make the day unique and meaningful.
I started playing weddings at 13 years old and I believe I have played around 800 to date. As you can imagine, I now have quite a few stories as a result! So many celebrations have been incredibly beautiful and some have made last impressions for all kinds of reasons.
I have started a list of don’t’s which I am calling “Etiquette by Janelle.” Below are the first 10 and after that, I will be posting a new one to the list every Friday on my Facebook and Twitter. Each post will be accompanied by the hashtag: #EtiquettebyJanelle. These posts are meant to be entertaining, tongue-in-cheek and perhaps some readers will learn a valuable lesson or two and avoid any potential aftermath!
Here are the first 10 “Etiquette by Janelle” tips:
No 1. Always practice walking in your gown before the wedding day. You don’t want to look or feel uncomfortable.
No 2. If I am given a three page itinerary, just for myself when I show up, you’ve gone too far with the micro-managing.
No 3. If I am wearing my sunglasses outside, it’s because I need to see my strings and music. Don’t worry, it won’t effect anything!
No 4. If it rains, I absolutely cannot have my harp outside without adequate cover. And no, a tiny umbrella just won’t work.
No 5. Take the plastic off the flowers before you walk down the aisle.
No 6. The base of my harp is not a stool to elevate yourself to get a picture.
No 7. Do research on your vendors so you can have peace of mind and be sure that you can fully revel in your day without worrying.
No 8. Touching or testing out my harp is not ok just because I had to step away for two minutes.
No 9. My harp column is probably the worst place in the whole venue to put down your drink.
No 10. Last but not least, this day is a big one. Enjoy it!
Tune in to my social media to hear more tips from a Vancouver harpist!
Hello to all my wonderful, loyal fans out there and also to those of you who are new to my site! I’m happy you are spending a few minutes to pop by and thanks very much for showing an interest in my exciting new debut album. I am officially releasing the CD on October 8th, which is coming up quickly, so remember to preorder your very own copy today!