History

Highlights

2003    Tori Lorranne Slade is born to Brenda and Art in July; in December Brenda meets Dee Cole and her daughter Ali, age 7, who loves to sing but can’t find a community choir that is a good fit; Tori and Ali both have Down syndrome.

2005    Brenda asks for Dee’s guidance in starting a choir that includes children with disabilities and they approach Grosvenor Park United for space and seed money; Brenda volunteers to direct and manage the group; GPUC’s music director, Ken Neitz, becomes pianist and advisor; GPUC member Cindy Garnham volunteers as assistant; first rehearsal with 16 singers held in September; first Christmas concert with parents and GPUC contributing to the reception for 100 people; first donations received.

2006    Membership jumps to 19 in January; first Spring concert and 150 attend; in September capacity membership of 25 reached; Ian Thayer creates first advertising poster and sanctuary is almost full for our second ever Christmas concert! Perform first Outreach Concert at Parkville Manor.

2007    In January GPUC volunteer Sharon Pendleton becomes first manager; first official community grant received; Advisory Committee formed in September including GPUC liaison Sam Robinson; Brenda hired on contract; waiting list for choir established.

2008    Mary Dolan becomes new volunteer manager in September; largest attendance to date for Christmas concert and reception.

2009    First “professional” gigs for the Saskatoon Symphony and Saskatoon Chimo Chordsmen; GPUC volunteer director/pianist Diane Phillips forms The Notations (TN) in September with 6 singers; Hal Schrenk is first featured guest artist; begin tradition of hiring band.

2010    First “road trip” to Regina to perform for the Canadian Down Syndrome Conference; 9 singers in TN; “outreach” concert policies are formalized due to waiting list for KON shows; first and only ticketed concert performed – Brenda Baker’s The Old Elephant’s Christmas.

2011    Advisory Committee develops long term plan; website launched; Janice Paterson is Christmas guest artist.

2012    Sheldon Corbett becomes TN pianist; Solstice joins us for Christmas show; begin strategy to connect with U of S; join Facebook; keep $600 program cost/singer to a $150 fee to remain affordable to more families.

2013    TN reach 12 singers and director is paid for first time. Choirs receive their first professional fee for an outreach show. Brad Johner and Trevor Wingerter are guests.

2014    Our choirs “donate” for the first time – they contribute funds from their shows to help install automatic accessible doors at GPUC; our manager is paid for the first time; Henri Loiselle and Joy of Vox are guests.

2015    KON’s 20th concert and first ever Gala Celebration in May! With 26 KON and 15 TN singers, concerts that consistently “sell out,” staff who are paid for their work, and fantastic community support, we are proud to have built an organization that can be sustained for another 10 years!!