About - OUR TEAM

Artistic Team

 


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Artistic Director:

Brian Bowman

Brian is originally from Edmonton, where he grew up and attended University. He moved to Calgary in 1991 and achieved his Assoc. of Music in Piano Performance from the Western Board of Music, followed by a BComm and CFRE in Business (Marketing) from the University of Alberta.

Brian developed his career in arts administration with the Calgary Boys Choir and the Youth Singers of Calgary before moving into fund development. He launched ARC in 2003 after founding Second Chants, a division of Youth Singers of Calgary. He is currently the Director of Alumni & Development at SAIT and was recently awarded the Con Spirito Award by the Alberta Choral Federation in 2017.

The most exciting thing for Brian is the opportunity to create a high quality performance arts experience for adults within a recreational choir community. The outstanding people of ARC inspire him every day. Music is Brian's passion:

“It fuels my soul. Music in a choral context is really about creating community – using the human voice to bring people together, to share a common purpose, to make the world a better place.”

Brian has many favourite pieces of music. Of the songs performed by ARC, he highlights “Fire and Rain”, “Alice” and “Somebody to Love”.
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Associate Artistic Director & Principle Director:

Michelle Kotelko

Michelle loves Calgary where she was born and raised and now lives with her amazing husband, Keith, and their crazy pooch, Maddie! Michelle began singing at the age of four and has since carried a passion for music and performance. Beginning her conducting studies under a mentor in high school, Michelle went on to study music at Nazarene University College. In 2006, Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in choral conducting and piano. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Education in 2010, specializing in Secondary Music. Continuing in her passion for learning, growth, and development, Michelle volunteers as a Patient Expert and Researcher for the Cardiology Department at the PLC. Her passion runs deep and she feels privileged to be on a team working to strengthen and develop policies, tools, and resources impacting cardiac care for congenital heart patients.

Choral singing and conducting have woven themselves throughout Michelle's life since the age of 16. She has sung with the Nazarene University College Chorus and Chamber Choir, as well as the Alberta Centennial Chorus and the Savridi Singers. Her most memorable choral experience was a private choral workshop with The Manhattan Transfer when she sang with the Savridi Singers!

This songbird is thrilled to begin her 10th season with the ARC family of choirs. She adores the members and the vibrant community shared within ARC! She notes that when our members come together, there is an unmistakable energy and positive vibe. To Michelle, music means Life…Health…Everything, really! Listening to music and its diverse rhythms and harmonies make her feel like she's on top of the world. Rajaton, The Real Group, Paul Simon, Blondie, and The Scissor Sisters are at the top of her musical favorites list.
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Associate Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer:

Reema Fanning

Born and raised here in Calgary, Reema has been a part of the dance community since she was a tiny tot! Reema has over 15 years of dance training across a variety of dance styles. Her focus and experience is predominantly in musical theatre and hip-hop.

Reema has taught at various schools, festivals and events with the CBE and Foothills School Division. She has also organized and instructed several community dance camps for children and teens. Keeping her passion for dance alive and well, Reema has done volunteer work in local arts programs as well as in international outreach programs in Hawaii, India and Thailand.
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Director:

Torri Airhart

Torri was born and raised in Yellowknife, NWT. He grew up in a very musical family where both his parents were involved in singing and playing piano/organ on a weekly basis. Torri started piano lessons at the age of 4 and that remained one of his greatest passions up until University. He attended University of Manitoba for his undergrad degrees (B of Music/ B of Ed), during which he was actively involved in numerous vocal groups (University Singers, Bison Men's Chorus, VocalEase) where he also developed a keen passion for Vocal Jazz.

After University, Torri spent 7 years as a full-time worship pastor in Winnipeg and Minneapolis. Upon returning to Canada, he received a Masters in Music (Choral Conducting) from the University of Calgary where he studied for two years under Malcolm Edwards. Alongside his studies, Torri became involved in the Calgary Choral scene, holding positions with Youth Singers of Calgary, The Savridi Singers, and was a founding director of Harmony through Harmony. During this time, his day job included building a music program that included concert band, jazz band, choir and vocal jazz that won multiple awards at local, national and international competitions. He has also been an adjudicator and clinician for Westwinds and Three Hills Musicale.

Torri is excited to join ARC and work with an amazing group of singers and staff people - and to be a part of the new chapter in ARC's next 20 year history!

Torri's musical tastes are incredibly varied - classic rock, pop, Broadway, jazz, and even some occasional modern country! But the two most frequent “go to” stations would be Bach or Jazz.
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Accompanist:

Faye White

Faye White grew up in Winnipeg where she pursued piano studies at the University of Manitoba. She moved to Calgary after graduating with a Masters degree in piano performance to pursue a career as a piano accompanist. She has since performed with many soloists and choirs, including Cantare Children's Choir and the Alberta Children's honour choir, and plays regularly with her
church's worship team on piano, guitar and drums. More recently, Faye formed the band 'White Noise' with her husband, playing rock, pop, and worship music.

Faye has enjoyed the fun and easy going atmosphere of the Something Lite choir as its accompanist for the past few years and looks forward to being involved this year with Up2Christmas and She's Up2something. Faye enjoys the challenge of learning complex music as well as capturing the important nuances of simple pieces and is deeply satisfied when it all comes together. Her favourite song is “American Girl” by Tom Petty.
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Accompanist:

Garrett Krause

Garrett is a born and raised Calgarian, who began his musical training at a young age through the singing-based Kodály music program at Mount Royal. He sang in children's choirs before switching to focus on playing the piano from junior high onward. As well as attaining his piano performance ARCT he studied music composition at the University of Calgary and is a national award-winning composer.

He enjoys working as an accompanist, especially with choirs like ARC, because of the chance to collaborate and be a part of a group and community of excited people who are all there to share their love of music. He believes that music has such a strong power to unite people and connect all our emotions and powerfully tell stories.

Garrett loves pretty much all music: from early medieval chants to modern avante-garde orchestral pieces, film scores, pop and rock. A long-time favorite song of his is Tusk by Fleetwood Mac.
 

Administration Team

 


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Executive Director:

Brenda Giroux

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Born in Regina, SK, Brenda and her family made Calgary their permanent home in 1980, after years of moving back and forth due to her Dad's job.

Brenda graduated with a BEd and taught elementary school until taking a career sabbatical in 2000. Re-entering the workforce in 2012, she was hired as Executive Director at a Calgary private school. In the years that followed, Brenda graduated with a MBA in Executive Management from Royal Roads University in 2017 and worked as Executive Director for two additional organizations before joining the ARC team in 2021.

Brenda is excited about the ARC community. She notes that “In the short time I've been with ARC, I've been impressed with the connection, enthusiasm and joy that is realized in this
community.”

Finding it impossible to choose a favorite song, Brenda's go-to genres are classical (thanks to her RCM training) and jazz. Brenda feels that music is the best way to express feelings and emotions. It calms and soothes, it celebrates and motivates, it challenges and encourages growth.

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Business Manager:

Candace Dart

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Candace is a long-time Albertan who grew up in sunny Okanagan. As a CPA, she has worked in finance and accounting in the construction, land development and television industries, but found her niche working with non-profit organizations, particularly those that support society's most vulnerable people.

Candace is proud to be the ‘behind-the-scenes-pay-the-bills' person for ARC. In her role, she loves hearing about the the joy that singing in the choirs brings to people and is thrilled to play a small part in that.

Candace's family loves every kind of music; it's always playing in her home, car and even on the golf cart, She admits a special penchant for 70's classic rock, which she likes to sing in the shower!
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Program & Communications Coordinator:

Reema Fanning

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Born and raised here in Calgary, Reema has been a part of the dance community since she was a tiny tot! Reema has completed many years of dance training across a variety of dance styles, with her focus and experience predominantly in the style of musical theatre & hip-hop.

Reema has taught at various schools, festivals and events with the CBE and Foothills School Division. She has also organized and instructed several community dance programs for children and teens. Reema has been choreographing arts performances for more than 2 decades now.

Keeping her passion for dance alive and well, Reema has done volunteer work in local arts programs as well as in international outreach programs in Hawaii, India and Thailand.

Reema whole-heartedly believes in the healing power of music, singing and performing arts and strives to make her dance styles accessible and fun for all individuals she has the pleasure of working with.

"We can't always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it." 
- Unknown
 
PRODUCTION TEAM


The ARC Production Team manages the delivery of public performance logistics, staging, costuming, properties, backstage management and sets. The Production Team meets regularly during the year to develop the plan in support of the season program requirements. Public performances include Something Christmas, ARC Annual Talent Show & Silent Auction and the popular Year-End Production. Please contact our Artistic Director for exciting volunteer opportunities to become involved with ARC productions. 

CHAIR: 
Joanne Todesco  

PRODUCTION MANAGER:
Sharon Stiles 

LOGISTICS MANAGER: 
Peter Wolf 

PROPS AND SETS MANAGER:
Sheldon Baranec 

COSTUME MANAGER: 
Joanne Todesco

RECORDER:
Vicki Graham

MEMBERS-AT-LARGE:
Vicki Graham
Rainer Oebels


CHOIR COORDINATORS:
Debbie Goodman: Up2Something, Something Lite
Phyllis Kimpton: Up2Christmas, She's Up2Something and NEW members of ARC

 



COSTUMING TEAM

Costumes are an essential ingredient in all ARC performances and our standards have been set by the creative and spectacular costumes our singers have assembled for themselves over the years. The Costuming Team works with the Artistic Team to develop costume guidelines that complement the repertoire yet also allow for individual expression. For each performance, the Costuming Team conducts costume checks with the goal of achieving a harmonious, unified look for our choirs and enhancing the visual impression of our performances.

COSTUMING MANAGER: 
Joanne Todesco

COSTUMING COORDINATORS:
Stella Arcega
Aileen Lajoie
Judy Murphy





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