The all-female, barbershop-style show chorus will perform at Chandos Pattison Auditorium on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 24, just a few weeks before it competes at an international competition in New Orleans.
The chorus earned a trip to Louisiana’s largest city after winning a Sweet Adelines regional event at the Fraser Heights-area theatre in 2018.
“If you win at regionals, it qualifies the group for the international competition the following year,” explained Stacey Rose, a North Deltan who sings baritone with Lions Gate and also does marketing for the group.
Founded in 1954 and based in Vancouver, the chorus features the voices of more than 100 members from around the region, and well beyond.
“We have members who fly in from Calgary, and two moved from Australia for six months just to sing with us,” Rose told the Now-Leader. “One member drives from the Okanagan to rehearse with us every week, and a vanload (of members) comes up from Washington State, from as far as Bellevue. That tells you something about how big a draw it is to sing with us.”
As regional gold-medalists in 2018, Lions Gate will be going for gold in New Orleans from Sept. 17 to 21. The competition will be webcast for no charge to viewers, Rose noted. They’re scheduled to be on stage at 1:25 p.m. (NOLA time) on Thursday, Sept. 19, with the top 10 choruses moving to the finals two days later.
At a similar international gathering in Las Vegas in 2017, Lions Gate was named the silver-medal chorus.
“We have 100 women going to New Orleans,” Rose explained, “and the cost to compete at this level results in a lot of expenses. We bring in coaches from around the world, and the choreographer we work with is from Sweden, and he’s coming in for the concert (in Surrey). Plus, we’ve updated our costumes this year, which we haven’t done in a few years, so that has added to our expenses.”
The family-friendly “Hello NewROARleans” concert in Surrey will feature guest performers including Delirium, Fourcast and Queens of Harmony Brava! quartets.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, with “FUN-draising” opportunities in the theatre lobby. As well, “50/50 tickets will be available for purchase from our handsome, distinguished man lions 😉 so bring some cash!” says an event post on the website canadahelps.org. For festival seating, auditorium doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Lions Gate Chorus rehearses Tuesday nights at the Salvation Army gym on East 49th Avenue in Vancouver. Details are posted at lionsgatechorus.ca.
“We are not only a singing community but an educational one too!” says a post on the website for show tickets. “We provide music education to all members as well as the opportunity to become leaders and be mentored in positions of leadership. We are a safe, accepting, and positive environment where women can be themselves, show their strengths and develop new ones without fear of judgment.”