MELANIE MINTY: More than an anthem singer, Donnelly treasures time with family at concert

White Rock's Mark Donnelly feels his true mission in life is to be a composer

White Rock-based singers Colleen and Mark Donnelly.

Ubi thesaurus vester est, ibi et cor vestrum erit. (Luke 12:34).

Ah, nothing like a verse from the Bible in Latin to set the scene for this story. It means, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” It defines Mark Donnelly. He gave me this dictum, and he does live it every day.

Of course, hockey fans know Mark as “Mr. O Canada” for his interactive performances of the national anthem at Vancouver Canuck games. Everybody sings. It is a winning performance. Another facet of Donnelly is his 173-pound weight loss over the past few years. This has also made him somewhat famous. But you can read all about these accomplishments via the Internet. Here’s some things you maybe don’t know about this White Rock native.

He plays hockey with his boys, and sings with his family. All the Donnelly children are home-schooled in White Rock, and Donnelly calls this their family time. “It’s a good thing we all like the same kind of music, Latin mass, Gilbert & Sullivan and hockey,” he says.

And after decades of making his way as an opera tenor, he feels his true mission in life is to be a composer.

Donnelly is producing a concert with his daughter, Colleen Donnelly, to showcase and premiere his musical setting of Alfred Noyes’ classic ballad of love and death, “The Highwayman.” In the summer of 1995, Mark composed a melody for one verse as part of the Ward Music summer program.  Twenty years later, verses two to six came to life. Over the course of about two months – 15 actual days of composing – the work was completed. So, 15 days, but 20 years.

For now, you have the opportunity to celebrate this work with Mark and Colleen – family time, family funded. The concert is called “Love Songs Old & New,” with lyrics and tunes for lovers. The songs are from the medieval courts to Broadway show tunes. Love knows no age, but all ages.

The concert is on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Roy Barnett Recital Hall at the UBC School of Music, 6361 Memorial Rd., Vancouver. Tickets are $20 and $10 for students and seniors. Visit or call 1-800-838-3006 ext. 1. If this concert is successful, Mark might be encouraged to bring it to Surrey in the spring. Yes.


Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read