COVER STORY: The North Shore at its best
Choir director Dominique Hogan talks fans, venues and restaurants
What would be your dream venue on the North Shore, and why?
We are very fortunate to already perform in our “dream venue,” the Kay Meek Centre. Galen Olstead at Kay Meek Centre has always been amazing to work with and we are fortunate to have such a lovely venue on the North Shore. We’d love if it were slightly larger and with a few more lights but we feel very lucky to have such a great venue right here in our backyard. The staff at the Meek are fantastic.
If a Broadway producer from New York came to recruit one of your members, which North Shore restaurant would you go to for lunch?
There are so many great restaurants on the North Shore, it is hard to choose, but I am partial to the Arm’s Reach Bistro in Deep Cove. When people come from out of town you really need to bring them somewhere that demonstrates the breathtaking beauty of our city, and particularly the North Shore. The Arm’s Reach has great food, great service and a great location. My alternate choice is the Observatory on Grouse Mountain, on a nice day .
Who (or which group) on the North Shore enjoys your music the most?
That is a tough question to answer. We sing Broadway music, so our music is enjoyed by all ages. When we sing in seniors' homes we get a great reception because they really enjoy hearing all those songs they remember, but the younger crowd tells us they love our shows as well because they are fun and upbeat.
How has being a musical group based on the North Shore helped your career?
When I started Burstin’ with Broadway eight years ago, I was relatively unknown in Vancouver as a musician. I had just moved from L.A., and as a result have been asked to participate in many projects as musical director, coach, arranger and composer. It is amazing to me that the group had grown so quickly from eight to 50 in the first six months, and since then we have grown steadily to 125 singers with over 80 women on our waitlist. I am so glad to have started Burstin’ with Broadway on the North Shore, it is such a supportive community and I love to see the enthusiasm there is for singing and for our group on the North Shore.
If you could change one thing about the North Shore music scene what would it be?
I would love to see some more performance venues, in the sense that I’d love if there were more restaurant or dinner clubs where live music is performed. Jazz, dinner theatre, you name it. Something similar to The Cellar Jazz in Kitsilano. If we want music to thrive in our community, we need to create opportunities for professional musicians and students alike to perform on a regular basis.
Executive director Gary Ansell helps North Shore families in need each day
For those who may not know, what is the Harvest Project and what do you do there?
Harvest Project is a unique, homegrown North Shore charity whose impact is felt across North and West Vancouver. We aim to make the North Shore an even better place to live — by reaching out to our neighbours who are experiencing serious life challenges.
By offering “a hand up, not a hand out” to hundreds of people each month, we help individuals and families move back to fuller participation in the community.
Through client-care coaching, along with our food-recovery, grocery and clothing depots, we provide a safety net for those working to regain their footing in the local economy and in our neighbourhoods.
Currently, 40 per cent of our clients are single parents and their children. Another 40 per cent are new residents, and the additional 20 per cent are seniors and those with chronic health challenges.
As executive director, my role is to ensure we offer that ‘hand up’ in a compassionate and effective way.
With 130 volunteers, an 8,000-square-foot facility, and only three full-time and two part-time staff, each day is full and challenging! Seeing the positive results of Harvest Project’s work in the lives of so many people is really fulfilling.
When not at work, I can most often be found...
I love the walk and beach at Ambleside.
Do you have a favourite North Shore fundraiser or event?
Personally, the Canada Day parade has great significance for me, being a relatively recent immigrant [from South Africa] myself.
Most memorable moment in your work at Harvest?
It was during a client-care coaching session with a dad — when his four-year-old child reached out and took my hand. Dad said that that was the first time he’d seen that his son was comfortable since his mom had left them.
What in your opinion is the most common misconception about the North Shore?
That everyone is doing OK here. As a community, we are no different than other communities when it comes to life’s challenges. People get sick, lose loved ones, lose jobs, grow old and often have extreme difficulty recovering from those times. We see this side of the North Shore every day.
Jeffrey Donohoe wants to instill a lifelong love of sport in all his players
If David Beckham visited the North Shore, where would you take him first and why?
As a long time resident of the North Shore I would want show David the diversity and serenity that our part of Vancouver has to offer. So I would take him two places; firstly, I would take him to the top of Grouse Mountain so he could take in the view of Greater Vancouver from there. And secondly, I would take him by boat up Indian Arm as far as Wigwam Inn to enjoy the water and tranquility the North Shore is so famous for.
How is being a coach on the North Shore different than in other Lower Mainland areas?
As of two years ago, three of the North Shore clubs (Mount Seymour, Lions Gate, and Lynn Valley) amalgamated to become North Vancouver Football Club. NVFC is currently the largest boys’ soccer club in the Lower Mainland.
With this amalgamation come economies of scale so we are more viable as a club, and able to provide innovative ways to provide new development for coaches and players.
In the last two years NVFC has taken a leadership role as a whole with regards to soccer in the Lower Mainland. Add to this the pairing of such names as Martin Nash, Carl Valentine and Tony Pensato to our player development program through North Shore Soccer Development, and I feel you have a winning combination for all involved.
What’s your most memorable experience of teaching young North Van players?
The experience up to and eventually winning the U15 provincials in Courtenay in 2007. The cohesiveness of the players, families and the overall passion for the game was amazing and unforgettable.
Can you name a few soccer players who continued the sport after leaving NVFC?
None of the boys I have coached personally have played soccer professionally or for their universities as far as I know. Having said that some of my players have played other sports at a national or varsity level but I take pride in the fact that almost all the boys I have coached and who have graduated from NVFC are currently playing in local mens’ soccer sides at various levels.
Please write your bio in less than 150 words:
Jeffrey Lawrence Donohoe is currently coaching the NVFC U17 Gold 1 Team. Born and raised on the North Shore, he played soccer for Lynn Valley Soccer Association from grades 1 to 12 and, upon graduation, continued to play soccer for the North Shore Mens’ League. Jeffrey currently plays for the Coveside Vikings in the North Shore over-30s coaches league, bringing his total years playing soccer to 46.
Jeffrey's coached since he was 18 years old and has taken two teams — one male and one female — to the provincial championships. His main goal in regards to coaching soccer is to instill all his players with the passion to play a sport for their whole lives, regardless of age.