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Rebekah Jansen lives to sing opera. As a hard-working professional with family here in the West Shore, it was difficult for her to find high-quality, principal solo roles without having to leave the Island. Outside of participating in chorus roles with the Pacific Opera and Community Musical Theatre groups, there were few other places that highly talented opera singers, like herself, could perform and hone their craft in meaningful and challenging ways. She wasn’t alone; she discovered that many of her professional associates were experiencing the same thing. Everyone was looking for solo work that could accommodate their busy family and working lives.

“It was such a waste to have so much great talent lying dormant within our island communities. Something had to be  done,” says Rebekah. So, back in early 2017, she took action and founded the Vancouver Island Performers Guild VIPG], a registered non-profit society, to open up and facilitate performance opportunities for local artists.

In April 2016, the Victoria Conservatory of Music [VCM] satellite facility moved into the Westhills neighbourhood on the West Shore. Since then the staff has been dedicated to serving children, families and adults in our community with classes in a variety of disciplines including piano, strings, brass, wind, voice, jazz, percussion, composition, theory, and music therapy each taught by a highly respected and acclaimed faculty—many of whom are world-renowned performers.

I’ve spoken to several of the VCM Westhills staff and parents. All shared an unmistakable appreciation for the ‘magic of music’ that is now a part of their lives. The following interview with Stephen Green, Dean at VCM is a case in point. It’s hard to miss the excitement Stephen exudes as a participant “in a place where music [is] being brought to life every day.” Join us for our lively conversation about love, passion and music!

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