The Arbutus Singers were formed in 1998 with an initial 15 voices and by Jack Boomer.
We’re a 4 to 6 part choir with a commitment to having fun.
The purpose of the choir is to ensure that Wednesday is the best night of the week for everyone.
We have fun by working on challenging and interesting jazz, show tunes and recognizable music, usually in English.
Jack is married to Stephen Hammond, and they’ve been together for over 19 years. Jack Boomer owned his own business and sold it in 2018. It was a consulting practice in the area of public health, with a specialty in tobacco control and engagement.
He is semi-retired and is still doing part-time consulting. Jack selects the music, with some input from choir members, and of course directs. When he is away, Sylvia James directs the choir.
Jack has a degree in music education from the University of Alberta and a Master’s of Public Administration from UVic.
He recently completed a course in composition for film and TV and hopes to spend his time working in this area.
Robyn McKinnon has been playing the piano for over 35 years and is in her 18th year of accompanying the Arbutus Singers.
She lives in the West Shore with her husband, Graham, and their two kids, Andrew and Lauren.
Any funds that we raise through our musical efforts, after expenses for the concerts, go to charities. In 2006 the Arbutus Singers Music Education Society was established to support ChoirKids in the Greater Victoria area and this is our primary charity of choice for the future. A few years ago, the Victoria Conservatory of Music assumed responsibility for the ChoirKids Program, and for our major concerts where we sell tickets, we raise funds and donate to the Conservatory.
Over the years we have raised more than $400,000 for various groups, and a lot was raised by requesting grants for the ChoirKids Program. In 2018/19 we raised over $25,000 for various charities in the Greater Victoria area.