Friday, October 14, 7:30 pm: Concert #1 – “Folk Meets Classic”

The Toronto Heliconian Club


Folk Meets Classic

 Friday, October 14, 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00)

Dunluc Castle North IrelandOur first concert of the season celebrates the beauty and timelessness of folk melodies, which have provided inspiration for classical composers for centuries. Our exploration takes us from England to France, Norway, Romania, Spain and Canada, in repertoire for voice, piano, violin and cello, as well as traditional instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy and the seljefløyte. Featuring Alison Melville, Kye Marshall, Suzanne Yeo, Janet Catherine Dea, Paula Arciniega, Evelina Soulis, Jin Lee Youn, Jane Blackstone, Louise Morley, Dorothy de Val, Allison Arends, and guests Andrea Haddad and Sandra Spencer. Join us for conversation and snacks afterwards.


Tickets are $25 general admission,
Children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult
available online at Folk Meets Classic – Tickets or for purchase at the door.

Woman with hurdy gurdyLOCATION

Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto

There is green P parking available on Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street, as well as limited street parking right on Hazelton Avenue.

Take the Cumberland exit at the Bay subway station. Walk north along the pedestrian walkway to Yorkville Avenue. Cross the pedestrian crossing at Yorkville Ave. and continue on Hazelton Avenue, where you will see Heliconian Hall on your right hand side just after Scollard Street.

October 23, 2015, 7:30 pm: Dueling Divas Present . . . “A Night at the Opera”


Allison Cecilia Arends, soprano

Allison Cecilia Arends

Join Heliconian member, soprano Allison Cecilia Arends, mezzo-soprano Kathleen Promane, and pianist Maika’i Nash for an evening of the most beautiful opera arias and duets.

The ladies will be accessorised by French artist and haute couturière Catherine Sequalino-Poititer, owner of Toronto’s own CSP Arts Embroidery.

Reception to follow, along with a presentation outlining our Mini Mozarts Music Camp initiative, a camp for underprivileged children in one of Jamaica’s most destitute neighbourhoods.

October 23 at 7:30pm Heliconian Hall 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto Tickets: $25 at the door, $20 if pre-ordered by calling 647-833-5400 or emailing allison[at]allisonarends[dot]com

Saturday, September 12 1 to 4 pm THE MEDIUM IS THE MUSE

New Members Show Brochure, The Medium Is The Muse September 2015Back to the Club year and back to art! Don’t miss the new members’ show – “The Medium is the Muse” – featuring 7 creative Club women working in painting, drawing, photography and jewellery: Maura Cowan, Karin Domnick, Angela Huntington, Jan McCartney, Susan Power, Isobel Ralston, and Joanne Shenfeld. The opening reception is on September 12 from 1-4 pm.

Application for 2015-2016 Dancer-in-Residence


photo credit: Aria Evans

The Dance Section of the Heliconian Club is once again seeking a Dance Artist in Residence for the upcoming season, from September 2015 to August 2016.  The Dancer-in-Residence will have regular access to rehearsal space, subject to availability,  in the Club’s large, unobstructed and well-lit heritage building in the heart of Yorkville in downtown Toronto.  For more extensive use of the space, there is a nominal hourly fee.

Sarah Hopkin_photo by Aria Evans

Sarah Hopkin photo by Aria Evans

We seek an emerging female dancer/choreographer;  applicants will submit two video pieces (through YouTube) of original choreography, with an artistic statement describing their work (one page maximum).  Candidates will prepare a brief biography and a letter of intent concerning the creation of new work during the coming year (one page maximum), and submit a letter of recommendation which includes contact details of the referee.

photo of Sarah Hopkin_Sarah Jones_Candice Irwin_photo by Aria Evans

photo credit: Aria Evans

Heliconian Club members look forward to observing a dance rehearsal-in-progress midway through the year as well as an informal production in June.  Collaboration with Club members from other sections is encouraged and opportunities will arise with access to Club concerts, workshops and events, as full membership privileges are included for the season.  If the candidate chooses to become a member in the following year, the one-time initiation fee will be waived.

Deadline for email applications is Tuesday 21 July 2015 to the Heliconian Club office:, with an August announcement of the newly appointed Dance Artist in Residence.

November 21, 2014, 7:30pm: “Autumn Leaves” Heliconian Concert Series

Please  join us on Friday, Nov 21, at 7:30 pm for the Heliconian Music Concert Series’ second concert of the 2014-2015 season.

We will hear music to warm the soul as the days get shorter and the air gets chillier. Janet Catherine Dea, soprano, and Maria Soulis, mezzo soprano, join their voices in solos and duets with collaborative pianist, Brahm Goldhamer in an evening of Classical, Broadway and Jazz.

The first half of the programme is bookended with Mendelssohn’s charming Op 63 duets. Julian Knight joins Maria and Brahm for Johannes Brahms’ moving Op. 91 for viola, mezzo and piano and the singers then each take solo turns with autumnal songs by Tosti, Fauré and Richard Strauss to create an introspective and evocative atmosphere.

Symbolizing the brilliant colours of autumn, new Music Section member, Suzanne Yeo delights with Liszt’s sparkling “Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto, S. 434.” before we are transported with Jazz standards from “Autumn in New York” to Paris with “Les Feuilles Mortes” (Autumn Leaves).

Ending with a sizzle we find ourselves in sunny Spain with Saint-Saëns’ duet “El Desdichado” General admission $25; member/senior/student $20.

 Click here for tickets.


Friday October 17, 2014; 7:30 pm, An Evening with Jane Austen

An illustration of two Regency Ladies at the pianoThe Toronto Heliconian Club will open its 2014-2015 concert series with “An Evening with Jane Austen”, featuring a selection of music found in the Austen family collection. Musical items will be complemented by readings from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and Emma.

Performed in period costume, the programme, featuring Barbara Fris (soprano) and Dorothy de Val (piano) along with a côterie of musical collaborators, draws you into Jane Austen’s world, with a selection of musical favourites of the time, ranging from chamber works by Johann F. X. Sterkel and Ignaz Pleyel to the hugely popular and bombastic Battle of Prague by Frantisek Kotzwara.  In addition to violinist/violist Velma Ko and cellist Kye Marshall, violinist Susanna McCleary will round out the program with a performance of a sonata by Austen’s contemporary Jane Mary Guest. Songs and operatic duets by Stephen Storace, James Hook, William Jackson, Tommaso Giordani and Joseph Haydn, will be sung by Barbara Fris and Allison Cecilia Arends, with piano accompaniment by Jane Blackstone and Louise Morley, who will read from Austen’s novels between musical selections.

An informal Regency-style reception will follow the performance.


Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 students/seniors, available online or for purchase at the door.

Literature Section Chooses New Writer-in-Residence

Karen Shenfeld, poet and filmmaker, has been appointed Heliconian writer-in-residence for the 2014-15 season.

Karen has published four books of poetry and is an accomplished reader.  She also has considerable experience in editing and has written many feature articles for major Canadian publications, including but not limited to, The Idler, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

Karen is also the maker of several documentary films and is currently writing a screenplay for Canadian director Bruce McDonald.

Members of the Literature Section look forward to collaborating with Karen and with other Sections and are confident that she will make a valuable contribution to the section and to the entire Heliconian Club.