Concert Organizer


Elizabeth Turnbull, mezzo-soprano

Elizabeth Turnbull has been hailed by the critics as ‘a revelation’, with ‘controlled passion, acute timing and glistening presence’. Her many and varied credits include appearances with major orchestras and opera companies across North America (Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, New York, Florida, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco).


Concert Host

Shannon Hiebert, piano

Shannon Hiebert is highly regarded as a collaborative pianist, vocal coach, conductor and music director. A native of Winnipeg, she began her studies at the University of Manitoba and went on to train at the Banff Centre with Martin Isepp and the University of Michigan, in the prestigious studio of world renowned pianist, Martin Katz. Much in demand as a collaborative artist, she has worked with such celebrated singers as Tracy Dahl, Measha Brueggergosman and Andriana Chuchman and has been heard in recital and broadcast across Canada and the United States as well as Europe, Taiwan and Japan. A diverse performer, Shannon has performed with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Edmonton Opera, Groundswell and the Winnipeg Singers, Citadel Theatre and several musical theatre productions. Shannon has toured with Broadway Across Canada in productions of Mamma Mia, Spamalot and Wicked. In 2009, she joined the Toronto Company of Jersey Boys. Ms Hiebert has acted as Music Director for Grant MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts productions of Spring Awakening and A Little NIght Music. She has also provided musical direction for the Plain Jane Theatre Company’s Sterling Award nominated productions of Fiorello, Little Fish, Mack and Mabel and A New Brain. In 2013 Shannon received a Sterling Award nomination for outstanding musical direction. A passionate teacher, Ms Hiebert has served on the faculties of the University of Manitoba, University of Toronto and the University of Alberta, Opera NUOVA, Calgary Opera’s Artist Program and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI). Her students have gone on to universities and programs around the world including, Opera Merola, Chicago Lyric Opera (LOCA), Canadian Opera Company, Calgary Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Atelier, The Britten­Pears School, The Banff Centre, The Franz Schubert Institute, Tanglewood and Netherlands Opera Theatre. Many of her students now enjoy international performing careers. Shannon currently resides in her beloved home city of Edmonton where she maintains a busy performing and coaching schedule.


Performers & Speakers

Randy Boissenault, member of parliament

Randy Boissonnault is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues. Prior to his election, Randy was a successful entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist. He has a strong record of leadership in business, in public service, and in the not-for-profit sector. Randy discovered his passion for leadership and public service at the University of Alberta, where he served as President of the Students’ Union. Since studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Randy has worked as a lecturer at the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean, and as a journalist and political commentator for CBC Radio-Canada and Les Affaires. Randy also owned and led a consulting business that helped small- and medium-sized businesses overcome their strategy and management challenges. A proud Rotarian, Randy has a long history of charitable work, both locally in Edmonton and abroad. He founded Literacy Without Borders, an international NGO devoted to promoting literacy for both children and adults in the developing world and in Canada. He has also served as Vice Chair of TEDx Edmonton and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Francophone Economic Council of Alberta, the Francophone Sport Federation of Alberta, and the Canadian Francophone Games. He was one of the 50 founders of Startup Edmonton and was a finisher of the Ironman Canada Triathlon.

Cantilon Children’s Choir
Director: Heather Johnson

Belle Canto Women’s Choir, founded in 1991 by conductor Heather Johnson, is regarded as one of Canada’s leading women’s choral ensembles. Originally a group of university students, the choir now consists of amateur singers from all walks of life. The women of the choir are committed to performing and commissioning music specifically written for treble voices and they share a common interest in performing this music at the highest professional standards. The choir is particularly well-known for their adventurous programming of new works, their stunning ability to sing in a wide variety of languages, and their full use of the women’s vocal palette. Their two CD recordings – Sing! (2010) and Invocation (2006) – feature many of the works by Eastern European and Scandinavian composers as well as Canadian commissions that form the core of the choir’s repertoire. Much of this music has seldom been recorded or performed by choirs in North America, and it has been our sincere pleasure to share these works with our audiences. Since its inception, Belle Canto has established a reputation rich in awards and national and international appearances. The choir has been invited to perform in numerous international choral competitions and festivals including the Johannes Brahms International Choral Competition (2nd place, Wernigerode, Germany, 2013), Seghizzi International Choral Competition (2nd place, Gorizia, Italy, 2010), the Cork International Choral Festival (2nd place, Cork, Ireland, 2007) and the 3rd Annual International Choral Olympics (2nd place, Bremen, Germany, 2003). Multiple first place awards in the biennial Canadian National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs have further solidified the choir’s place as a leader in the world of women’s voices.

Aidan Ferguson, soprano

Adam Fisher, tenor

Daniel Gervais, fiddle

Marnie Giesbrecht, harpsichord

A passionate and versatile keyboard artist Marnie Giesbrecht performs as soloist and collaborative musician on organ, piano and harpsichord. Performances take her to communities, universities and festivals throughout Canada, the United States, South Africa, Europe and Asia; she commissions, performs and records solo, duo and collaborative keyboard works by Canadian and international composers with Joachim Segger as the unique and innovative keyboard team Duo Majoya. Dr. Giesbrecht is Professor Emerita at the University of Alberta and Adjunct Professor of Music at The King’s University, Edmonton; she is a church musician and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Giesbrecht serves on national and international organ competition juries including the RCCO (Royal Canadian College of Organists), Claude Lavoie (Quebec City) and CIOC (Canadian International Organ Competition) and Longwood Gardens, (Philadelphia, 2019).

Josephine van Lier, violoncello

Sharmila Mathur, sitar

Scott McKeen, city councillor

Aside from being the current Ward 6 City Councillor, Scott is best known his 24 years at The Edmonton Journal, including eight years as the hometown newspaper’s City Hall columnist. Scott’s career at the paper ran the entire spectrum, from crime reporting to the environment beat. The majority of his years were spent at City Hall, reporting and commenting on city council. Upon leaving the newspaper, Scott launched a last-minute bid in the 2010 civic election, finishing second. Since then he has started a successful communications business, serving local, provincial and federal clients. He also became actively involved in the community, a few including volunteering as director of the Downtown Edmonton Community League, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and the Lieutenant Governor's Circle on Mental Health and Addiction. Scott was also the City of Edmonton’s first ever Blogger in Residence, a position he stepped down from to run in Ward 6 in 2013. Since his election in 2013, Scott has advocated for our most vulnerable population with his Mental Health and Urban Isolation initiative and through affordable housing and harm reduction strategies.

Elizabeth Turnbull, mezzo soprano

See biography above under “Concert Organizer”



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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Territory on which this concert is being held, a welcoming place for peoples from around the world. We would like to acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose footsteps have marked this territory for centuries such as: Cree, Saulteaux, Niisitapi (Blackfoot), Métis, Nakota Sioux.