Concert Organizer

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Rosemary Thomson, music director

A highly skilled musician experienced in a wide variety of repertoire with an innovative audience presentation, Rosemary Thomson is currently in her twelfth season as Music Director of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Under her leadership the orchestra has blossomed and OSO audiences have grown to unprecedented levels.

Ms. Thomson came to the Okanagan from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra where she was Resident Conductor and Chorus Master. For four seasons she was Assistant Conductor to Richard Bradshaw for the Canadian Opera Company, working on such productions as Billy Budd, Der Fliegende, and Otello. She also served as Conductor in Residence for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra where she conducted rehearsals and concerts on all series including the New Music Festival and worked closely with Maestro Bramwell Tovey. For fourteen seasons she conducted Toronto’s new music ensemble Continuum and can be heard on their debut CD Continuum 1.

Ms. Thomson has been active as a guest conductor and has led a number of Canadian orchestras including those of Vancouver, Kingston, Toronto, Thunder Bay and Victoria. Operatically she has conducted Opera Nuova (Edmonton), Highlands Opera (Haliburton, Ontario), Opera Garden (Aberdeen, Scotland) and UBC Opera.


Speakers & Performers

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Thomas Budd, speaker

Thomas Alan Budd, Retired Investment Banker, is well known for his business acumen, his fearless and competitive nature and once considered one of the top deal makers in Canadian Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions.    He speaks openly about his rise to success from his modest beginnings in the Maritimes, the impact of his impulsive, compulsive and addictive behaviors, his path toward self-awareness and self-discovery in his transformation from Investment Banker to Philanthropist.    Tom Budd today is better known as a Philanthropist, Mentor, Community Leader and Survivor.    Tom Budd wants to share his story of survival, providing hope to others who seek work/life balance, and reveal his message that “Life is Worth Living”.   

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As the Founder of The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation Tom talks about giving back. His infectious personality, his attention to detail and tenacity keeps the audience inspired as he talks of his journey from Investment Banker to Philanthropist. Tom Budd promotes active participation, and in his own community it is common to see Tom walking for the homeless, biking for Mental Health, joining the Ride for Cops for Kids, or driving one of his sports cars in the August Okanagan Dream Rally. Tom is an advocate for giving back and wants to share how he developed his vision for The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation. Learn how to “Give Back”.

In recognition of his generosity and philanthropic work Tom Budd received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and the British Columbia Community Achievement Award. He has been awarded the title of Man of the Year at the Kelowna Civic Awards, and received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award and the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership within his community.

Mr. Budd has survived the tragic suicide of both his sons, Dillon and Payton Budd. His painful loss has been the advent of a new journey and purpose - to share his story, to give people hope, and help get them through the hardest times in their lives by speaking out. Today Tom’s focus is on his own daily survival, and his journey involves helping others who suffer from life’s various challenges. He is an advocate for the benefits of “giving back” and increasing awareness surrounding mental and emotional health issues and suicide prevention initiatives.

Youth have been an important part of Tom’s life. The emotional and physical pain of losing a child can be felt when Tom speaks of his trauma and survival after the loss of his two boys. He talks openly about the importance of encouraging and inspiring youth to seek help through various means, such as counselling, speaking, talking, sharing. While in his hometown of Kelowna it is common to see Tom hitting tennis balls with a young player, giving guidance on writing a resume, or just talking about ways to deal with the challenges and risks in today’s society.

Mr. Budd has embraced his community. He is a leader, a listener and a speaker. He strives to inspire others to do their best. He is a passionate sports enthusiast, tennis player and car racer but most of all values the quality time he spends with his family and friends or people in need. He is a man who chooses to make a difference in our community and around the world.


Nuge Bird, beat box artist

Biography coming soon.


Amber Cardenas

Biography coming soon.


Kelly Coubrough, soprano

Kelly Coubrough has experience in many genres of music including opera, new music, and musical theatre. Most recently, she performed in a recital program Songs My Mother Taught Me which toured the Kootenays in May.

Ms. Coubrough holds an Honors Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Wilfried Laurier University. She sang with the Vancouver Opera Company Chorus from 2005-2012 and has performed with Opera NUOVA (Edmonton), Queen of Puddings Music Theatre (Toronto) and Tapestry New Opera Works (Toronto). She is an avid recitalist and has been a feature soloist with various choirs including Vancouver Bach Choir, the Twin Rivers Choir (Castlegar), and the Whistler Singers.

In addition to her accomplishments as a performer, Kelly has recently joined the FACES program (through the Arts Council for the South Shuswap) teaching private and group music classes in Blind Bay. She is also on faculty with the Valhalla Summer School of Music where she runs the VOX adult voice/choral program in Silverton, BC. She continues to maintain a private voice studio at her home in Salmon Arm, BC.

Kelly is honoured to be a part of Mysterious Barricades 2019 to support suicide awareness, prevention and hope. #notallwoundsarevisible


Darko Cuk, bass

Biography coming soon.


Nicholas Denton-Protsack, cello

Nicholas Denton-Protsack is an emerging Canadian artist, originally from Kelowna, BC. He holds a rare distinction of being equally adept as both a classical composer and a concert cellist. Nicholas recently completed a master’s degree in both disciplines from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music -- where he studied under Prof. David Garner (composition) and Prof. Jean-Michel Fonteneau (cello).

Nicholas’ compositions have been receiving increasing recognition over the past couple years. Most recently, his orchestral work Vision of a Flaxen Sea was a recipient of the prestigious James Highsmith Award (2019); his song cycle Mountain Trails, was received the Kristen M. Pankonin Award (2018); and his largest work, Cosmology For Cello and Electronics, was referred to as “Stunningly bold, original and instantly engaging” by the Canadian Music Centre — which went on to call him a “(composer) to keep a close eye on”. Nicholas was also the only composer to be awarded a top prize in the Pacific Musical Society Competition in 2016.

As a cellist, Nicholas is an active solo and chamber musician — having recently collaborated onstage with prominent performers and groups, including Jonathan Crow, Eugene Izotov, Andrew Wan, and members of the Dover and St. Lawrence String Quartets. He has also appeared as a soloist with the SFCM Orchestra, and Orchestra North (BC).


Ashley Kroecher, viola

Biography coming soon.

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Roots & Strings

Anna Konrad, violin; Simone Konrad, violin; Jackson Buller, ukelele


Strings (violin - Karen Krout, Sarah Anderson, John Suderman, Anna Konrad, Simone Konrad, viola - Ashley Kroecher, cello - Nicholas Denton-Protsack, bass - Darko Cuk)

Biography coming soon.


Stephanie Tritchew, mezzo-soprano

Biography coming soon.


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Thank you to University of British Columbia for their continued support and encouragement.

We respectfully acknowledge that the land on which this concert is performed is the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) Peoples.