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Critic's picks: Ian Maksin; The Village Choir; Arion Male Choir

Our arts reporter's top picks for the week ahead: Must-see musician Ian Maksin; the Village Choir at Alix Goolden; Victoria Arion Male Choir's spring concert.
Ian Maksin performs at 7 Thursday night at the McConnell Theatre at Pearson College. HANDOUT


Where: McConnell Theatre at Pearson College, 650 Pearson Dr.
When: Thursday, May 25, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $43.93 from

Why: To say the centrifugal force known as Ian Maksin — who plays a variety of instruments, including the cello, and sings in a remarkable 30 languages — is a must-see musician is a woeful understatement. He’s a humanitarian, too. The Leningrad-born dynamo, who learned the cello at the age of six and later studied the instrument as a teen at the Manhattan School of Music, is performing tonight at Pearson College in support of Ukraine, with a portion of the ticket and merchandise sales from his Cello for Peace concert benefiting humanitarian relief efforts.


Where: Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave.
When: Saturday, May 27, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $29.27 from

Why: Although directors Oliver Swain and Claire Butterfield co-founded the Village Choir in 2020, the contemporary group with the all-are-welcome mindset is just six months into its first season of in-person performances. The choir will add to its gig history Saturday with a concert at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, one that will feature everything from Appalachian folk and Aphex Twin ambience to a roster of guests that includes Astrocolor frontman Neil James, singer-songwriter Luke Wallace and singer-pianist Ashley Wey. Note: The venue’s Pandora Street entrance is currently not being used; guests are asked to enter the building through Johnson Street.


Where: Cordova Bay United Church, 813 Claremont Ave.
When: Sunday, May 28, 2 p.m.
Tickets: $20 from

Why: The Victoria Arion Male Choir is one of the newer kids on the block, where choirs are concerned, but it has roots in two of the oldest singing outfits in Victoria. The Arion Male Voice Choir (established in 1893) and the Victoria Male Voice Choir (1907) joined together under their new guise in 2018, but the pandemic made in-person live performances difficult until last year. The choir has made up for lost time and is hosting its spring concert — the 130th consecutive one of its kind, if you count previous efforts by the Arion Male Choir — this weekend at Cordova Bay United Church.

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