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Explore: Robert Burns, Opera masterclass at UVic; Family FUNday

Upcoming events: Robert Burns concert, Sunday; Guest Masterclass with Allyson McHardy, Friday; Kaleidoscope’s FUNday, Sunday.
A group of peahens hang out on the monument to Robbie Burns in Beacon Hill Park on Nov. 19, 2019. Celebrate Burns’ birthday this weekend at the Robert Burns Memorial Concert at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kirk Hall on Sunday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

An afternoon of music, poetry and dancing for Robbie Burns

Celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns with an afternoon of music and poetry, Scottish dancing and more at the Robert Burns Memorial Concert at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kirk Hall on Sunday.

Robert Burns wrote 500 poems celebrating love, nature and the humorous aspects of life. He did so in the language of ordinary people, making him Scotland’s best-known national poet.

He was only 37 when he died in 1796, but his poetry has endured. Every year, on or near Jan. 25, his birthday, people around the world celebrate with music, a reading of his works and by hosting Burns Suppers featuring haggis, of course.

The Victoria Scottish Gaelic Choir will be performing at the concert, with tea and shortbread served following the performance.

Tickets are $10. Doors will open at 2, with the concert running 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney St. Tickets can be purchased at Please bring your ticket confirmation to the door.

After the concert, you can stroll down to Beacon Hill Park to spend a moment or two at a granite memorial of Burns, featuring a bronze statue of the bard and his muse, Highland Mary.

The locally designed memorial was erected Victoria’s Scottish community more than 100 years ago.

Watch a diva at work coaching music students at UVic

The University of Victoria’s School of Music is inviting the public to attend a special Guest Masterclass with mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy coaching UVic School of Music students at Phillip T. Young Recital Hall on Friday.

McHardy is recognized for her unique vocal colour and commanding stage presence. Classical music critic Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle called her a singer of enormous imagination and versatility.

She has performed at opera houses around the world and collaborated on performances of works such as L’enfant et les sortileges, La clemenza di Tito, Das Rheingold, Dream of Gerontius and Messiah.

Organized by the University of Victoria’s School of Music, the masterclass is presented in collaboration with the Victoria Symphony.

Admission is free. The masterclass runs 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Friday at UVic’s Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, MacLaurin Building, B-Wing. For more information, go to

Creativity for kids at Kaleidoscope’s Family FUNday on Sunday

If it’s the third Sunday of the month, it must be time for Kaleidoscope Theatre’s Family FUNday, a morning of storytelling, hands-on crafts, dress-up and lots of imagination for children of all ages, at their Art Centre, Jan. 21.

The drop-in event for the whole family encourages creativity and play, with storytellers, artists, performers and musicians.

The event is free to join. It runs 9 a.m. to noon, Jan. 21 at the Kaleidoscope Arts Centre, 613 Pandora Ave. You can stay for the whole event or drop in at any time. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, go to