December 3, 2017, 3 P.M. Olga Kotova and Dmitry Nesterov have played together since the age of seventeen and call themselves “Duo Solista” to reflect their dedication to being both solo artists and life partners. Their wonderfully varied program includes Richard Strauss’ brilliant and fiendishly difficult Violin Sonata. Join us for this excellent seasonal concert. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at the door or by visiting

This Week: “Company Of Men” [December 3rd, 2017]”

Men are like icebergs. Not that they are cold and unfeeling (anyone can be like that); but they have a lot going on beneath the surface, of which they are largely unaware. So, like an iceberg, hiding over 90 per cent of its bulk in the icy depths, that weight can suddenly shift, upending the entire mass, creating devastating consequences for anyone close at hand.

Once a month, a group of men meets at St. Stephen’s as the “Company of Men”. They share stories of what life is giving them to work on—which may come from relationships, from dreams and preoccupations, or from their work lives—in order to bring into the light the darker movements from the depths.

A man shares his story, while the others listen silently. When he is done, each one affirms the speaker, reflecting back one thing they heard him say. Then those who want to, reference similar stories from their own lives, confirming that the story they just heard is not as uncommon as the speaker might have thought.

The effect of this simple process is “sanctuary”—a safe place to access what is going on beneath the surface. The men don’t tell each other what to do (the one rule is: “No Advice!”). But they listen in such a way that “normalizes” their work, reminding each one that they are not alone, that their struggles, however unique, do not make them weird or strange. In such a way, men are warming up.

The next gathering of the Company of Men is on Saturday, December 9, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., in the Canterbury Room. All men are welcome.

Community Voices for World AIDS Day

We are excited to invite you to join us on November 30 for our annual Community Voices event. It will be an evening of music to raise awareness about HIV and to bring the community together to mark World AIDS Day. Community Voices will take place at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church (1121 14 Ave SW, T2R 0P3). The emcee for this event is Mike Morrison, the man behind Mike’s Bloggity Blog. Tickets are $25, seniors and students $20 children are free are available at Eventbrite or at the door.

The Classical Guitar Society Presents: SYLVAIN BERGERON

Described as “a supremely refined, elegant, cerebral musician” (Ottawa Citizen), Sylvain Bergeron is a master of the lute and plucked strings family of instruments including theorbo, archlute and baroque guitar. He is in high demand on the North American music scene as a soloist and continuo player. Wholenote Magazine declared, “Sylvain Bergeron is a brilliant musician who weaves an unforgettable aural tapestry.” Bergeron is the co-founder and co- artistic director of La Nef and has been at the helm of many of the Montréal-based ensemble’s award-winning presentations, including Joan the Mad, Perceval, and Montségur.


A native of Québec, Bergeron began his lute studies with several years of self-directed, in-depth study, followed by a series of seminars offered by the Lute Society of America where he was mentored by, among others, Paul O’Dette, Eugène Dombois, Nigel North, and Jakob Lindberg. As a member of Ensemble Anonymus from 1980 to 1990, Bergeron was among Canada’s early music pioneers and helped establish the lute as a viable instrument at the highest professional level. His work has reaffirmed the importance of plucked instruments and has helped to validate their place within baroque ensembles and orchestras in Canada.


Sylvain Bergeron gives almost 100 concerts each season, playing with such high profile companies and ensembles as Les Violons du Roy, the Canadian Opera Company, and Apollo’s Fire. He has also played with such internationally renowned early music icons as Dame Emma Kirkby, James Bowman, and Jordi Savall, as well as Canadian stars including Karina Gauvin, Suzie LeBlanc, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and Daniel Taylor.


Bergeron has made several tours across all five continents and has played in the most prestigious halls in the world including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, and Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. His discography includes more than 70 recordings, many of which have earned awards and awards. Bergeron’s first solo album The Balcarres Lute Book was released on ATMA Classique in 2008 and was widely acclaimed for “solid lute technique combined with an uncanny musical intellect and impeccable phrasing” (Wholenote Magazine), while Goldberg Magazine described Bergeron’s playing as “rhythmically vital yet full of dedicacy and nuance.” His most recent solo record, Gioseppe Antonio Doni’s Lute Book, published by ATMA Classique in 2015, was widely praised for its “solid lute technique combined with outstanding musical intelligence and impeccable phrasing” (The WholeNote ).


Sylvain Bergeron teaches lute, baroque guitar, theorbo and continuo at McGill University and the University of Montréal. He has given numerous lectures, workshops, and master classes, and has participated on several music competition juries. As a specialist in early plucked instruments, he is often consulted for various recording and publishing projects.

This Week: “Happy New Year” [November 26th, 2017]”

Happy New Years’! That’s right, it’s out with the old, in with the new—at least according to the church’s liturgical calendar. The Christian year begins four Sundays before Christmas, on the First Sunday in Advent, and ends the Sunday before that, which is traditionally celebrated as The Feast of Christ the King, or, more recently, the Reign of Christ.

The original calendars were set according to the lunar cycles, from which we still set the date for Easter (the first Sunday following the full moon that follows the northern spring equinox). But those calendars set the start of the year variously as May 1, March 15, and even September 1—until, that is, the Julian calendar was established in the 1st Century, CE, and which was then upheld by the (more refined) Gregorian calendar we in the West have used since the 16th Century.

While still observing the Gregorian calendar for civic purposes, the church regards the year as the unfolding story of Jesus Christ. So it begins, in the West, by backing up four weeks from the traditional date of Jesus’ birthday, December 25, to hear the prophecies concerning his arrival. It then tells his earthly story up to his death and resurrection at Easter, and then beyond, with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The rest of the year is a wide-flung consideration of Jesus’ parables and teachings, until we roll it all up in a celebration of his reign … and then start again.