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  1. No Registration Required

Admission by Donation

As winter draws in our costs to heat our old building become very high.  Your donations offset that cost.  All are welcome regardless of what they can give.  Please be as generous as you are able.


November 5th - joi freed-garrod 

Chant in the Jewish Tradition

Star of the Sea, Chant evenings: November 5, 2019   Return and Renew: An evening of Jewish Chant Chanting plays an important role in Jewish liturgical music, acting as a form of moving meditation and creating a surrounding sacred space. The rhythm, melody, and sometimes words, of simple, repetitive passages fill the entire body, open the heart, calm the mind and allow one to integrate sound, thought and feeling within your entire being.  This chant session, led by Salt Spring composer and music educator Joi Freed-Garrod, will include traditional melodies as well as contemporary (re)visioning of text and tune.  The chants we will sing have various intentions, such as invoking contemplation, yearning, peace or joy.  Some chants will have text (Hebrew or English) while others will be wordless (called niggunim).  We will learn through repetition, with song sheets provided as necessary for translation or transliteration. A quiet time for individual reflection and integration will be included toward the end of the evening.  Bring gentle percussion instruments if you wish.



October 1st - Marilyn Walker

An Evening of Chanting and Drum Beats from Celtic and Other Traditional Cultures On Tuesday, October 1st, from 7pm-8:30pm, Star of the Sea Centre for Spiritual Living and Practice is offering once again an evening of Celtic and other traditional cultures chanting and drum beats as part of its ongoing first Tuesday of the month chant series. The evening will be led by Marilyn Walker, anthropologist, ethnomusicologist and shamanic practitioner. She has studied drumming and drum circling with world music masters. Please bring your own drum and other percussion instruments if you have them; some instruments will be available. Everyone is welcome! The evening’s event will take place at St. Mary’s Church, Fulford, home of Star of the Sea Centre. Participation is by donation. Registration not required.


September 3rd - Elvira Clare Hamilton

CONTEMPLATIVE CHANTS - Elvira Clare, a long time resident of Salt Spring Island is a writer of songs and chants that are descriptive of the spiritual journey. All are welcome to join in an evening of Singing/Chanting as a contemplative practice. A musical background is not required. Singing these inspirational chants with intention, purpose and feeling is a simple and effective way of softening and opening the inner Heart to deeper levels of awareness and Presence. While repeating a sacred musical phrase may begin as an external form of spiritual expression, it gradually deepens into subtler dimensions of the Soul’s outpouring. Each chant will be followed by a short period of contemplative silence and meditation. Handouts will be given, which will include the Chants we will sing.


August 6th - Sarah Calvert

In this experiential evening, we’ll journey into the world of mantra. Using "jap" meditation (repetition), we train our minds to cultivate feelings of joy, presence, awareness and inner peace. Through the vibration of musical instruments and the power of our own voice, we tune into the sacred sound current (Naad) to experience transformation. We'll explore various mantras in Gurmukhi and Sanskrit and delve into their deeper meanings and purposes. Come listen, explore, relax, and chant in order to uplift and elevate yourself through the power of sacred mantra and music.

Sarah Calvert is a KRI level 2 Kundalini yoga teacher and has been teaching and performing for almost two decades. Based in Canada, she spends much of her time on the road teaching internationally, where she shares her love of exploring the spirit and performing her music. She has recorded and produced several albums of original music and mantra. Find her here:


July 2nd - Sacred Chant from Many Traditions

Presented by Elaina Hyde and Usha Haywood.


Come join two spiritual leaders from our community in active participation in sacred chants from differing  traditions.  Everyone regardless of background or singing experience is welcome. Never chanted before - this is your opportunity for a new experience in spiritual exploration.  Come prepared to be moved by your participation in sacred chants in a sacred space.   In between the chants there will be time for quiet contemplation. 



June 4th  - Gregorian Chant in English and Latin

The monthly Star of the Sea Sacred Chant event on June 4th will be facilitated by organist, pianist and choir director Don Conley. With his extensive knowledge of sacred music, this promises to be an exciting participatory evening of this genre including Gregorian chant in English and Latin, using the system developed by the French Liturgist Joseph Gelineau. Once accustomed to his method, then it is easy and prayerful.   The evening is from 7-8:30 pm in St. Mary’s church, Fulford, home of Star of the Sea Centre for Spiritual Living and Practice. Participation is by donation and registration is not required.


The focus for Sacred Chant Evenings will be announced at least one-month before - suggestions welcomed

 May 7th - The Earth is Our Mother

Women of Note is a small informal, but very committed group of singers who meet once a week to celebrate the joy of singing.  Each woman contributes in her own unique way sharing in a diverse range of musical styles and backgrounds. For more than twenty five years this group has been committed to singing at local community events which promote peace,  social justice and concern for the environment.  They have sung in the homes of people recovering from illness and have sung at the bedside of one of their members, bearing witness to the peace and joy singing can bring at the end of life.  In addition, they entertain  at Extended Care and the various Seniors’ Residences on a regular basis.   Their repertoire ranges from music written hundreds of years ago to that of the present day.  Often the songs they choose are from other cultures and in different languages.  Whether it be a piece written in the twelfth century or a contemporary folk song, singing meaningful music in harmony is what this group is all about.  Much of the repertoire is sung a cappella which both challenges and energizes them.   The power of singing together in a safe and inclusive environment can have a positive effect on how we feel physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The group will lead participants in simple rounds and chants from various  traditions.  When joining together in song,  we can experience the power within us and around us as we connect with each and with all beings.


April 2nd - Sacred Circle

Barb Slater and Kevin Wilkie will present an inclusive, relaxed and reverent environment for all voices to come together, singing chants and rounds from many traditions. We end with a 5 minute silent meditation.  

Kevin and Barbara met en route to Haida Gwaii forty years ago, both seeking solace and adventure. Kevin sang and played guitar and Barbara was discovering her voice on the wild west coast, singing to the ocean. Their musical journey together has helped sustain them through raising of a family and running a business; and remains a source of joy. Currently their loves are: leading sacred song circles, singing with their group of Scotts singers, performing for the elders of our community and singing for the dying. Singing has been such a healing balm for them that they are grateful to offer it to others.

Kevin Wilkie and Barbara Slater lead UBUNTU Sacred Song Circles, a group of people dedicated to singing for the benefit of all beings. Singing is a way of being together  and expressing emotion without being bound by the story of what we are feeling. Singing in circle provides a container for the feelings that arise. The sound that is generated by the group   is the healing medicine that we require. Kevin and Barbara provide an inclusive, safe place for all voices to express themselves. They create a relaxed and reverent environment singing rounds and chants from many traditions ending with a 5 minute silent meditation.


 March 5th

 Chanting and Drum Beats from Celtic &

Other Traditional Cultures

 Chanting, in many cultural traditions, is accompanied by the drum, our world’s most ancient instrument (after the voice!) Vocalizations and drum beats can transport us into a state of heightened awareness, and can heal the mind, body and spirit by inducing harmony within ourselves and our community.  In this workshop, I introduce basic chants that harmonize with simple drum beats so that we learn how to tune - and attune to - our drums and voices and the subtle energies they receive and transmit. We learn how to communicate effectively with our drums, practicing specific ways to call forth the voice of a drum (for each drum has its own), how to initiate and renew our drum and its healing qualities, and how chanting specific sounds (rather than words) in conjunction with the drum, calls forth our inner voice to liberate and empower us.  We also learn how modern scientific knowledge – in fields such as sonics, bioenergetics, hemispheric integration, quantum physics, deep listening, music therapy, harmonics - can expand our understanding of what traditional cultures have practiced for millennia. Some time is spent on other percussives including the rattle, jew’s harp, gong, bell, and our own bodies. Please bring your own drum and other percussion instruments if you have them; some instruments are available for those who do not have their own. You may be an absolute beginner or an accomplished musician – no worries, everyone is welcome and included in a safe and comfortable way. 

Marilyn Walker, PhD is an anthropologist and ethnomusicologist, recently retired from Mount Allison University where she organized symposia and workshops including the Music As Medicine Conference held in 2002 and Alternative Cosmologies and Ecologies in 2004. She is also a shamanic practitioner who studied with traditional and neo shamans in Siberia, Southeast Asia, northern North America and the Tibetan Bön tradition, now in exile in northern India. She was a founding member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners and is a Field Associate of Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, for which she completed the 3-year training program in core shamanism. Marilyn also studied drumming and drum circling with world music masters such as Babatunde Olatunji, Glen Velez, Arthur Hull, Armando Pereza, and Trichy Sankaran. She has presented academic papers and experiential workshops nationally and internationally; selected publications on shamanism and music may be found online.