“The Vancouver Island Symphony is not just about beautiful music, it’s an important part of my life.” 

Allan Gould was born into a richly musical family. During his childhood in Kamloops, he not only played piano and trumpet, but was a boy soprano and had several lead roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

“My mom taught piano lessons, my sister played several instruments and my cousins all played piano and sang too. My dad played the violin, but usually only once a year at Christmas. Music was in all of us.”

When the Goulds moved to Nanaimo in 1995, they were looking for things to do. They were delighted to find the symphony performing at St. Andrew’s Church. The performances provided not only entertainment, but a social aspect for them. Allan remembers those hard seats in the church. “There was a VIS fundraiser where we could buy a padded foam seat for the church.  I actually found those old foam seats in the garage. They brought back great memories.”

Allan’s late wife Vera was very involved with the Symphony board, sat as chair, and was one of its biggest cheerleaders. When the symphony struggled, the Goulds were there to help.

“In those early years, it was important for us to donate so the symphony could maintain what it was doing. Now, as donors for more than two decades, our donations and support are there to allow the symphony to grow and be able to provide more concerts and events for our community.”

“If we were ever to lose our symphony, the effect would be nothing less than disastrous,” Allan stated.

“The symphony is a symbol of what this city is. If it can support a symphony, then if must be a very special place.”

Allan found another music lover in his second wife Diana. “We have enjoyed watching the symphony grow and gain momentum. They are an amazing group of talented, dedicated musicians. We are in awe every time we attend a performance. So many performances have driven us right out of our seats in celebration.”

Allan and Diana hope that their continued support of the VIS will result in its longevity. “It is all about the music,” says Allan, “It is money well spent.”