I was really fortunate that as a child I was able to see and hear live symphonic music. I want that magical experience for other children and young people.

Joyce Clarke delivering roses on Symphony of Roses Day

“I love music” explains Joyce, “I see it and feel it. It is real to me.” Joyce grew up taking ballet and piano lessons and played violin in her elementary school orchestra. Later on she taught herself the flute as well.
Her mom and aunt were instrumental in introducing her to the symphony at an early age. “How amazing it was to see and hear the the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra! It blew me away!”

A symphony lover for life, Joyce and Craig moved to Nanaimo in 1974. In 1980 she was a season ticket holder for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. There was nothing comparable in Nanaimo at the time. In 1995 she heard there was a new, professional orchestra in Nanaimo but did not attend concerts for a year, until enough people they trusted told them the orchestra was good and that they should attend. “Friends assured us it was first class. We had our doubts, but at that first concert we were pleased, and have been season ticket holders ever since.”

Not only did Joyce and Craig continue to support the VIS through donations and season tickets purchases, Joyce was and still is a valued board member. “I was determined to help this amazing organization grow and become sustainable.”

Joyce with Calvin Dyck, VIS Concertmaster

“The VIS musicians are such a cohesive group. These amazing musicians come from all over the island and the lower mainland and after only a few rehearsals together, present these fabulous concerts. Everyone needs to experience the VIS. It is affordable. You don’t have to travel anywhere to see world class performances.”

“The VIS has given us such joy. With bigger orchestras, like LA and San Francisco and even Vancouver, you never get that connection that we feel with the musicians and maestro of the VIS.”

“We need to keep this symphony going, that is why we donate. My late husband Craig and I believed as I still do, that money makes the music go ‘round – no money, no music. We need to support this gem of ours.”