Archive for the 'events' Category

Highlights Of 2011

Posted by Heather
In events, life, music
31Dec 11

Now that 2011 is coming to an end, I’m thinking back on this year, and trying to pick out the “highlights”. I don’t want to focus on the bad things, because we all know there are plenty of those in each of our lives, and far too many people dwell on those things. I refuse to be one of those people. Life is difficult enough on its own without wasting even more time being negative. ( Life is also far too short and precious for that! ) So, I choose to mention a few of the good things that happened in 2011, in my life.

We all know that when a new year comes, we promise ourselves that “this will be the year” we start to take better care of ourselves. We simply want to be healthy, and fit. The older we get, the more we realize how important getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising are. Most years, we get back into our exercise routine, and that lasts maybe a month or two. I am happy to say that my husband and I worked out regularly for the first 6 months of 2011 – a big improvement over past years. When we got tired of the gym workout, we began getting out for more frequent walks, and did a lot more hiking this year, as well. There is room for improvement, but we absolutely did more than in past years.

I made a point this year of making more regular plans with girlfriends. We aimed for once a month – this didn’t happen, but we did get together more often than last year, which is great. We’d meet to share a few plates of appies and maybe a glass of wine, “catch up”, have a few laughs – you know, stuff that’s good for the soul. We are all very busy, but we all acknowledged the need for our “girl time”.

As always, Karaoke played a big part in my life this year. I can’t begin to tell you how many wonderful people I have met because of this night out – especially when it is at the local Legion. Where else can you go to sing and dance, be surrounded by wonderful, supportive people, and pay no cover? We have made some really good friendships from this, and have had a lot of fun!

This year, I was lucky enough to sing backup vocals with a couple close girlfriends for a friend’s band’s gig, as well as sing one of my favourite songs ( by their request ) at their Wedding. It’s always great to be given the opportunity to sing live in front of a new audience. Witnessing our friends getting married in a magical setting with the sun setting over the water was absolutely unforgettable. Everything was just perfect – especially the amazing people we got to spend the evening celebrating with – such special friends.

As many of you know, I love to dance. ( yes, that’s a HUGE understatement !!! ) I have already taken Ballroom, Swing and Jive, and Tap Lessons over the years. The one form of dance I have always longed to take is Bellydancing. I have looked long and hard, could never find lessons in the small town I live in, so decided to research instructional videos online. I found a good one, ordered it for myself, also acquired some jingling gold coin hip scarves and bracelets etc. and decided I would learn in the comfort of my own Living Room. I was tired of letting “roadblocks” keep me from my goals. I found a way around it. I will learn at my own pace, and practice on my own.

I recorded a new song in the Summer – our first non-cover. It was written by the talented Darryl Kromm of Canadian Band “Strange Advance”. I was so grateful that he let us use one of his original songs, that no one had ever heard. This was huge – no other versions to compete with on iTunes etc. It was great to see my Producer Jarome again – we met up in Vancouver to record, after he flew in from Beijing, where he now lives and works.

We had a visit from someone very special for 6 days in July. The 3 of us went on countless hikes, went out for lunches and dinners, took hundreds of photographs, talked, laughed, cried, and just thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of the time we had together. This was definitely one of the high points of the year! Talk about time well spent!

There were Barbecues and other family dinners with my husband’s family – lots of good times spent with wonderful people. I am so grateful to have them so closeby – they have accepted me and loved me unconditionally since day one. I can totally be myself with them – and they are amazing, kind, loving people – I feel so very lucky!

One of my favourite Gals at the Office is in Roller Derby – I swear the entire town went to their bout, and it was AWESOME !!!! It was so great to see the Community come together to support these phenomenal Ladies ! After the match, we all headed to the local pub to hang out, dance, and there was even Karaoke on the other side – sweet! One of the most fun nights of the year!

This was also the year I did something I have never done before – I planned a very last minute trip. ( literally 2 days in advance ) If you know me, you know this is not me at all. A couple of very special people made this decision a lot easier, and I have to admit, it was very liberating. I usually like things planned out in minute detail weeks, if not months, in advance. We didn’t even tell anyone until we returned home. ( o.k., almost anyone ) It was a fabulous holiday, much-needed, long overdue, and very close to my heart, for reasons that the special people involved know. Another promise kept to someone we loved very much. ūüôā

The year started winding down, we had the most fun Office Party since I’ve lived here on The Sunshine Coast, followed a few weeks later by the Company Christmas Party, which was also loads of fun! It’s always good to see everyone out of the workplace, relaxed, letting loose a little, and getting to know each other as people, not just co-workers. I have met a lot of incredibly kind, lovely ladies this year because of work – we have a great group there! ( and yes, there are those that left that I miss terribly !!! )

2011 has been a year of changes for me, in so many ways. I have learned a lot this year, probably more than any year so far. The most important thing I have learned is that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Sometimes, the people we think will/should be there for us, aren’t, ( or can’t be, for various reasons ) and sometimes, people we barely know can show us such kindness and compassion that it almost blows your mind. I have seen both.

My favourite people are the ones that care enough to ask how you are doing, the ones that give real, good, genuine hugs, and the ones that aren’t afraid to say “I love you” . These are the people that matter in my life, and I feel very blessed to know you. I wish you health, happiness, love, laughter, joy, prosperity, peace, and light in 2012!

I’m so excited to finally release my first original song that I’ve been working on for a few years now!
You can hear it below and download it on iTunes right now!


As I mentioned in my last blog about the process of creation, this “sassy plea to unfaithful lovers” was written by Darryl Kromm of Canadian hit 80’s synth pop band Strange Advance.
Guitar was performed by my long time friend  and amazing guitarist, Erol Sora.

With the aim of creating the perfect 80’s inspired pop song, I looked to my producer Jarome to create something that would fulfill a long time goal of an original song that would combine the inspiration of my youth. Rather than try to create a copy of the great 80’s pop songs, Jarome looked to colleague and friend Darryl Kromm who already wrote some of Canada’s best loved and known 80’s pop songs.

Reworking Darryl’s upbeat yet dramatic account of the abandoned lover, Jarome created a modern ‘future disco’ musical arrangement to the 80’s inspired lyrics to create a cool fusion of two musical worlds.

Written and recorded in Vancouver, Cool & Careless was produced in Vancouver and Beijing, and mixed in Jarome Matthew’s new Beijing studio.

It’s already on iTunes, and it will also be available on your favourite online music store very soon.

I look forward to hearing what you think!

¬†¬†¬†¬† Since I have been working with my friend and Producer Jarome Matthew for the past 3 years or so, we have been doing covers of 80’s songs.¬† We both love 80’s music, and have had a lot of fun bringing some of those songs back to life. Many of my happiest memories are of dancing at nightclubs in the 80’s with my friends, and I really miss that time when songs were really well-written – both in terms of the music, and lyrics.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Although we have enjoyed recording these covers of 80’s tunes, we have learned how difficult it can be to get these songs “out there” as an indie artist.¬† Jarome knows how much I love songs from that decade, and that there are many more I would love to record, but he also knows that doing a non-cover song would be really good for me.¬† He has been telling me for the past couple of years that we really should be doing an original song.¬† At first I didn’t “get” that – I was just so excited because there are so many 80’s songs I love, and would really like to do my own version of. After having done a couple, I have seen firsthand that it is not an easy thing, especially when you are not “famous”. Every time your song gets on iTunes, there are sometimes hundreds of other versions that you have to compete with, whether you view it that way, or not. Add to that the fact that your version will always be compared to someone else’s, and things get even harder.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Thankfully, Jarome is someone I know well and trust completely, so he was able to finally get around my stubborn side, and we did record our first original song recently.¬† Those of you that have kept up with my blog posts over the last few years will recall that we have done some work with Darryl Kromm of Canadian Band Strange Advance.¬† He most graciously agreed to do backup vocals on one of our cover songs for us. Now, he is letting us use one of his original songs that virtually no one has heard before¬†. We are very excited to be on the verge of releasing our first song that isn’t a cover, and are totally stoked that it was written by Darryl! He is an amazing songwriter ( not just a phenomenal vocalist ūüôā and this new song he penned has an 80’s dance feel – just love it!

¬†¬†¬†¬† It is a really cool feeling to know that once this new song is released, there won’t be any other versions for people to compare it to. There also won’t be huge roadblocks, trying to get it out there, as we won’t have someone saying they “don’t know who we are”, and therefore, won’t help us.¬† We are so grateful to Darryl for giving us this opportunity – without his generosity, kindness, and talent, we could not have done this.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Jarome has sent me a couple versions of the song since we recorded it – he picked out what he felt were the best vocal takes, and played with the music a little bit, and now he’s ready to do a final mix.¬† It won’t be long now until he sends me a final version – maybe a couple of weeks.¬† I’ll let you know when it’s all finished. ūüôā

¬†¬†¬†¬† Here’s a “blast from the past” photo for all my club friends from the 80’s:

Heather Doré in the 80's

In events, life
9Sep 11

¬†¬†¬†¬† When people visit us up here on the Sunshine Coast of B.C., we often take them on a hike to the Skookumchuck.¬† It is almost an hour’s drive up the Coast from Sechelt, but well worth it.¬† Once you park, it is a bit of a walk in before the trail starts, so you want to wear your most comfy shoes.¬† One good thing is that there is a portable washroom both at the start and the end of this trail – many up here only have them at the beginning, so this is a real bonus. ( important stuff to know when you are drinking lots of water …;)

The Obligatory Sign

One of our favourite parts of the hike was seeing what my Husband called “The Skookumtruck”, which for the longest time, was parked at the side of the road into the trail.¬† It has been moved a bit – I’m sure you’ll spot it when you go.


If you are looking for a nice, easy hike, this is the trail for you.  It takes a while to get in, but it is one of the most wide and flat trails we have encountered on the Coast so far.  You can see this in the next picture.

Lovely People Hiking

There are a lot of great photo opportunities while going throught the forest in here – the trees are gigantic, and many are covered in moss.

Trees at Skookumchuck

Part way along the trail, you go past Brown Lake, which is always a good place to get a picture, no matter what the season.  I have probably taken a couple hundred pictures in this area, and they always look a little different each time.

Brown Lake

As with most of the hikes up here, the end is always the best part.¬† (You are once again rewarded with a fabulous view.)¬† This one is a little different than most others, though, as it is all about the tides.¬† Depending on what time of day you go, you’ll either see the Ebb ( outgoing ) – which brings swirling whirlpools – ¬†or the Flood ( incoming ) which creates a standing wave. The following sign explains a bit about it:

Skookumchuck Rapids Sign

Pretty much every time we’ve hiked the Skookumchuck, we’ve been there during the Ebb tide.¬† It is very cool to watch the water churning and swirling around like crazy.¬† The last time we went, in July, my Brother-In-Law was visiting, so we wanted to show him something different. It started with some waves …

Flood Tide Waves

… and then came the Kayakers, who always draw a crowd of eager photographers from all over the world.¬† This is what most people come to see.¬† Theses kayaks are very small, and are made specifically for doing ¬†“tricks”.

Photographer at Skookumchuck

My camera isn’t the greatest, but I managed to get 40 – 50 decent shots of these guys riding the standing waves.¬† It was really cool to watch.

Trick Kayak - Red

Trick Kayak - Yellow

The 3 of us must have sat and watched these guys take turns riding the waves for well over an hour, with a bunch of other people.¬† It was absolutely amazing, and we were so glad we got to finally see the Flood tide for the first time – so different from the Ebb we’d always seen before.
It was a great day, and after stopping for some dinner on the way home ( at the Back Eddy Pub ) we could see the sun going down by Ruby Lake.  We just had to stop for a couple of minutes so I could snap a couple more pictures.  This is one of my favourites:

Sunset at Ruby Lake

So, if you’re up here on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, and looking for a great ( but not too difficult ) hike, pack a lunch, and check this place out.¬† We locals think it’s pretty skookum. ūüôā
Comments Off on Take A Hike – Part 3 – Skookumchuck

My Next Song

Posted by Heather

¬†¬†¬†¬† For any of you that have been following my Blog posts for a while, you’ll already know that it’s been a little over a year since I was last talking about my next song.¬† If you are fairly new to this site, you can get filled in here.¬† Much has happened in the last year or so, ¬†including the fact that my producer Jarome Matthew and his family moved to Beijing, China, where he has built a brand new Recording Studio.¬† Obviously,¬†it was¬†a little easier for us to get together when we both lived in Vancouver.¬† I’ve been up on The Sunshine Coast for 3 years now, and he lives far away, so logistically, it has been interesting.

¬†¬†¬†¬† The moves haven’t stopped us from working on anything – it just makes it a little tricky when it comes to actually recording. Luckily, Jarome and his family had planned a visit to Vancouver recently which happened to fall during some holiday time for me.¬† We were fortunate to be able to arrange some Studio time this past Friday with Kevin Hamilton of Fresh Air Audio.¬† It was so good to see Jarome again, record a new song, and to meet Kevin, who was just wonderful.

Heather In The Booth

Jarome and I are both really excited to have recorded our first original song, which was written by Darryl Kromm. ( from well known Canadian Band Strange Advance )  All of our songs so far have been covers, so this is pretty cool to finally be releasing something virtually no one has heard before.

Heather In Booth Closeup

Heather Doré at Fresh Air Audio

Producer Jarome Matthew and Heather Doré

We had a great session in the Recording Studio, then we kept with tradition and went out for dinner to celebrate.¬† It seems every time Jarome and I record together, we always end up going out for a good meal afterwards.¬† As always, we made sure we split a couple of decadent desserts – after all, it was a special occasion, right? ūüėČ

Producer Jarome Matthew and Heather Doré Dinner

Once Jarome gets back home, he’ll work on the song, and I will keep you posted as to what’s going on.¬† Thankyou all for your patience –¬† we’re looking forward to writing some of our own stuff together very soon, as well.¬† I’ll let you know how that goes …
Comments Off on My Next Song

Waiting For Summer

Posted by Heather
In events, life
20Jul 11

     I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, and I am used to nice, hot Summers.  I have many wonderful memories of trips to the beach at one of the nearby lakes: laying on the soft, warm sand, swimming, laughing, and having fun.  We would play beach Volleyball, have a picnic, or just bask in the warm rays, and relax.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When I was 16, our family moved to B.C.¬† My parents said it would be a “milder climate” – not such hot Summers, or such cold Winters.¬† Well, I loved the heat, and I also loved the beautiful, sparkling, fluffy white snow, in the Winter time.¬†( Christmas¬†is just¬†not the same when it’s green out.¬†) ¬†In short, it was a big adjustment for me living out here after spending so many years in Ontario.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Fast – forward to today.¬† This has to be the absolute worst “Summer” I have ever had since living in B.C.¬† The temperatures have been ridiculously low, most days have been full of grey skies, wind, and showers.¬† The sun has come out a handful of times – I have literally walked upstairs to put on shorts and a tank top, and by the time I get to the deck, the sun has gone under the clouds again – no joke.

¬†¬†¬†¬† We love to go out in a kayak, go for a walk, or a long hike, but these are not things you want to do when it’s cool, windy or rainy out.¬† I can’t believe it’s 2/3 of the way through July – this is just crazy !¬† I had some time off in June, and had a lot of outdoor plans, but none of them happened, because of the lousy weather.¬† Too bad you can’t get a refund on your time off from work if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

     I am really hoping that the sun will come out Рand stay out Рvery soon, and for a while.  There are a lot of people here feeling emotionally drained who could use some sunshine to perk them up.  ( and yes, of course, they will wear their sunscreen, and be smart about it ! )

¬†¬†¬†¬† What I am really longing for is some hot sun, palm trees, and a comfy lounge chair – somewhere where there is no wind to ruin the amazing heat.¬† Maybe I should just move to Vegas … ūüėȬ† I can dream, can’t I ?

The Voice – The Final Four

Posted by Heather
In events, music
28Jun 11

¬†¬†¬†¬† It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote about this amazing show.¬† Tonight, it was down to 4 finalists:

Dia Frampton  ( Team Blake )

Beverly McClellan ( Team Christina )

Vicci Martinez  ( Team Cee Lo )

Javier Colon  ( Team Adam )

     Part of the reason we keep watching this show is that it has something different pretty much every week.  Tonight was no exception.  Not only did each Artist perform a duet with their Coach, which was very cool, but they each also sang an original song written just for them. 

¬†¬†¬†¬† Highlight of the night for us in terms of the duets:¬† Beverly and her coach Christina performing “Beautiful”.

¬†¬†¬†¬† As for the original songs,¬† both my husband and I liked Dia Frampton’s performance the very best, ¬†just barely edging out Beverly McClellan’s.¬†¬†¬† We absolutely think that one of these ladies will be crowned ” The Voice “.¬† They have very different styles and voices, but both are absolutely going to be superstars!

¬†¬†¬†¬† The last few weeks watching this show have been so awesome – what a journey, watching the artists get better every week, and getting to know them, and their famous coaches.¬† It’s great to have a show that isn’t the same old format as many others – very refreshing.

     We are totally stoked to see the Winner of The Voice revealed tomorrow night on NBC !!!

Comments Off on The Voice – The Final Four

In events, life, music
9Jun 11

¬†¬†¬†¬† This show just keeps getting better and better !¬† If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read my previous posts about “The Voice“.¬†¬† The second one is here.¬† You can visit the Official site on NBC, as well, here.¬† Tuesday night was the beginning of the Quarter Finals – Round 1.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Singers from Team Christina and Team Blake took the stage this time, and both my husband and I had some clear favourites.¬† Hands down, we agreed that the overall strongest performer of the night was Beverly McClellan, ( on Christina’s Team ) who sang “Im The Only One”.¬† This was the perfect song for her – she totally rocked it !¬† This woman has one powerful voice, and knows how to take charge of a stage, and engage the audience. Unbelievable!¬† She nails everything she does.

¬†¬†¬†¬† As much as I admire Beverly’s strength and power, I must admit, I love watching quiet, shy people have the chance to shine.¬† I absolutely understand how difficult it is to love to sing more than anything in the world, but to genuinely be a shy person.¬† Forcing yourself to keep getting up and doing it because it brings you joy, is at once hard, yet empowering.¬† This brings me to our next 2 favourite contestants of the night. Dia Frampton sang and played piano to ” Heartless “, and you would never have known that she was the least bit shy. Her voice is unreal – so incredibly beautiful and unique, and her performance seemed effortless.¬† Xenia, who seems even more nervous, finally came out of her shell a little, used some movement onstage, and smiled a lot more than before, when she sang ” Price Tag “.¬† This girl is young, and has so much potential. Her voice is phenomenal, and I don’t think she has any idea how good she is, which, in itself, is yet another reason to like her.¬† The quality and tone she has is just beyond words. Wow!¬† Both of these girls are on Blake’s Team.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Although we didn’t think the song choice was the best on this particular night for Team Christina’s Raquel Castro, ( she has sung songs better suited to her previously ) she is still in our¬†Top 4 for the night.¬† She sang ” Blow “, and did a really ¬†good job, worked the crowd, used the space, and kept the energy up.¬† At 16, Raquel is the “total package” – she has a great voice, is beautiful, can dance, and knows how to work it.¬† This girl is going to have one heck of a career ahead of her – no doubt about it.

¬†¬†¬†¬† All in all, it was a night of really amazing performances, but those were the ones we enjoyed the most.¬† I can’t wait until next week to see what happens next …

Comments Off on The Voice – Quarter Finals Round 1

In events, music
22May 11

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new singing competition show that we had started watching, called “The Voice”.¬† The thing that appealed most to us about the concept of it was that people were judged on just that – their voice – and not on anything else.¬† In the “Blind Audition” rounds, coaches competed to convince the contestants with the best voices to be on their team.

¬†¬†¬†¬† The last couple of weeks, they have entered into “The Battle Rounds”¬†, where each coach must pit 2 of their own team members against each other.¬† They sing a duet, and the coach decides which one stays on their team ( thus advancing to the “Live¬†Broadcast” stage ), and which one goes home.

¬†¬†¬†¬† So far, our favourite singer from the battle Rounds is Casey Weston.¬† She sang “Leather and Lace” against her teammate, and we think she did an amazing job.¬† If you like Stevie Nicks, you may want to watch Casey in action – her voice is incredible, especially for one so young.

¬†¬†¬†¬† We are looking forward to watching the next Battle Rounds on Tuesday night on NBC.¬† If you haven’t already, you should really check it out.

The Voice

Posted by Heather
In events, music
2May 11

¬†¬†¬†¬† A while back, I wrote a blog post about a show called “Live To Dance”.¬†¬† The main reason my husband and I liked this show so much was because for once, there was no age limit for the Contestants.¬† ( Many similar¬†competition shows required that you be¬†30 or under.¬†) ¬†They also let people dance to any genre of music they wanted, and did not limit the size of the group.¬† We felt this was definitely a step in the right direction to make these shows more inclusive.¬† Obviously, not all talented people with hopes and dreams are¬†30 or under, and not all people fit neatly into certain categories.

¬†¬†¬†¬† We really enjoyed Live To Dance, not only for those reasons, but because it was a very positive show. The judges were encouraging, and built people up, rather than tearing them down, and creating a lot of drama.¬† After watching this show, I recall thinking to myself, “Now why can’t they do a similar show for¬†Singers ? “.¬† It would be awesome to see people of all ages and genres of music on a stage, with a chance to have their voices heard.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Well, we were very happy to see the ads on T.V. a few weeks back for “The Voice”.¬† This show is just for singers, and has coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee Lo Green.¬† The idea behind the show is simple: it starts out with what they call “Blind Auditions”, so named because people sing, but the coaches can’t see them.¬† Their chairs are literally turned away from the contestants, so all they can focus on is what really matters: the¬†voice !!! Nobody can be judged for their age, what they look like etc., which we think is a huge step forward in these often superficial shows. You can read a brief summary of the stages of the show here.

     The first round of auditions was last Tuesday night, and the second round is tomorrow night, on NBC at 9:00/8:00 Central.  If you enjoy listening to good singers, and like to see talented people given a fair chance ( and not be judged by unimportant things, such as how old they are, or what they look like ) then please check it out!

¬†¬†¬†¬† It’s about time they had a show like this !

¬†¬†¬†¬† Now we just need to get them to have these kinds of shows in Canada ….

Subscribe to RSS