The Street Haven Women’s Choir (SHWC) was founded in 2000 by Geoffrey Butler, Artistic Director, Toronto Choral Society with a grant from the United Way of Greater Toronto.
Street Haven is a multi-faceted organization located in downtown Toronto, serving women through emergency shelter beds, a drop-in program, addiction treatment programmes, a learning centre and supportive housing.
Street Haven is a multi-faceted organization located in downtown Toronto, serving women through emergency shelter beds, addiction services, a learning centre and supportive housing. For more information about Street Haven please visit their website atwww.streethaven.com.
The women’s choir is comprised of women who use, or have used, the services of Street Haven, as well as staff and friends.
Over the past ten years, the SHWC has made a number of public appearances, has been featured in several news articles and showcased on local television programs. The choir was the subject of a documentary produced for Vision TV, was featured in the music video “In Her Mother’s Eyes”, and has performed at numerous municipal and community functions. In addition, the choir performs each year with the Toronto Choral Society at the Annual Street Haven Christmas Benefit Concert.
The choir’s biggest accomplishment, however, is the joy and happiness its members and audience feel every time the women come together to share their voices in song.
Singing often gives the women a new sense of self. The members of the women’s choir have echoed sentiments similar to the one offered by this former Street Haven resident and choir member: “Singing lifts you up. It’s serenity for me, singing. It’s bringing back my voice. It’s a good feeling when you go in front of people, you’re not being judged, but being heard.”
In addition to a sense of accomplishment, Geoffrey Butler, Artistic Director believes the women gain much more. “Music is a need, and we know that because every culture has it. The human spirit needs to express itself, or it withers.”
The SHWC’s repertoire ranges from Mozart to modern folk songs. The choir rehearses weekly at the Street Haven shelter.
The Street Haven Women’s Choir is funded through the Toronto Choral Society and with private donations.
For more information about Street Haven Women’s Choir, to ask about supporting the choir, or to arrange for a performance, please email email@example.com or call 416-410-3509.