Chancellor's Community Recognition Award
Louise Rose is known in Victoria for her musical gifts as well as her contributions to the community.
Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Louise spent her childhood immersed in music and was conducting her grandfather’s church choir by the age of eight. She went on to earn a bachelor of music education from Temple University and a master of arts from Harvard School of Divinity and be ordained as a Baptist minister.
In the early 1970s, Louise came to Victoria at the invitation of the United Church of Canada and fell in love with the city. She has since focused her energies on music and community building – two things that go hand in hand for her.
A talented pianist and vocalist, Louise has worked with many prominent artists, including Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. She has produced five albums and for five years hosted Let’s Sing Again, a television show now in rerun on Vision TV.While she has made music with legends, equally inspiring for her is working with the community that has embraced her.
Louise founded The Victoria Good News Choir in 1997 as a three-month project to raise funds for Claremont High School’s theatre and it is still going strong today. The nondenominational, multigenerational ensemble is open to all and regularly performs at hospitals and care facilities. Three years ago, Louise and the members of The Victoria Good News Choir were invited to work with Lt. Gov. Steven Point to raise funds to create a Salvation Army-sponsored residential care facility for young women who are recovering from substance abuse.
In 2004, at the invitation of First Metropolitan United Church, Louise established the Open Door Choir for people who frequent Our Place, a drop-in centre. Louise also serves as the musical guide for We Rage, We Weep Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Louise’s passion for working with youth is unending. She serves as artist-in-residence in middle and secondary schools throughout the Pacific Northwest and as facilitator and clinician at choral festivals. Louise has also taught in the summer jazz workshop at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and at music camps and schools across North America.
Louise received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of Victoria in 2001. The Heritage Rose Window in the Alix Goolden Performance Hall of the Victoria Conservatory of Music is dedicated to Louise in recognition of her outstanding commitment to music in the community.