Category Archives: Blog

Cutie Circle Celebrates Three Years of Ukulele Fun

The Coquitlam Ukulele Tiny Instrument Enthusiasts (Cutie) Circle will be hosting a ukulele birthday bash on Sunday, July 9, to celebrate its third birthday!!!!

There will be cake, a couple of prizes and lots of strumming and singing with friends! First-time visitors are welcome to join us for free this weekend! We’ll be bringing a few extra ukuleles for brand new players to try out at the Circle!

Come between 2 and 4pm this Sunday to the Rehearsal Hall at the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

Let us celebrate this milestone with family and friends who have supported us the last three years to put on ukulele workshops, concerts, community outreach for newcomers to Canada, ukulele documentary film screenings, and the Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Uke ‘N Play public ukulele lending initiative, just to name a few.

We are especially grateful to the many participants of our free 7-Week Ukulele Workshop Series for Absolute Beginners who have gone on to spreading joy by volunteering their time to host ukulele circles in their own communities and workplace including in Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Vancouver and soon in Maple Ridge this September.

As we look ahead to the coming season, we invite you to be a part of our community outreach at the City of Coquitlam’s Multicultural Day on July 15, 2017 at the Glen Pine Pavilion. We’ll be performing on stage and giving our very popular, free mini-lessons on the ukulele to the public.

We’ll also be celebrating Culture Days with ukulele activities fit for the entire family on September 30 at the Michael Wright Art Gallery, in the Gathering Place at Leigh Square in Port Coquitlam and on October 1 at the Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam.

We would like to thank the Cities of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, especially the folks at the Evergreen Cultural Centre and Leigh Square, for the support we receive and look forward to many more happy times shared at these outstanding venues.

As we contemplate the amount of ukulele fun we have had, we send our gratitude to our mentors, including Azo Bell, Jim D’Ville, Manitoba Hal, Kimo Hussey, Zanuck Lindsey, Ralph Shaw, and Jake Shimabukuro. We are thankful to our friends and local ukulele leaders, Gary Cyr, Braden Deans, and Ron Usher who have generously lent their hands from the very start to make sure the Cutie Circle would thrive! We finally thank all the Cuties who volunteered and/or participated in ukulele activities of all manners. Your enthusiasm inspires us daily to spread the ukulele spirit and passion to a larger audience! Thank you for your friendship!

See you all at the Birthday Bash!

 

 

Cutie Circle’s 2017-2018 Calendar

Cuties’ Song Circle Dates for the 2017 – 2018 Season

Cutie Circle’s Regular Meeting Dates

We’ll be meeting from 2:00pm to 4:00pm on the following dates.

July 8, 2017 (We’ll be celebrating Cutie Circle’s Third Birthday.)
August 13, 2017
September 10, 2017
October 15, 2017 ** (moved back for Thanksgiving)
November 12, 2017
December 17, 2017 ** (moved back due to room availability)
January 14, 2018
February 18, 2018 ** (moved back for Family Day)
March 11, 2018
April 8, 2018
May 13, 2018
June 10, 2018
July 8, 2018

Complete Event Calendar

Venue Location – Address, Directions and Facility Map

The Evergreen Cultural Centre’s address is 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC.

We’ll be meeting in the Rehearsal Hall at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. As in the past, we will have free parking on Sundays and evenings.

DIRECTIONS

TransCanada Route
From Hwy# 1 take exit 44 and take Highway #7 NORTH (Lougheed) towards Coquitlam Town Centre. We are located just north of Coquitlam Shopping Centre at the corner of Guildford and Pinetree.

Barnet Route
From Barnet Hwy travel east through Port Moody, (along St Johns Street), and Coquitlam (along Barnet Hwy). Turn north (left) on Pinetree Way just east of Coquitlam Shopping Centre.

The Evergreen Cultural Centre is located on the northeast corner of Guildford Way and Pinetree Way, four blocks north of the Coquitlam Shopping Centre.

PARKING

Evergreen Cultural Centre has a north and south parking lot operated by the City of Coquitlam. Parking is free on Sundays. Parking is also free in the designated 30-minute parking spaces.

North Lot (Studio Theatre/Art Gallery/Box Office)
Travelling northbound on Pinetree Way, turn right at the traffic control signal at Town Centre Boulevard. Travelling southbound on Pinetree Way, turn left at the traffic control signal at Town Centre Boulevard.

South Lot (Rehearsal Hall)
NEW – note that there is no longer access to our south lot (backstage lot) from Guildford. Access to the lot via the North Lot and then via the driveway on the west side of the building.

NEW LOT – there is a new City of Coquitlam PAID parking lot located at the SE corner of Pinetree and Guildford. Parking is free after 6pm.


TRANSIT

Beginning December 2, 2016, patrons will be able to travel to the Evergreen Cultural Centre on the Evergreen Skytrain Line extension. We are located immediately adjacent to the Lafarge Lake – Douglas station at the north end of the Evergreen Line.

For more information and a transit schedules, please visit the Translink website.


ACCESSIBILITY

Evergreen Cultural Centre is an entirely wheelchair accessible facility. There are three wheelchair parking spaces next to the drop off area and in close proximity to the centre.

Facility Map

Once you arrive at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, refer to this Facility Map for finding the parking lot, the ramps, the Rehearsal Hall and the Studio Theatre. (Click the image below for a larger version.) The doors to the facility will be opened 15 minutes before our meeting time.

Evergreen Cultural Centre Facility Map

Cuties Celebrate Canada 150 in Coquitlam

Cuties are ready to celebrate Canada 150 on July 1 with ukulele players of all ages at the City of Coquitlam’s big birthday bash! Join us between noon and 6pm for some singing and strumming!

We will be having an outdoor jam all day and be giving free ukulele lessons to all guests wanting to try their hands at a fun and happy instrument. Students earn certificates for participating in the ukulele lessons! Come also for the multi-colour ukulele hand stamps, too!

Learn to play “O Canada” on the ukulele with us! Come with a song to perform!

Our booth will be located on the Community Drive near the basketball courts. Look for the tent that has lots of ukuleles, flower leis, music stands and happy smiles!

See the map below for the location of our tent.

“Named one of the top 20 festivals in Metro Vancouver by Business in Vancouver, this is a free community festival with live music and entertainment, food, beverages, family activities and fireworks.”

City of Coquitlam’s Celebrate Canada Day’s webpage

Event Parking

Limited parking will be available. Event-goers are encouraged to walk, bike, carpool or use ​skytrain. A free bike valet service will be available. Ride the SkyTrain’s Evergreen Extension to the Lafarge Lake – Douglas Station, it provides direct access to Town Centre Park.

A free shuttle bus will run from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. between the site and Gleneagle Secondary School and free public parking will be available at:

See you all there!

Generous Sponsors Help Cutie Circle Amass 50 Ukulele Kits to Start Public Lending Collection at the Fraser Valley Regional Library

ukes

Do you know that starting in October, music lovers from Port Coquitlam to Boston Bar can partake in the joy of ukulele by borrowing the world’s happiest instrument from their local library?

That’s right! Fifty cheerful ukuleles complete with digital tuners and gig bags contributed by Cutie Circle, Empire Music, King’s Music, Ohana Music and our good friend, Linda Thiessen, are coming to the 25 branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) Uke ’n Play Collection (FVRL’s media release). The generous sponsors are committed to bringing music to the people and supported this project right from the start! The dream of putting one uke in every home is getting one step closer to reality!

Thanks to the friendly ukulele players at the Terry Fox Library (who disguised themselves as smiley librarians) in Port Coquitlam, the Cuties and FVRL collaboration was formed in February!

Library

Serving a population of 700,000, the FVRL will add the joy of making music to its offerings. In its typical library fashion, the FVRL will include ukulele instruction books to the lot and assemble them nicely into carrying bags to round out the 50 ukulele kits!

The ukulele lending collection includes a variety of styles and colours to suit different tastes and levels of playfulness. From the standard figure-eight shaped brown soprano ukuleles, to their red glossy cousins, to the huggable pineapple cuties, to the thin-line arched back travel-size ukes decorated with abalone and pearl inlays, there is a ukulele to appeal to every aspiring ukester!

Here’s a sample of the fun collection.

uke02

Ukulele #02

uke23

Ukulele #23

uke38

Ukulele #38

uke50

Ukulele #50

What’s more? The strings of each uke have been carefully stretched by members of the Cutie Circle. In fact, the Cuties have lovingly strummed a handful of happy tunes into the tummy of each and every uke to get the instruments well on their way to meeting their new friends in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. The hope of the Cuties is, of course, that all the people the ukes will touch can then build on these happy vibes and spread the music to their friends and families.

The Cuties also had a farewell party for the ukes to give these babies a grand send-off.

Courtesy of Jerry S.

Courtesy of Jerry S.

The official launch of the lending collection will take place at five of the FVRL locations:

Uke ’n Play launch events will be held at five FVRL locations. Please contact the library for more details.

The ukuleles will be in your neighbourhood in October!

Are you ready?!

Cutie Circle’s 2016 – 2017 Calendar

Cuties’ Song Circle Dates for the 2016 – 2017 Season

Cutie Circle’s Regular Meeting Dates

We’ll be meeting from 2:00pm to 4:00pm on the following dates.
June 5, 2016 ** (moved forward)
July 10, 2016  (We will *not* be having a song circle this month as we will be holding a concert by Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey.)
August 14, 2016
September 11, 2016
October 16, 2016 ** (moved back for Thanksgiving)
November 13, 2016
December 18, 2016 ** (moved back due to room availability)
Starting time: 1:30pm
January 8, 2017
February 19, 2017 ** (moved back for Family Day)
March 12, 2017
April 9, 2017
May 14, 2017
June 11, 2017

Complete Event Calendar

Venue Location – Address, Directions and Facility Map

The Evergreen Cultural Centre’s address is 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC.

We’ll be meeting in the Rehearsal Hall at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. As in the past, we will have free parking on Sundays and evenings. Here is a map of how to find the way to the Evergreen Cultural Centre and the Rehearsal Hall and Studio Theatre. This road map will help guide you to the ECC entrance. With the SkyTrain construction, it is the only way to the back lot.

Evergreen Cultural Centre Map

Directions

TransCanada Route

From Hwy# 1 take exit 44 (at Cape Horn) and travel north or Hwy# 7 or 7A.

Barnet Route

From Barnet Hwy travel east through Port Moody, (along St Johns Street), and Coquitlam (along Barnet Hwy). Turn north (left) on Pinetree Way. The Evergreen Cultural Centre is located on the northeast corner of Guildford and Pinetree Way, four traffic lights north of the Coquitlam Shopping Centre.

Parking

North Lot (Studio Theatre)

Travelling northbound on Pinetree Way, turn right at the traffic control signal at Town Centre Boulevard. Travelling southbound on Pinetree Way, turn left at the traffic control signal at Town Centre Boulevard.

South Lot (Rehearsal Hall)

Access travelling westbound on Guildford Way. Please note there is no vehicle access from the main parking lot or from the eastbound lanes on Guildford Way.

Evergreen-Parking-Map-June-2014-FINAL

Wheelchair Access

Evergreen Cultural Centre is an entirely wheelchair accessible facility. There are three wheelchair parking spaces next to the drop off area and in close proximity to the centre.

Facility Map

Once you arrive at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, refer to this Facility Map for finding the parking lot, the ramps, the Rehearsal Hall and the Studio Theatre. (Click the image below for a larger version.) The doors to the facility will be opened 15 minutes before our meeting time.

Evergreen Cultural Centre Facility Map

Cutie Circle’s NEW Location and 2015 – 2016 Calendar

The Cutie Circle has found a brand new home! Beginning June 2015, the Cuties will be meeting at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (ECC), just across the street from its first home, the Pinetree Community Centre, in Coquitlam. The new venue is a beautiful facility with good acoustics and offers free parking on Sundays and evenings. This move will give the Cuties a chance to meet even during the summer months (as the nearby venues including the Pinetree Community Centre and Glen Pine Pavillion, are closed on Sundays during the summer). We thank the folks at the ECC for finding us a stable set of dates for the 2015 to 2016 season. We’ll miss the friendly crew at Pinetree for their helpful and enthusiastic service for the past year!

Cuties’ Song Circle Dates for the 2015 – 2016 Season

Cutie Circle’s Regular Meeting Dates

We’ll be meeting from 2:00pm to 4:00pm on the following dates.
June 21, 2015 ** (moved back to accommodate Paul’s schedule)
July 12, 2015  (We will *not* be having a song circle this month as we will be holding the “It’s All About Ukulele” concert and workshop by Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey.)
August 9, 2015
September 13, 2015
October 4, 2015 ** (moved ahead for Thanksgiving)
November 8, 2015
December 6, 2015 ** (moved ahead for X’mas)
January 10, 2016
February 14, 2016
March 13, 2016
April 3, 2016** (moved ahead due to an out-of-town funeral)
May 1, 2016 ** (moved ahead for Mother’s Day)
June 5, 2016 ** (moved ahead due to room availability)

Complete Event Calendar

New Location – Address, Directions and Facility Map

The Evergreen Cultural Centre’s address is 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC.

We’ll be meeting in the Rehearsal Hall at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. As in the past, we will have free parking on Sundays and evenings. Here is a map of how to find the way to the Evergreen Cultural Centre and the Rehearsal Hall and Studio Theatre. This road map will help guide you to the ECC entrance. With the SkyTrain construction, it is the only way to the back lot.

Evergreen Cultural Centre Map

Directions

TransCanada Route

From Hwy# 1 take exit 44 (at Cape Horn) and travel north or Hwy# 7 or 7A.

Barnet Route

From Barnet Hwy travel east through Port Moody, (along St Johns Street), and Coquitlam (along Barnet Hwy). Turn north (left) on Pinetree Way. The Evergreen Cultural Centre is located on the northeast corner of Guildford and Pinetree Way, four traffic lights north of the Coquitlam Shopping Centre.

Parking

North Lot (Studio Theatre)

Travelling northbound on Pinetree Way, turn right at the traffic control signal at Town Centre Boulevard. Travelling southbound on Pinetree Way, turn left at the traffic control signal at Town Centre Boulevard.

South Lot (Rehearsal Hall)

Access travelling westbound on Guildford Way. Please note there is no vehicle access from the main parking lot or from the eastbound lanes on Guildford Way.

Evergreen-Parking-Map-June-2014-FINAL

Wheelchair Access

Evergreen Cultural Centre is an entirely wheelchair accessible facility. There are three wheelchair parking spaces next to the drop off area and in close proximity to the centre.

Facility Map

Once you arrive at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, refer to this Facility Map for finding the parking lot, the ramps, the Rehearsal Hall and the Studio Theatre. (Click the image below for a larger version.) The doors to the facility will be opened 15 minutes before our meeting time.

Evergreen Cultural Centre Facility Map

The Cuties’ Winter in Review

Cuties' March meeting

Cuties’ March meeting

Winter can be loads of fun. Just look at what the Cuties have been up to the past three months! At our March meeting, Brian was the first up to perform another amusing tune, The Invalids, with his custom uke. It was a good educational moment when we all realized what one can do with creativity and the many possibilities that are out there for ukuleles! At the sight of the cool uke, the smiles on both Brian and Paul, our in-house expert luthier, were bright, shiny and priceless!

Brian impresses us with his custom uke (complete with a pick-up) before his performance

Brian impresses us with his custom uke (complete with a pick-up) before his performance

Kiwi gave us his first performance at the Cutie Circle. His sizzling hot rendition of Santana’s Europa garnered him a much-deserved standing ovation from the Cuties!

Kiwi wows the crowd with Europa

Kiwi wows the crowd with Europa

Paul rounded the performance time with a sweet refreshing song, Latch, performed in his usual gentle and soothing style! Last but not least, Pat baked us a delicious load of chocolatey goodness that kept us strumming with gusto throughout the two hours! Thanks, Pat!

Paul performs Latch for the Cuties

Paul performs Latch for the Cuties

The Cuties did a few things differently in February. With the sponsorship of Coquitlam’s Glen Pine Pavilion and help of Litmus Films, we held a free premiere of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain‘s documentary film, “The Ukes in America“.  The turnout was great and the space was fabulous.

UOGB Film Premiere at Glen Pine Pavilion

UOGB Film Premiere at Glen Pine Pavilion

It was followed by a sold-out Hawaiian Ukulele Workshop with Gary Cyr that afternoon. Gary patiently guided us through some rather challenging jazzy chord progressions! Gary Cyr Just look at how many dots are on each of the chord charts (below)! These chords do sound groovy! We had fun dressing up in Alohawear and donning colourful leis! If you missed or enjoyed this workshop, check out his All New Hawaiian Ukulele Song Workshop in June!

Gary shares some of the jazzy Hawaiian chords

Gary shares some of the jazzy Hawaiian chords

A few Cuties performed for the W.H.O. (Women Helping Others) at the W.H.O.’s Valentine’s Day-themed meeting. Lorraine gave an entertaining lesson on how to do the hula! As it turned out, the participant who volunteered for the demo was a talented and quick-learning student! We may be able to form a hula troupe before too long!

Lorraine teaches the Hula at the WHO meeting

Lorraine teaches the Hula at the WHO meeting

The Friendly WHO Members

The Friendly WHO Members

Cuties performing for the WHO At our January meeting, we had a big crowd with lots of snacks, thanks to all the Cuties! Many Cuties performed as well.

Photo Credit: Jerry Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: Jerry Santa Cruz

Brian and Gill got up and performed My Get Up and Go has Got Up and Went to a cheering crowd.

Gill and Brian spiritedly performed “My Get Up and Go has Got Up and Went”

Brenda and Jen enjoyed each other’s company by doing Enjoy Yourself together.

Brenda and Jen

Brenda and Jen did “Enjoy Yourself” together

Jerry truly gave us a treat by singing the romantic song, Gift (originally sung by Singto Numchok).

Jerry sang a sweet-to-the core song, “Gift”.

Paul and Luisa gave us the nostalgic Act Naturally and Paul, by popular demand, did a lovely solo of Kiss a Girl!

Paul

Paul checked his handheld device before performing a lovely solo of “Kiss a Girl”

A big thank-you goes to Paul for enthusiastically leading us and to all the Cuties who helped with the set-up, take-down and clean-up! It is much appreciated.