Juno-award-winning artist Norman Foote will be celebrating Halloween with a family friendly performance at the ACT.
Foote will share the stage with student choirs from Davie Jones and Webster’s Corners elementary schools for Halloween Howl, a concert with a message about believing in yourself and celebrating your own voice.
At age 11, Foote got his first guitar.
When he was 20, he left Canada for Australia and New Zealand, where he made his living as a street performer.
He eventually joined a traveling theatre troupe in New South Wales and developed skills in the art of puppetry and physical comedy.
He started writing children’s songs full-time and doing stage performances when he returned to Canada.
Now he performs in countries all over the world.
He won a Juno for his album Love My New Shirt. He has also won Parent Choice and Nappa Gold Awards in the United States, and Socan’s Best Children’s Songwriter and West Coast Music awards in Canada.
Students and audience members will be invited to wear their Halloween costumes and join the festivities in Memorial Peace Park following the concert.
Cathy McKanna, music teacher at Davie Jones, likes Foote’s lyrics and upbeat catchy songs.
“What I love about him, too, is he’s got a lovely sense of humour and he uses puppets and things like that in his shows, as well,” said McKanna, adding that there are a lot of life lessons in his lyrics.
One song, the Dinosaur and the Progress of Man, is about a dinosaur waking up in a farmer’s field after 60 million years to discover the world has changed, and not in a good way. After asking about a truck, jumbo jet, train and factory smoke stack, the dinosaur says there is some cleaning up to do in the world before telling the farmer to wake him up in another million years.
“There’s another song called Always Be Yourself. It’s a song about self worth. Don’t always try to be like somebody else, be yourself,” said McKanna.
Delilah Haintz, in Grade 4 at Davie Jones, and Nolan Robinson, Grade 5, love how much fun the songs are to perform.
The students have to learn 13 songs for the concert.
Nolan’s favourite song is The Eggplant That Ate Chicago.
“I think it’s just silly,” he said, laughing.
Dililah likes Puffy Clouds because “it’s a little bit harder and you have to learn the actions,” she said, mimicking the actions for a ballerina, bear hug and clouds blowing.
It’s not only about the singing, McKanna said.
“It’s about the collaboration. It’s about showing off what the kids can do and about just having a lot of fun.”
McKanna likes the jazzier tunes.
“Anything the kids can doo wop to or dance around to, that’s the kind of stuff I like. And there’s quite a few of those in his repertoire.”
Norman Foote’s Halloween Howl takes place at 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the ACT, 11944 Haney Place.