KIM ERICKSON - VOCALIST/MUSICIAN/COMPOSER|
A diverse professional career
Kim Erickson is a vocalist/musician/composer who has achieved a varied and diverse
professional music career from her home base in Thunder Bay over many years.
She has been influenced by European classical music, singer-songwriter traditions, jazz, eastern European, Celtic and African traditional musics, French chanson and cabaret music, Portuguese fado and East Indian dance.
Kim has performed her original work across Canada (Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival,
Summerfolk Festival, Northern Lights Festival Boréal, Ottawa Folk Festival, Live From the Rock
Festival, Winnipeg Women’s Cultural and Music Festival, Thundering Women Festival) and
overseas in Holland (Vredenburg Muziekcentrum and ’T Hoogt Cafe and Cultural Centre/
Utrecht, De Ijsbreker and the Stedelijk Museum/Amsterdam). She has worked as a solo artist, in
duos and ensembles, and in the acoustic trio Canto (with Damon Dowbak and Sage
Reynolds). Her work has been recorded and documented in various media (sound recordings,
film, television, radio).
She is a mezzo soprano soloist for orchestra. With the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra she has
worked with conductors Geoffrey Moull, Glenn Mossop and David Bowser on a variety of
repertoire including De Falla’s ’El Amor Brujo’, the role of Nora in Vaughan Williams’ ’Riders
to the Sea’, a Mozart show, and cabaret programs of Piaf, Brel, Weill and Kim’s own songs
(arranged by Joseph Phillips). With Consortium Aurora Borealis she has sung the Pergolesi
’Stabat Mater’ (alto soloist), ’Dido and Aeneas‘ (the Sorceress) and programs of Vivaldi. Kim has also performed as a soloist in many chamber music settings, including the Kanteletar Chamber Choir, the New Music North Concert Series and the LUMINA Concert Series.
Kim is a performer, composer and music director of soundscapes for theatre and radio (Thunder
Bay: Kam Theatre, Magnus Theatre, New Creations Theatre; Ottawa: Great Canadian Theatre
Co., Penguin Theatre; Saskatoon: Persephone Theatre; Edmonton: Workshop West
Theatre; CBC Vancouver). With playwright Eleanor Albanese and choreographer Claudia Otto,
she formed the Broken Moons Artist Collective, which created the inter-arts collaboration
‘Dancing on Salt ‘n Snow’, currently awaiting full production. Recent collaborations with dance
include work with dancer/choreographer Edgar Zendejas (Montreal) and Image Dance Studio.
She received the 2008 CJ Arts and Heritage Award for Media and Performance Art.
A native of Northern Ontario, the landscape and spaciousness of this part of Canada influenced
her from childhood. Kim moved to Ottawa where she received her B.Mus. First Class Honours
from Carleton University; there she studied piano with Philip Adamson and Ross Pratt, and
composition with Deirdre Piper and Patrick Cardy. During those student years, she also began
working professionally within the Ottawa music community and toured across Canada with Ian
Tamblyn on the Joan Armatrading tour of 1978, playing Massey Hall, Place des Arts and the
Queen Elizabeth Theatre. She also formed a piano duo with Lauri Conger, a founding member
of The Parachute Club, and taught voice for Le Groupe de la Place Royale school of dance.
Kim was awarded a Netherlands Government scholarship and fellowship in order to study
composition for two years at the renowned Instituut voor Sonologie (Utrecht). While living in
the Netherlands, she also studied voice with Anna Menso (Amsterdam), and had the honour of performing for Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands at a concert for patrons of the Eduard Van Beinum Stichting (Breukelen). Interested in all things
musical, she worked with American jazz pianist Robert Rowe and Dutch rock band Hi Jinx. Kim
moved back to Canada and to Thunder Bay. A Canada Council grant later sent her over to the
Netherlands again to study voice with Anna Menso and to compose and collect works for
women’s choir. She also did masterclasses in French art song with master interpreter the late
Bernard Kruysen and with Margriet Honig (Amsterdam Conservatory).
Back home in Thunder Bay, she gained lessons, coaching, advice and support from singers Mary
McGhee, Evelyn Reid and Tellie Kähärä, and pianists Deborah Buset and Heather Morrison, as
well as numerous other individuals in her community. It was Mrs. Kähärä who introduced her to the
late Dixie Neill (Montreal), with whom she embarked on many years of study and coachings for
performances. Simultaneously she raised a family, initiated and developed several community
choirs, implemented arts projects in schools and anti-racism and social justice projects in the
region, studied and performed various forms of dance (including Bharata Natyam classical
Indian dance under the instruction of Anuradha Naimpally), performed music in hospital settings,
and began teaching for the Lakehead University Department of Music.
Photos: Lori Fox Rossi (banner and piano photo), Estella Howard (background), William Lindsay (black & white photo), Peter Fergus-Moore (Kim on stage in colour).