Music director honours late wife with new Calgary-based symphony, chorus

A widower is now utilizing the estate of his late wife as well as a GoFundMe campaign to help create a professional orchestra and chorus in Calgary to mark her legacy.

Karen Joy Minish died in December 2020 from cancer. John Goulart, Karen's husband who has served as the music director of Banff's Bow Valley Chorus for 20 years, decided to honour her legacy through music.

Goulart created The Firebird Symphony and Chorus, the realization of the couple's discussions over the years on plans to form a professional musical group based in Calgary.

"We knew that Karen had risen from the ashes from her original diagnosis and so she was called The Phoenix, her sister called her The Phoenix," Goulart told CTV News. "I decided to form The Firebird after her death and there could be no other name but calling it The Firebird."

The group will hold its debut concert on May 29 at the Rozsa Centre, Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall on the University of Calgary campus.