SUBMITTED PHOTO Folk Song Circle was founded in 1961 in the Alberni Valley and has seen several generations of singers join the group over the years.

VALLEY SENIORS: Diane Dvorak lives for the love of music

‘We enjoy singing lively music that brightens someone’s day’

  • Jan. 31, 2018 9:00 a.m.


Special to the News

The Folk Song Circle is and has been one of the most prominent landmarks in the musical world in our community for decades. Founded in 1961, several generations of enthusiastic musicians have joined this group of singers to give us thousands of hours of entertainment and good times. From the young to the old, at one time or another, we all have been entertained by their melodious voices.

Its current leader, Diane Dvorak, a member for more 40 years, has led the group since the early 1990s. She is considered by many to be one of the most musical persons in the Alberni Valley, not only for musical skills, but for her enthusiastic and dedicated work leading this group. She has followed the steps of several musicians who led and gave the group its unique character and identity the ensemble is known for.

“We sing for the joy of making music together by performing at many functions for a wide variety of organizations”, she says.

Dvorak, who was born and raised in Manitoba, comes from a family with history in singing for enjoyment. As a family group, they used to gather at social get-togethers to harmonize, play guitar, violin and piano on a regular basis.

Diane grew up singing in choirs and playing classical music. She also travelled with an award-winning pipe band as a Highland dancer.

In addition to her continuous interest for music, she decided to become an educator for young people and enrolled in university. She received degrees from Brandon University in Manitoba and University of Victoria in B.C.

The beauty of Vancouver Island was among the factors that attracted her to move to the west coast with her Czech husband Josef and to raise their family here as well as to teach.

Diane and The Folk Song Circle have practically performed at most major events in our community since its foundation: from social gatherings; seasonal celebrations; sports meets, to special big community programs, such as the welcoming of visiting cruise ship passengers to the Valley as well as entertaining the participating athletes of the Summer Games. Their singing voices are regularly heard at Christmas concerts in different city venues, Echo Centre, the craft fair at the Athletic Hall and at the train station, the Canada Day celebrations at Glenwood Centre, Harbour Quay, the Fall Fair; the ADSS Auditorium, etc, etc.

“I am very impressed with Diane’s memory”, says Coreen Hooper, a 10-year member of the group. “She remembers hundreds of songs we sing for various seasonal events.”

Their music is particularly enjoyed by the seniors who live a communal life in seniors homes in the Valley. They are entertained at almost every calendar celebration: from Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Robbie Burns Day, to Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. “The Folk Song Circle members enjoy singing lively music that brightens someone’s day,” says Dvorak.

Since her retirement, Diane has also been an active member of the Sunshine Club at Echo Centre, and, for many years, she has also been teaching ukulele to “an enthusiatic group of retirees”, as she puts it. In addition to her busy singing career, she enjoys gardening, Latin line dancing and dragon boating.

Currently, there are more than 20 members of The Folk Song Circle, who hold their weekly singing practices at Fir Park Village. “If you love to sing or enjoy playing an instrument, join us and join in the fun!”

For more information on the Folk Song Circle, please call Diane Dvorak at 250-724-3895.


Diane Dvorak grew up with music in her family. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Just Posted

Port Alberni man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road on first day of May long weekend

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

UPDATED: Almost 1,200 people allowed to return home in Kootenay-Boundary as floods dry up

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Most Read