Growing up in Parksville, Joanna was given many creative opportunities with lessons in dance, guitar and piano. She participated in the drama club, painting in the park and playing baritone in the Parksville Band. Folk singing was her passion and she performed often around the Island.

Joanna and her husband moved to Squamish in 1973. After completing her ARCT diploma, she taught piano lessons and was a church musician for 30 years. She accompanied the Sea to Sky Choir, was a founding member of Squamish Folk Song Circle and active performer in, and producer of many musical events throughout the years.

Recording Engineer, Brian Marchant, produced Joanna’s song, “Mountain, Sea and Sky.” Composer Larry Nickel later arranged several of her pieces for choir and three are published with Cypress Choral Music. Joanna was the founding President of Howe Sound Performing Arts (1993) and is still active on the Board. "It's such a positive group of volunteers," she says. In “retirement” she enjoys photography and songwriting.


Veronica McPhee grew up in a musical family. She was a member of many choirs and began taking singing lessons while in elementary school. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria in 1994.   

Veronica has appeared as a soprano soloist with several orchestras and choirs on Vancouver Island and in the Sea to Sky Corridor. She is also a member of Three-O, an a cappella trio with two of her sisters.

She has been actively involved with Squamish's musical community since moving here in 2000. She has appeared on local stages in musicals and recitals. She has been the Musical Director of Sea to Sky Singers, Squamish's unauditioned community choir, since 2003. Veronica currently teaches music at Squamish Elementary and Valleycliffe Elementary Schools. This is Veronica's second time on the HSPAA Board and is currently the Executive Director of the Howe Sound Music Festival.


Carol Grolman moved to Squamish in 1975 and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!  Her involvement in the community has included teaching piano, church musician - as pianist, music director for both junior and senior choirs and as accompanist.

She co-founded Howe Sound Performing Arts Association with Joanna Schwarz in 1993 and has been active on the board ever since.  Before that, she and Joanna produced many musical events in Squamish. She was a founding member of the Squamish Folk Song Circle and involved for 11 years. For 28 years, her program, “Carol’s Carols”, kicked off the Christmas season.

Carol has written numerous songs, one of which won a contest with the United Church of Canada, and, along with Brian Marchant, produced her Christmas CD, “Do We Really Believe?” Carol enjoys performing and is passionate about the arts, especially in our community where there are so many talented musicians and visual artists.


Gregory has been an integral part of the music movement in Downtown Squamish. He helped create the Canada Day celebrations, Squamish Equinox Music Fest as well as hosted many music events in his former business Gelato Carina.

Jocelyn Pettit, Scott Verbeek, Dana-Marie Battaglia, Carolyn Grass, Rita Kyle, and countless others of incredible talent appeared at the Gelato. Gregory even hosted the Shifters, the Black Tusk Caledonia Pipes and Drums, as well as a Squamish Diva's evening on the roof!  In 2008, CBC Radio hosted their "Early Edition" radio show with Rick Cluff aptly named "The Road to the Olympics" at the Gelato.

Gregory has never played an instrument in his life, however really appreciates all genres of music, especially if played live! The Fischers have called Squamish home since 1996. Gregory joined the HSPAA Board in 2017 and serves as Treasurer.


Samantha grew up on Vancouver's North Shore and moved to Squamish in 2013. She has been singing and performing in a variety of capacities since the age of 6, mostly in choirs and small ensembles. During her school years, she won a number of awards for singing and as a young adult, she always enjoyed collaborating with others and creating rich harmonies.

She and two friends formed the folk trio Good Heavens To Betsy in 2010 and could be found singing around Vancouver (including breaking out in spontaneous song in public places such as bus stops and grocery stores). They even made a few appearances on Center Stage at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. Samantha currently sings in the Squamish-based blues and R&B band, Bluesberry Jam Showband.

Samantha is passionate about both performing arts and being active in her community. She joined the HSPAA board of directors in the fall of 2017. When not performing, Samantha is a freelance information professional, providing online library services and web services to organizations in the community and beyond.


Brian’s background in the performing arts has spanned several decades. He has served as President (1999 to 2004), and more recently as Treasurer (2012 to 2017) for Howe Sound Performing Arts Association. Brian chaired the  ‘Wild at Art - 2010 Olympic Celebrations’ for 3 years prior to 2010.  Over the past 3 decades he has worked on numerous fund raising events, festivals and concerts including local programs like the Canada Day celebrations and the Wind Festival.

He particularly enjoys youth mentorship and, along with Cam Salay, leads a summer rock camp for kids and is also involved in the ‘Amped in the Park - Emerging Artists summer concert series led by the Squamish Arts Council. In 2005 he was named ‘Squamish Chamber of Commerce - Citizen of the Year’ for his volunteer work with the local arts community. “These experiences have been rewarding but more importantly, it has been the teams of amazing volunteers and talented people that I have worked with that made my experiences truly memorable.”

Brian began his music career as a recording and live sound engineer and as a bass player working with up start musicians to Juno Award winning artists. He can still be seen at many local events either performing with the Bluesberry Jam Showband, the SeaT Sky Big Band or providing sound for a variety of concerts or festivals.


Julie Murakami has her ARCT diploma, B.Mus. in piano performance and a B.Ed degree in elementary education.

Julie grew up in Burnaby where she participated in music festivals, accompanied the Vivaldi choir, was organist at Christ the King church, and taught music at Lord Kitchener and Queen Elizabeth Elementary in Vancouver.

She moved to Squamish in 1998, teaching piano, musically directing the Moving Chords Junior choir, working as a music teacher at Brackendale elementary and has been active as an accompanist and musician for the Sea to Sky Singers, Squamish United Church, Sea to Sky Orchestra, and HSPAA concerts. Julie has been secretary of HSPAA for two years. Her goal is to promote and support the appreciation of the arts, especially in our young people!