From Plumber to Opera Star
Boris Derow loves to sing. He has been performing his entire life and first began singing on stages when he was only three years old. Singing has always been his passion but never a full time career, until now.
Boris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and spent two years at Brandon University as a music major. Previously, he had worked sporadically as a professional conductor, a tenor soloist, and even sang in a rock band. Making money in the arts is no easy task and in order to provid some financial stability and security that was necessary for his family Boris made a practical decision to become a Red Seal plumber and gas fitter.
As a plumber Boris worked on large scale commercial jobs including the new Rogers Place arena project in Edmonton, Alberta. He managed a crew of 14 people working on the building’s heating and cooling systems. While plumbing was his career, the opera stage was never far away and he continued to perform with Edmonton Opera, Mercury Opera, and was a leader in his local choral singing community.
After the completion of many large commercial projects and 10 years of work, Boris and many others in the industry were laid off. Unsure of his future and after much soul-searching, he and his wife together made an incredibly bold decision. He packed his bags and left for Germany to sing on the opera stages of Europe. Only the future will tell what lies ahead but according to Boris: “It has been scary, it has been terrifying and it has been an absolute utter blast ever since.”
Les has been working in video, media, and theatre production for over 20 years. The challenge of creating engaging stories accompanied with beautiful visuals is the passion that drives him on a daily basis.
Steven Brese brings a passion for communicating untold stories in unique and unusual ways. Steven films, edits and pursues stories that inspire others and create opportunities for community connections.
Jana Webb is an entrepreneur who started JOGA, a.k.a. yoga for jocks. While her business has thrived and she has helped it grow brick by brick, Jana has had a tumultuous personal journey that includes two car crashes that almost took her life.
Robyn Coquelle started volunteering at Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). Little did she know that she would end up quitting her job to study to become a veterinary technician—through volunteering, she had found the one thing she truly wants to do.
Roya picked up a part-time job as a receptionist at an auto body shop to help support herself while she was in school, but it wasn’t long until she realized that she was already where she wanted to be.