Popular all-ages entertainer Norman Foote is set to perform a family-friendly show on Jan. 4.

Popular all-ages entertainer Norman Foote is set to perform a family-friendly show on Jan. 4.

Foote set to get toes tapping

Versatile entertainer brings catchy songs, physical humour, puppets and wild props to Coast Capital Playhouse Jan. 4

Norman Foote claims that developing a sense of humour was the only logical response possible to his full name: Norman Mervyn Barrington-Foote.

“I must have been a very hard labour – my parents punished me at birth,” quipped the Juno-winning singer and songwriter, who will perform his fast-paced, family-friendly show Jan 4 at 3 p.m. at Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd., presented by Peninsula Productions.

The lengthy moniker actually reflects an old country heritage – his great grandmother was a lady-in-waiting to the British royal family, and a great grandfather, Charles Barrington-Foote, was very much involved in military music in royal circles in the early part of the 20th century.

“But my granddad came to Canada in 1906 – he didn’t want that kind of life,” said Foote, a long-time North Vancouver resident who grew up in Whonnock and Squamish.

His parents also made another important practical contribution to his entertainment career, aside from providing a genetic predisposition towards music – when he turned 11 they bought him his first guitar at Sears.

Foote has made good use of such gifts, creating a niche all his own – family entertainer – out of an early love for musicians like the Beatles, Elvis and Hank Williams.

Songs like the title number from his most recent CD, I Love My Shirt (which landed him the Juno in 2010) – not to mention a fondness for physical humour, puppets and wild props in his live shows – might seem to brand him solely a children’s entertainer.

But, in truth, his appealingly catchy songs work just as well with adults as children because of an innate musical quality that takes them far beyond the limited realm of novelty.

“I try to entertain myself first of all; find stuff that works for me,” he said. “Some stuff has across-the-board appeal, but it’s a funny demographic. It don’t think it’s fair to call my my songs children’s music, because there’s a lot of integrity to them, as well as clever hooks and clever lyrics.”

He describes himself as “blessed” because he’s always loved the aspect of performing for and ‘hooking’ an audience – whether its five year-olds or their grandparents.

His songs are  “a fusion of styles – comedic, folky, pop. Like anyone else who’s an artist, you’re always looking for something else you can use.

“Most songs on the radio are about love gone wrong, or some kind of love relationship. But I write about love for other things, like a grandfather clock, or yard sales, a bear or a dog – or love for a shirt. When you open up the envelope there’s so much you could write about.

“I do songwriting workshops and I tell people ‘you can write a song about anything.’ But you don’t have a lot of that going on nowadays.”

When he was 20 years old, he payed a lot of dues as a performer during extended trips to New Zealand and Australia. While busking ‘Down Under,’ he met and formed a working partnership with a puppeteer, and it sent him in a whole new direction as a musician.

“I found I could really respond to that. Up to that time, I’d really only worked in hotels and bars, but now I heard all these kids laughing and and enjoying themselves. I’ve never stopped wanting to hear that laughter. You can’t really fake it, you really have to have the heart for this kind of thing.”

Tickets ($10) are available from www.whiterockplayers.ca and 604-536-7535.

 

Just Posted

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (Contributed photo)
$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in Surrey Provincial Court following 2018 investigation

South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course – a 15-acre property that also includes a residence – has been sold. (Colliers Canada photo)
South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course sold to new owners

Deal for popular par 3 course expected to close by end of the year

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

Kaushal Parikh raised $2,840 for COVID-19 relief in India during his almost nine-hour run around the new North Delta Secondary School track on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
North Delta ultramarathoner raises over $2,800 for COVID relief in India

Kaushal Parikh ran the 90-km virtual Comrades Marathon around the NDSS track in under nine hours

City of Surrey photo
Surrey starts Slow Streets pilot project

Speed limits have been reduced in six Surrey neighbourhood zones for one year to monitor impact on residents

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read