Raffi brings his entertaining brand of music, performing such family favourites as “Bananaphone,” “Baby Beluga” and others to the Royal Theatre for a pair of shows on Nov. 19. Photo contributed

Raffi teaches environmental awareness through his music

Victoria concerts Nov. 19 will attract plenty of ‘Beluga grads,’ Saltspring Islander says

When Raffi Cavoukian takes to the stage for his two shows at the Royal Theatre on Nov. 19, he anticipates friendly crowds will be facing him.

Raffi expects the audience to be mostly “Beluga grads,” as he calls people who either grew up listening to his music as children or perhaps shared the songs with their own kids as young parents.

“It seems these adults who grew up with the music, they seem to be holding the music in their hearts,” the 69-year-old musician, author and child advocate said from Saltspring Island, his home of the past nine years.

“They’re experiencing the music, hearing it with their inner child, they’re seeing their own children enjoy it. At the concerts there’s this lovefest happening; I’m quite grateful for that.”

Life is good for the veteran entertainer.

He’s got a new compilation album coming out called, not surprisingly, The Best of Raffi; a new Baby Beluga board game – named for his popular children’s album and board book – due out in time for Christmas, and was featured in the Haig-Brown lecture series on Nov. 3 in Campbell River, speaking on Child Honouring and Sustainability: Respecting Earth and Child.

Not only that, he’s enjoying playing some guitars he recently bought from talented Saltspring Island luthier Terry Warbey, in anticipation of recording a new album this month.

These new and upcoming projects show that Raffi is not content to rest on past successes. “Music and music making is very current with me,” he said.

Looking back on his career, he hasn’t been all about children’s music, even if it has been his main focus. Raffi has written songs about Nelson Mandela (“Turn This World Around”) which he sung to the South African leader in 2001, and about the Dalai Lama. He also penned a tune called “Count With Me,” a sendup of Canada’s GDP.

“It’s a fun little ditty about a serious topic,” he said. “As a troubadour, I consider myself a global troubadour … I branch out into writing for adults now and then as the spirit moves me.”

In that vein he remains a social and ecological activist, with the aim of creating a better future for today’s children. He and others have fine-tuned the holistic concept of “child honouring” that Raffi envisioned in 1997 – the child-first philosophy aims to heal communities and restore ecosystems. His Centre for Child Honouring, founded in 2010 on Saltspring, works with various educational groups to teach its nine principles, and an online course on the subject is being developed.

“There are things to be taken seriously, we can do that without taking ourselves too seriously,” he said. “I think what we can do is steward our children in a respectful way to inspire them to be stewards of our planet.”

He has written and performed many songs celebrating the environment and promoting a sense of well-being, in fun and sometimes silly ways that a child can understand. Fans can expect to hear some of those favourites on Nov. 19, from “Baby Beluga,” “Apples and Bananas” and “Bananaphone” to “Love Bug (Where the Hugs Come From),” “Rise and Shine,” and the ballad “Thanks a Lot.”

Tickets are still available for both concerts (1 and 4 p.m.). To purchase, visit rmts.bc.ca, call the Royal and McPherson box office at 250-386-6121 or drop by either theatre for details.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

More than 115 people attend UVic blood drive

Canadian Blood Services says UVic is a target location to create lifetime donors

Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend an alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after fatal crash in Langford

Husband of slain RCMP officer ‘disgusted and disheartened’ by parole board

Killer of Const. Sarah Beckett allowed limited day parole for alcohol treatment

Toronto Arrows players take aim at youth rugby clinic

Juan de Fuca team offers get acquainted clinics

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

No cash, no election sign policy pondered by B.C. city

A deposit could be required to put up election signs in 2022.

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

9 brains, 3 hearts: Some wild facts about octopuses

Things to know about the giant Pacific octopus, which is naturally found in the waters of the U.S. West coast, the Aleutian Islands and Japan

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Collapsed floor traps worker at decommissioned North Island pulp mill

Man frees self, escapes injury, investigation underway at Elk Falls facility in Campbell River

Auto shop apologizes after Vancouver Island employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Most Read