Runs from Monday January 18 2021 to Monday March 29 2021

Approximate running time: 2 hours


Toronto ON M6K 2B2


× Instructor: Jim LeFrancios and Rob Joy
January 18 - March 29 2021
Mondays 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No class February 15th

The Bruisers work at fine tuning their individual approach to connecting to material in an honest unaffected manner. We continue work on the SOUL SERIES, create our first Video for Sia’s CHEAP THRILLS in a decidedly DIY fashion. Connect and release online till we sing together again.

Workman Arts’ BRUISED YEARS CHOIR was launched in 2015 as a 6-week course, and has since grown to become a season-long initiative with more than 25 engaged Members. The Choir is led by Dora Award winning music/theatre artist Jim LeFrancois (Director, Piano) and musician Rob Joy (Guitar) and is composed of Workman Arts Members. The Choir has a vast repertoire of innovative, re-arranged popular songs, many of which explore themes of madness and hope.

All levels of proficiency welcome – more experienced musicians help anchor/teach the material to the more novice singers in their “section.” The goal is for us to create in a positive, collaborative and organic fashion. It’s a musically focused initiative with a good dash of “fellowship” – a great start to the week. We’ll see what we can achieve together, as we work towards performance opportunities intermittently throughout the year.

“Jim LeFrancois and Rob Joy have created a magical project in the Bruised Years Choir. When I saw them perform in September their songs were truly the highlights of the evening. Their commitment and rigour was compounded by their true hearts singing and the whole experience was simply beautiful. I would recommend them anytime and wish them all success." – Naomi Campbell, Artistic Director, Luminato Festival

The Bruised Years Choir has won over audiences for its heart-felt performances at events such as The Invictus Games, Patrick Conner Awards (Theatre Centre), CAMH Ground-Breaking Ceremony, two Luminato Festivals (2018, 2019), The Royal Ontario Museum, the opening meeting for Toronto City Council’s 2018-19 session, Hot Docs, The Lodge on Queen and most recently at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre late Feb 2020, before the pandemic hit.

The group is currently working together via Zoom, and look forward to singing together again in person.

Mental Health Benefits of Singing in a Choir: “Singing in a choir can boost your mental health, a new study has found… Researchers carried out an online survey of 375 people who sang in choirs, sang alone, or played team sports. All three activities yielded high levels of psychological well-being – but choristers stood out as experiencing the greatest benefit … people who sang in a choir had a stronger sense of being part of a meaningful group and there is a suggestion that there is something unique about the synchronicity of moving and breathing with other people. Previous studies have found that a group of singers actually synchronise their heart beats.” -The Telegraph (UK)

“The Bruised Choir gently opened my heart to understanding in ways I never imagined. I won’t be able to listen to ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM the same way again." – Franco Boni, Artistic Producer, Push Festival

““The Bruised Years Choir is not to be missed. The performers’ hearts, talents and experience make all the songs feel utterly new.”" – Sarah Stanley, Associate Artistic Director, English Theatre, Ottawa’s National Arts About the Instructors

Jim and Rob are great old friends and music writing partners. In high school at ESA they met when Rob launched Solstice which was carried on by Jim in year two and Emily from Metric in your three —— it’s still running more than 30 years later. They are proud to have launched and continue their work with the Choir and hope that it too will run to for another 30 years. They both like what they do and love working with WA members. Together they wrote Manitoba Music, a musical which launched at Rendezvous With Madness in 2018. They proudly launch their week with The Bruisers. No experience necessary, lots of experience welcome —- come on down folks.

More About This Event Directions