From back burner to mainstage

Eva Turkoni was selected to perform a 20-minute session during the David Foster Foundation Miracle Weekend brunch on May 27.

Musician  Eva Turkoni plays her guitar outside the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Turkoni will be performing at the Empress during the celebrations for the David Foster Foundation's 25th anniversary.

Musician Eva Turkoni plays her guitar outside the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Turkoni will be performing at the Empress during the celebrations for the David Foster Foundation's 25th anniversary.

The audition instructions were daunting.

Perform songs that showcase the voice using no pre-recorded music. Instead, shortlisted musicians were invited to play an electric keyboard to accompany themselves for a panel of six judges, for a chance to perform at the David Foster Foundation Miracle Weekend.

“I’ve never had a (piano) lesson in my life,” says Eva Turkoni, one of 30 local musicians invited to audition from a list of 90 candidates. “I don’t know what I was most nervous about, the singing or the playing.”

While the the singer-songwriter has adeptly worked out the chords to some of  her songs she’s recorded and uploaded to YouTube, she readily admits she’s no performance pianist.

Even so, her playing must have passed the test. Or her big voice compensated. Turkoni was selected to perform a 20-minute session during the fundraiser’s brunch event May 27. In total, 13 local musicians will perform at the event.

“We loved her sound,” says Erin Van Zant, talent and culture manager for the Oak Bay Beach hotel, which is co-hosting the event.

“People assume I’m a pop singer with a squeaky voice, but I’m not,” says Turkoni, a petit blond, decked out in bright pink nail polish. When hearing her deep, almost husky voice, “people look at me and say, ‘that should not come out of you,’” Turkoni says.

The chance to perform at the Miracle Weekend is a coup for someone who has not been pursuing music seriously for several years.

Back in England, where she grew up, Turkoni won a scholarship for a music degree specializing in vocals, and was gigging regularly with three bands and had her own music manager.

She gave it all up, however, when she met her future husband while travelling. They moved to Victoria in 2008.

Since then, she admits, it’s been hard to find gigs, and hard to connect up with other musicians.

She’s also been otherwise occupied. The 28-year-old is a wedding planner, runs a landscaping company with her husband, and also sells her paintings.

Music has been on the back burner, but she’s adamant it’s what she wants to do.

“I would give all my companies up for that,” she says. “I know I have a talent. It’s my dream career.”

For her big show date, she’s working with a pianist and backup singer.

“I hope the show goes amazingly and I don’t forget any words,” she says.

Turkoni’s also aware of David Foster’s presence and the possibility that he’ll be scouting the next big talent.

Van Zant, however, can’t confirm this.

“He is here for the weekend but we haven’t made any promises to any of our musicians.

“But if the moons and stars line up …” Van Zant says, pausing before qualifying again that it’s too risky to make promises.

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read