Film & Folk

FULL SHOW – sylvi macCormac & Horizon – Live – Roundhouse Theatre


sylvi macCormac : Vocals, Composer
Brenda Baird : Keys, Musical Director
Thomas Beckman : Viola
Wendy Solloway : Acoustic & Electric Bass
Dave Symington : Electronic Drum
Gene Greenwood : Video Director

Roundhouse Theatre –



The Feather

Feather will feature in an upcoming book/dvd that will include footage of sylvi, who has multiple sclerosis, when she was standing and playing guitar.

sylvi macCormac recording The Feather at Vancouver Adapted Music Society’s fully-accessible recording studio.

sylvi’s music runs from folk to cinema-for-the-ears soundscapes. Her songs have a particular depth.

The VAMS recording studio, located at GF Strong Rehab Centre, has all-custom equipment that makes music accessible. More:



(Screengrab of Taran Kootenhayoo as Niki and Sylvi macCormac as Lenny)

Bella Ciao !

Why this film?
Because communities build coherence and maintain dignity through traditions of cooperation and resistance.
Where is it set?
At the intersection of the Latin, Italian and First Nations communities along Commercial Drive in east Vancouver.
Who are the characters and performers?
The main character is Constanza, played by Carmen Aguirre. She arrived in Vancouver as a child, fleeing the Chile of Pinochet in which her mother was “disappeared” for her political beliefs.
Soledad (Alexandra Lainfiesta), Constanza’s daughter, is seeking a second part-time job to have the resources to take better care of her ailing mom.
Arnaldo (Tony Nardi) owns a restaurant on the street. His most regular clients are his two old friends, Basilio (Franco Ferrucci) and Luca (Leonardo Tenisci). Basilio is Soledad’s father, although he has refused to admit it.
Niki (Taran Kootenhayoo) is in Vancouver to find his missing sister. He teams up with Lenny (Sylvi macCormac), who is on a search of her own. And he is outwitted by Raoul (Billy Marchenski), a sculptor who manages to entrap himself. And he eventually meets Hester (Marie Clements), a housing activist and long time ally of Constanza.
The Can Man (John Emmet Tracy) is an expert in living with a small carbon footprint. He has much to teach The Professor (April Telek), who is conducting interviews for yet another study on “the homeless.” She comes armed with a Graduate Student (Gavin Langelo).
Tony (Massimo Frau) owns the café in which the interviews are happening. In the evening, musicians gather. They include a singer with a midi (Tiffany Moses) and an oud player (Gord Grdina).
Beth (Alison Denham) is an addict whose possibilities are closing in. The Crow (Amanda Burke) watches all.
Who is the Director? Who is on her team?
Carolyn Combs is directing, with Caroline Perry as First AD. Andrew Forbes is Director of Photography and Roman Hylwa is Production Designer. Casting director is Lynne Carrow. Line Producer is Karen Wong. Post Production supervisor is Ken Hayward.
Who wrote the Screenplay?
Michael Springate with Carolyn Combs and Jeremy Waller.
Which Production Company is making the film?
Three local production companies invested in a new production company, Bella Ciao Digital, to make this work possible: Commercial Drive Productions (Carolyn Combs, Michael Springate, Carla Jones), Aja Entertainment (Victor Martinez Aja, Rob Murphy) and RNR Media (Karen Wong). Those six names are the producers. This film is being shot without any government assistance. It is fueled by commitment and passion.



P A T I E N C E   &    A B S U R D I T Y      2012      15:47  (running time)



Debut at Wide Angle Media Festival Gala at the Roundhouse, March 23 and March 25, 2012

Wide Angle Media Festival

P A T I E N C E  &  A B S U R D I T Y








Running Time: 15:47

Patience and Absurdity shows the synchronized interaction of
a mother and daughter as they move through life together, leading and
following, enriching each other’s experiences, sharing stories of a
life well lived and creating memories soon forgotten.


Life is fluid, ever changing and uncertain as time physically and
mentally taunts us, washing away the memories we create with those we
love. Patience and Absurdity shows the synchronized interaction of a
mother and daughter as they move through life together, leading and
following, enriching each other’s experiences and sharing stories of a
life well lived. We see that it takes a great deal of loving patience
to be kind and selfless in caring for family. Sylvi and Sylvia reveal
that anxiety and grief, joy and humorous absurdity reside in the
middle of the difficulty.


“sylvi macCormac is a fine songwriter in the Joni Mitchell vein but she has branched out considerably and now is about to add film maker to her resume. Her documentary Patience And Absurdity debuts March 22-25 at the WAM Festival.” Tom Harrison, The Province, March 10, 2012.


“Musician-turned-multi-media artist, Sylvi MacCormac, has had her film, Patience And Absurdity, selected to run at the Paralympics in London, Sept. 1 and 2 during the Liberty Arts Festival. MacCormac has branched out from songwriting. She’s been experimenting with soundscapes for years and now is directing.” Tom Harrison, The Province, July 16, 2012.

” I thoroughly enjoyed your film. You did what great film makers do, tell a heartfelt compelling storey to elicit an emotional response from the viewer!” Ed Brando,
Manager, Client Services, William F. White International Inc.

PATIENCE & ABSURDITY has screened at the following Film events:


Celebrating its 25th anniversary, WIFTV presents this inspiring retrospective selection of films by BC women directors. The selection is curated by Maureen Levitt, Creative Development – Western Canada for Super Channel, and includes films (documentaries and shorts) which portray a female main character who struggles against a status-quo and demonstrates strength and determination.
January 17, 2015  3 pm
Fury for the Sound: Women of Clayoquot (doc, 52 min, 1997) dir. Shelly Wine
Patience & Absurdity (doc, 16 min, 2012) dir. Paula Cole & Sylvi MacCormac
followed by a Q & A with the directors


Liberty 2012: Disability Film International Shorts Programme

Shorts programme celebrating the extraordinary talent and imagination of disabled filmmakers across the globe. All the films in this programme will be open captioned and audio described.

Saturday, Sept 1, 2012, at the British Film Institute, Southbank




Abilities Arts Festival

September 21st-23rd, 2012: Three Days of Screenings, Panels, & Workshops
Featuring Guest Curators Caglar Kimyoncu & Julie McNamara
Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton St., Toronto, ON M5B 2H5


A Celebration of Short Film from the Pacific Northwest

CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers is pleased to announce that our celebration of Pacific Northwest Short Film – Short Circuit is returning for an even bigger and better second year. The screenings will take place at 7:30 April 19th & 20th 2013 at the lovely Vic Theatre (808 Douglas St.). Each night features Q&As with many of the filmmakers behind each production in attendance.

Saturday April 20 2013 7:30PM



Waves of Kokoro (10:45) 1999

Video shot in Deep Cove , B.C. Canada, by Gene Greenwood  2009

Electroacoustic Soundscape for Kokoro Dance

Sylvi received Honourable Mention at the International Musique Electroacoustique Bourges, France (1999) for Waves of Kokoro, with the Voices & Breaths of Kokoro Dances Barbara Bourget & Jay Hirabayashi, Birds & West Coast Soundscape – –

Waves of Kokoro  (10:45) 1999 voices: Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabyashi, Crows, Seagulls, Waves from West Coast of Canada recordings & composing: sylvi macCormac –

printed on Music Works #74 – – performed with Kokoro Dance – – presented at SONIC BOOM 2003 annual showcase of BC composers and LEAPS Van Pro Musica 1999

Waves of Kokoro (video) included in

The Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance (KcEMA) present

Waves and Currents

December 2013
Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W. 47th St.
Kansas City, MO

Electricity and water usually make a deadly cocktail, but this set of electroacoustic works on water- and liquid-based themes mixes serenity and drama with live performers and video. Featuring KcEMA stalwart Kari Johnson at the piano and several special guests.





from Voices & Wheels CD (2000)
with photos by John Clarke Xwexwsélkn & film by Hali Tsui
for more info about John Clarke Xwexwsélkn –
on Uts’am / Witness CD (2004) –
on Voices & Wheels CD (2000) –




COLOUR COMPASSION (6:00) from Phoenix CD (1996)

with Dancer Choreographer Barbara Bourget

from Kokoro Dance –

AD & Papiér Sculpture by Nicole Dextras –

Produced by Sylvi with Ted Herman with assistance of Bravo! FACT

Director: Douglas Thompson –

Director of Photography : Adam Slawinsky

Production Design : Jamie Robbins

Writer : sylvi macCormac




Look behind the scenes at the making of The Strong Sessions

For twenty-five years, VAMS has been supporting and promoting physically disabled artists in the Metro Vancouver area. In celebration, VAMS artists teamed up with some of Vancouver’s top artists to record an album – Strong Sessions.




Accessible Media Inc. report on The The Disability Foundation / ConnecTra 2013 Abilities Expo, featuring a few familiar faces…including Sylvi MacCormac

Published on 11 Jun 2013
Vancouver is gaining a reputation as one of Canada’s most accessible cities and part of that is an on-going effort to raise awareness. Every year, the city hosts an Abilities Expo for people with disabilities and Gary Steeves of AMI Vancouver paid a visit. AMI wanted to show some of the services and ideas on display but Gary was also interested in what our interview guests found was missing from the expo.



VAMS Music Saves Project was developed to create awareness of VAMS and the wonderful work it does to help create a level playing field for the disabled. This video is an example of how we believe that music can have an incredible positive influence in peoples lives therapeutically and creatively. Programs such as this are important to recognize and support. We believe that music makes a difference and can heal, enrich and inspire positivity and creativity.
Video production in Vancouver by





A Behind the Scenes look and the people, names, and faces that contributed the making of the Shore 104 FM VAMS – Music Saves video. Video production in Vancouver by



SHAMELESS: The ART of Disability    2006       71 min 30 seconds

Directed by Bonnie Sherr Klein

Produced by Tracey Friesen

Production Agency National Film Board of Canada 

includes xcrpt of Spirit Wheels: Journey by sylvi macCormac accompanying paralympic dancer Kelly Smith with wheelchair & metal wings. Choreography & Wings by Geoff McMurchy

Wheel 3 of the WHEELS Project (begun 1997) with the voices of people with dis abilities at SFU & VAMS – van adapted music society –

Spirit Wheels : Journey – part 1 of Puppet Opera in 3 parts (3:06) WHEEL No.3 with the voices of people with (dis) abilities; words & voices: Geoff McMurchy (& metal sculpture), Anastasia Rudkievich Briggs, Jayne Dinsmore, Daniel Hunt, Philip Murphy (& penny whistle traditional … the hag with the money) words, recordings & composing: sylvi macCormac (1997)

also on Presence II CD 2000 – – performed at Sonic Boom 1999




Art, activism and disability are the starting point for what unfolds as a funny and intimate portrait of five surprising individuals. Director Bonnie Sherr Klein (Not a Love Story, and Speaking Our Peace) has been a pioneer of women’s cinema and an inspiration to a generation of filmmakers around the world.SHAMELESS: the ART of Disability marks Klein’s return to a career interrupted by a catastrophic stroke in 1987. Always the activist, she now turns the lens on the world of disability culture, and ultimately, the transformative power of art. Joining Klein are a group of artists with diverse (dis)abilities. Humourist David Roche is taking his one man show, The Church of 80% Sincerity, to New York’s off-Broadway. Poet and scholar Catherine Frazee is navigating a jam-packed schedule of teaching and speaking engagements. Dancer, choreographer and impresario Geoff McMurchy is organizing KickstART, an international festival of disability art. Sculptor and writer Persimmon Blackbridge is creating mixed media portraits from “meaningful junk”. Klein gathers these artists for a pyjama party where they take a subversive look at Hollywood stereotypes of people with disabilities: The Monster, The Saint, The Psycho, the Poor Little Crippled Girl, etc. The artists decide to turn the tables, making a pact to meet a year later at the KicksART Festival with the intent of creating their own images of disability. The film tracks this motley gang of five from the BC Gulf Islands, to Nova Scotia and south to San Francisco while they create and then present their multi-faceted self-representations. As we get to know each of these remarkable people driven by a passion for art and transformation, the everyday complexities and unexpected richness of life with a disability are exposed. Packed with humour and raw energy, SHAMELESS: the ART of Disability is a revelation of a film: honest, vulnerable and filled



Collaborating artists
Persimmon Blackbridge
Catherine Frazee
Geoff McMurchy
David Roche

Bonnie Sherr Klein

Bonnie Sherr Klein

Tracey Friesen

Lara Mazur

Kirk Tougas

Veda Hille

Assistant director
Teri Snelgrove

Location sound recording
Jeff Henschel

Sound supervisor
Gael MacLean

includes xcrpt of Spirit Wheels: Journey (xrpt) by sylvi macCormac accompanying paralympic dancer Kelly Smith with wheelchair & metal wings. Choreography & Wings by Geoff McMurchy

Wheel 3 of the WHEELS Project (begun 1997) with the voices of people with dis abilities at SFU & VAMS – van adapted music society –

Spirit Wheels : Journey – part 1 of Puppet Opera in 3 parts (3:06) WHEEL No.3 with the voices of people with (dis) abilities; words & voices: Geoff McMurchy (& metal sculpture), Anastasia Rudkievich Briggs, Jayne Dinsmore, Daniel Hunt, Philip Murphy (& penny whistle traditional … the hag with the money) words, recordings & composing: sylvi macCormac (1997)

also on Presence II CD 2000 – – performed at Sonic Boom 1999



OFF BALANCE Dragon Boat Team (30:00) DVD 2008
an inspiring, empowering, uplifting true story of living beyond MS
Directed by Sylvia Coates  featuring Members of the Off Balance Dragon Boat Team
and sylvi macCormac’s ‘On the Drive’ from Phoenix CD (1996)


sylvi’s CDs avail Able @ CDBaby & itunes & HighLifeWorld

Hear also @



Sylvi performed from the 1980’s-2000 at various venues including

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Van 2001
New Music West – Van 2001
RockrGrl Music Conference – Seattle USA 2000 (GrrrlswithGuitars)

The Chan Centre 2000 (VAMS) / Coal Harbour Community Centre opening 2000

kickstART! Celebration of Disability Arts & Culture Round House 2001

Synaesthésia: 21st Century Vaudeville, Producer, Café Deux Soleil 96/97

Coalition for People with Disabilities – Roundhouse, Van 97
Reckless Abandon, Public Dreams – Roundhouse, Van 97
Under the Volcano Festival – North Vancouver, BC 98

Folk Life Music Festival – Seattle, Washington, USA 93
Friends of Clayoquot Sound – Vargis Island, Clayoquot BC 93/89
Blue Skies Music Festival – Clarendon, Ontario 92
Sunshine Coast Music Festival – Powell River, BC 88
Women and the Earth Conference – Robson Square Cinema, 93
Vancouver’s 1st Women’s Music Festival New Brighton Park 87
Fringe Festival, La Quena Fiesta, May Works – Van 89/88/87

Chan Centre, Railway Club, Glass Slipper, South Hill Candy Shop, Arts Club Backstage Lounge, WISE Hall, ANZA Club, Café Deux Soleil, The Talking Stick, The Savoy, Soft Rock Café, Vancouver Community College, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University …