Michele Wilmot | Featured Artist

“I think life proceeds at its own pace.  Sometimes we get stuck and have to be patient for either answers to come or new opportunities to present themselves to move forward.

Today we talk to Michele Wilmot – our General Manager, Founding Director of our successful Neighbourhood Series, and talented musician.

Michele Wilmot was born in St. Bruno, Quebec.  Michele is most dedicated to piano performance, performing across North America in British Columbia, Ontario and most recently in New York City for the Beethoven Sonata marathon in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Michele has studied with Gertrude Lavoie, Carol Ditner-Wilson, Boyd McDonald and currently with Koichi Inoue.  Alongside her solo and collaborative concert work she enjoys curating concerts, giving to the community, supporting many organizations, and accompanying upcoming solo artists.  For her work as a concert curator and pianist, she was nominated for a Denny Award at the KW Arts Awards.

What brought you to loving the arts?

“I was very fortunate to have found my instrument early on and to have two parents who came from very musical backgrounds. At a very young age my Mom identified that I was not communicating and if there was a need my brother would ask for me.  At the age of three my Mom decided to have me tested for hearing and other reasons as to why I was content and really didn’t care to speak. Nothing came to light immediately but the doctor we were working with suggested maybe introduce me to an instrument.  My Mom, being a piano player, decided to start training me early.  Being a late piano learner herself, she decided to start me with technique.  Tuneful tasks by John Thompson and Adventures at the Keyboard by Ada Richter were among her favorite books of the time.  My first lesson book, John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course, had lots of funny elves and gnomes. It served as one of my first colouring books, as did John Brimhall’s Christmas Carols and Coloring Book. I progressed quickly with my colouring and by Christmas my palette exploded from one colour to many!  I was doing pretty good with the piano too. What brought me to loving the arts……my Mom, she was my first love and she brought me to loving many arts, piano(music), reading and now visual arts.”

Why do you think the arts are important?

“I think life proceeds at its own pace.  Sometimes we get stuck and have to be patient for either answers to come or new opportunities to present themselves to move forward.  Arts pass the time, it is a great way to spend time. An art space is a quiet place. A place to learn more about yourself, be creative, take chances and grow. Piano for me has always provided a sense of structure and routine. As an adult, finishing my piano practice marks the start of my day, much like yoga, running and meditation would for others.”


Is there a specific performance over the years that’s really stuck with you?

I enjoy all music and many performances have stuck with me. The idea of live music or live sports is invigorating to watch. I remember watching Canadian national skater Jennifer Robinson when I was young and being first row, so close to the ice, I could touch it. She figure skated solo.  I remember being so taken and filled with joy watching how gracefully she moved. Her routine was so well planned and prepared to the music. All I could think about was going home to work on my piano. I wanted to make my music into beautiful long lines, and quick staccatos and the hard parts execute them lightly and with ease. I think live performance is so important for me, I always appreciate and enjoy the work and efforts that are for the audience. I find a great live performance always pushes me to work harder at my piano.”

What does Unwrap Theatre mean to you?

“Unwrap Theatre is a team for me.  Being a soloist and passionate about the piano I often don’t have the time and opportunities to collaborate with other artists.  Unwrap has provided a place with all kinds of disciplines to learn, explore and be excited. The artists are exceptionally creative and talented which has pushed me to use my instrument and talents in many different ways. I have grown tremendously in curating and producing the Neighbourhood series.”

How do you recommend others support local artists?

“There are many ways to support the local arts. Donating financially and regularly to an artist or program you enjoy, even a small amount monthly makes a difference. Making an in kind donation by following and encouraging on their media or volunteering at events is another way to support the arts. Whatever it is you enjoy, make a point to put it on your calendar and buy tickets. If you are unable to attend, pass along your tickets to a friend.  Be a sponsor or partner for an event, reach out and ask what is needed. Artists need financial support and we need to know our audience enjoys our creative efforts and we are making a connection. We need feedback. This is our formula for growth.”

Thank you MICHELE for chatting with us!

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to donate, click the link below!