Layla Claire Concert

What joy we experienced on Sunday October 16 when those of us attended the intimate recital by one of the world’s premiere sopranos, Layla Claire who was accompanied on piano by Michael Shannon.

The 1812 Quaker Meeting House, still an active place of worship for the Yonge Street Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), is also a significant historic asset for the Town of Newmarket, and for Canada.

This old Meeting House has required expensive updates to become accessible. The building now has an elevator, accessible washroom and other amenities. Costs of these improvements have been substantial for the Meeting House members, who are gathering support from many sources

One such source has been the generous donation of Layla Claire’s time and talent to provide a fund-raising recital of songs from her most recent recording. Coming from a long ancestral line of Quakers, Layla sang to help raise money as a great-granddaughter of the community. With accompaniment by pianist Michael Shannon, who joined us from the Canadian Opera Company, the event was one of the most intimate classical performances possible.

The Artists
About Layla Claire
Praised for her colourful, flexible voice and graceful stage presence, Layla Claire has an exciting season of Mozart in 2016-17 including her Salzburger Festspiele debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni; she reprises the role for Opéra de Montréal and in a return engagement with the Opernhaus Zürich. The Canadian soprano made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Don Carlo led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and has since returned to the Met for several appearances.

Highlights of past opera seasons include a debut at the Festival d’Aix-en- Provence as Sandrina in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera broadcast throughout Europe on ARTE, bringing the soprano immediate European attention. An expressive and experienced concert singer, Layla Claire enjoys an ongoing association with the Boston Symphony Orchestra having performed Mahler’s Second Symphony under both James Levine and Michael Tilson Thomas. Her extensive recital presence on international stages has included programs of art song at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, CBC Glenn Gould Studio, and a multi-city tour of Canada as the winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatte National Music Competition.

About Michael Shannon
Michael Shannon, a native of London, Ontario and music staff member with the Canadian Opera Company, will accompany Ms. Claire on the piano. Most recently, Michael has been engaged by Tapestry Opera, The Banff Centre, University of British Columbia, UWOpera at Western University, The Schulich School of Music and Opera McGill, The Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, The Brevard Music Center, Calgary Opera, Atelier lyrique de I’Opéra de Montréal, and Syracuse Opera. This upcoming 2016/17 season, he joins the COC music staff for The Magic Flute, Tosca, as well as a recital with critically acclaimed American tenor, Issachah Savage.

Accessibility Project Almost Completed!

IMG_1426Thanks to the generous donations of many F/friends, federal grants, the Samuel Rogers Memorial Trust and Canadian Yearly Meeting we have been able to raise all the funds needed to complete the accessibility project. It is looking good and has been already well used!

This 1812 Quaker meeting house is a historic place of worship on Yonge Street in Newmarket, Ontario. While the rapidly growing community develops around us, our meeting house appears as it did in 1812, and remains an oasis of tranquility and reflection. The meeting house is a place of worship and the active centre of community life. The building hosts a range of Quaker activities as well as programs for the broader community.

Thank you for all your help in making this much needed improvement a reality.


Yonge Street Monthly Meeting
NEWS SHEET: November 2016

MEETING FOR WORSHIP: Sundays at 10:30 AM
All are welcome…. Bring your friends

First Day School is available on request during Meeting
for Worship every Sunday. Contact Sherita.

Tuesday Daytime Worship Sharing: The group is currently reading “Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav. They meet at 1:00 – contact Marie for more information.

Mid-Week Meeting for Worship: held Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM. All are welcome.

Thanks for the Lift:
YSMM Accessibility Project Completion

Sunday, November 13 1:30 PM

Come celebrate the achievement of YSMM’s goal to make the meetinghouse accessible – ride on the accessibility lift!
- visit the accessible washroom!
- park in the slightly bigger parking lot!

Most importantly, join together as we
express our appreciation to donors, volunteers and supporters!

Highlights from October 23 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
• Recital Results: Oct. 23 was a wonderful day, enjoyed by 134 attendees. We expressed deep appreciation of Layla Claire’s singing and Michael Shannon’s accompaniment, plus the work of so many people who made the day a great success.
• Accessibility Project:
The lift is operational, and was well-used on the day of the Recital. Fundraising has almost covered the costs of the project, but donations toward the Meeting’s regular operating budget are always needed.
• YSMM Retreat: Moving Forward: postponed to the new year, due to the many activities this fall.
• Corporate Discernment: we re-affirmed our commitment to Quaker processes for discernment and corporate decision-making. Ministry and Counsel is asked to continue to share resources for building our spiritual community.
• YSMM Signage: The Pride symbol has been removed, but no further consideration of a permanent sign will be done until the construction on Yonge Street is completed.
• PESAC: reported on Helping hands, action to respond to the TRC report, and a future presentation by CFSC on Synthetic Biology
• Nominations: several new appointments were approved. Please note: Robin Matheson has been named as the new Newssheet editor, after this issue. Please send Robin future announcements for the newssheet

Nov. 6: Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting, Hamilton. The theme is “Seeking Common Ground,” regarding our responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Report. No pre-registration is required.

November 27: Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business: Please forward Nov.agenda items to Marilyn

Olive Oil and Peace

Have you enjoyed Zatoun Olive Oil. We sell it at our Meeting House. Here is a video of an interview conducted with Robert Massoud on his peace building project. It is a you tube video. If the link does not work, copy and paste it into your browser.


First Day School is available for children during meeting for worship on Sundays.

yonge st meeting

With gratitude to the Samuel Rogers Memorial Trust for their generous contribution, the meeting house is wearing a new cedar shake roof. With winter bearing down on us we are optimistic that the furry critters have found alternative lodgings and our attic will be quiet again.

The electrical wiring in the attic has been replace with “chew-proof” cable and the meeting house is taking on a spirit of preparedness!

Last spring a severed electrical cable which was caused by the digging of the natural gas line resulted in a power failure.  The sump pump is a real necessity in the spring of the year and the loss of power allowed for major flooding in the lower level of the meeting house.  We are grateful to report that all the repairs have been completed and everything feels secure again.