Vancouver Opera Offstage – 029 – The Power of Heroes with Canadian Sports Icon and Opera Fan Valerie Jerome

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PODCAST | Vancouver Opera Offstage
The Power of Heroes with Canadian Sports Icon and Opera Fan Valerie Jerome

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July 7, 2021

In this very important episode, Les turns the stage around to talk with an illustrious audience member. Our guest is Canadian track and field icon, granddaughter of Canada’s first Black Olympian, sister of Canadian track legend Harry Jerome, educator and teacher, social justice and environmental advocate, patron of the Arts, and long-time opera fan Valerie Jerome. Valerie talks about her experiences with racism growing up on the North Shore in the 50s and 60s, the similarities between athletes and musicians, and the power of having inspirational heros of colour in opera and in the arts. Valerie and Les also discuss the important work still to be done as people of Canada in changing preconceptions and challenging prejudices about people of colour. This episode was recorded June 15, 2021.

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Vancouver Opera Offstage Host & Co-Producer:
Leslie Dala
Vancouver Opera Co-Producer & Editor:
Vincent Wong
Vancouver Opera Offstage logo design:
Annie Mack

Episode Recorded:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Valerie Jerome’s photo by John Lehman
Episode interviews are recorded entirely remotely using Zoom and hosted on
(Originally on Buzzsprout).

Cover photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash
Podcast opening and closing music: 
“Habanera” from Carmen. Sung by Jenny Lee Mitchell.
Habanera Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons:
By Attribution 3.0 License