In Memoriam: Karen Olson

It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to our ‘Amabile Sister’. Karen brought her beautiful smiles, vibrant voice, and fun-loving spirit to the Amabile Youth Singers, when as an 11 year-old she decided it was time to join her sister Julia in the choir.

During her time in the Amabile Youth Singers, Karen was an integral part of many firsts for the AYS. For instance, she was the youngest chorister to go on Amabile’s first ever tour to Arnhem, Netherlands. Her beautiful voice is part of the AYS first recording. Karen enthusiastically participated in choir retreats and skits at Camp Minisetung in Goderich. She shared with Amabile sisters the ultimate “peak experience” of being declared the winners of the youth category in the International Vienna Choral Festival, and being presented with a single red rose from the conductors, John and Brenda. Who can forget performing in Carnegie Hall in New York and staying at the Plaza! All wonderful memories.

In honour of Karen, Amabile will be planting a tree in the Commemorative Restoration Garden on the Parkwood Hospital grounds. Proceeds from donations in memory of Karen to the Amabile Youth Singers will be utilized to commission a choral piece exemplifying Karen’s “joie de vivre”, love of singing, and passion for nature. As well, the Amabile Youth Singers will be setting up a scholarship in Karen’s name.

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face, 
And the rain falls soft upon your fields, 
Until we meet again, 
May God hold you in the palm of His hands.

If you would like to donate to Amabile in Karen’s memory, click here.