Christine was born in Montreal and grew up in Brampton, Ontario. One constant in Christine’s life has been her interest in the arts. As a child she loved to draw and paint, and write stories. At ten she learned to play the recorder. She sang in the Peel District School Board Special Choir, assembled in 1967 to celebrate the Centennial. Then as a teenager Christine took classical guitar lessons and sang folk songs with her friends.
Christine’s interest in the arts influenced her career direction. She completed degrees in art history at the University of Toronto, and the University of London. She worked for many years as a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario. After completing her PhD, she has continued to curate, teach and write about art independently.
She lives in Toronto with Tommy, the grey tabby.
Echo: What was the focus of your art history studies?
CB: My doctoral thesis was on the art of the former Dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) in the context of the British Empire.
Echo: Which show has been the most interesting one for you to curate?
CB: They were all interesting for different reasons. At this point, I am most interested in contemporary art. I curated a show entitled Water Works at the Art Gallery of Hamilton a few years ago where I worked with the permanent collection and contemporary artists. It is an excellent collection and the staff were a pleasure to work with.
Echo: Your life has been steeped in music, music has been a lifelong interest of yours –who had the most influence on your love and involvement in music?
CB: My parents always encouraged me to pursue my interests and gave me recorder and guitar lessons. My aunt and uncle, who were active supporters of the arts would take me to classical concerts and introduced me to opera.
Echo: What made you choose ECHO as a choir?
CB: I had friends in the choir and attended a couple of ECHO concerts. The repertoire appealed to me and I appreciated that I didn’t have to audition to be accepted into the choir. I’ve been a member for six years.
Echo: What are your favorite songs to sing from ECHO’s repertoire?
CB: I like singing in other languages such as Spanish or Serbian. Some of my favorite music was composed by guest artists like Amanda Martinez and Annabelle Chvostek. About five years ago, I acquired an acoustic guitar so that I can accompany myself singing ECHO songs!
Echo: As a member of the board what responsibilities do you enjoy the most?
CB: I’ve been a board member for a year and a half. Recently, I’ve been conducting interviews with board members for the Echo website (except this one!). This is great way to get to know each individual in greater depth. Everyone has a story.
Echo: What do you hope for ECHO in the future?
CB: I hope that former Echo choristers will return once we have put Covid behind us. Also, I think it is important for us to attract new members of different ages and cultural backgrounds.
Echo: Anything else you would to tell us about yourself?
CB: I want to engage with some of the activities that have sustained me, or given me pleasure in the past. Singing is one of these. Making art is another. Yoga. Engaging with and contributing to a variety of communities. Writing my book. Being open to new friendships and nurturing long-term ones.