photoJoanne Hounsell, Creative Director

Joanne Hounsell has enjoyed a successful career in music and theatre for the past 30 years. During that time, she has served in leadership positions on all sides of the stage, as an educator, producer and principle artist. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Music (Mount Allison University); Master of Music (University of British Columbia) in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Hounsell has performed in opera, concert and music theatre in roles with major symphony and opera companies across Canada. She continued her theatre training at the Banff School of Fine Arts and as a professional young artist in the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio & Vancouver Opera Touring Company. Her vocal and dramatic talents have secured her prominent engagements with major opera companies and symphonies including the Canadian Opera Company; L’Opéra de Montréal; Pacific Opera; Calgary, Edmonton and Manitoba Opera; National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Stratford Festival. Ms. Hounsell has been featured in a Debut Solo Recital with CBC Radio at the National Arts Centre & Radio Canada at the National Gallery. She received the prestigious Sylva Gelber award from Canada Council as outstanding musician 1996 and the Maureen Forrester Award for artistic excellence from the Stratford Festival where she performed Josephine in Brian Macdonald’s critically acclaimed production of HMS PInafore.

She has studied with Norma Newton and Warren Jones in New York and her mentor Dixie Ross Neill in Toronto ON. Ms. Hounsell was the Head of Voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and has taught voice at the University of Lethbridge, University of Victoria and Carousel Theatre School ( Vancouver). She is a Senior Examiner with Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto ON and Canadian Federation of Music Festivals. She has been a member of Canadian Actors Equity for over 25 years and a member of ACTRA, NATS and BCRMTA. Her students have been recognized for outstanding achievement at the provincial, national and international level as emerging artists and professional artists. The key influences in her life are the love of music, a belief in the importance of the arts, the training of young artists and a passion for nurturing the arts at all levels.

Ms. Hounsell is enjoying her work with Saltwater producing and directing contemporary music theatre and operatic works including Weill’s Mahagonny-Songspiel for the Victoria Fringe Festival and Dean Burry’s folk opera Mummer’s Masque featured on CBC Radio 2. Recent theatrical productions include producing BELOW 49 cabaret at the Metro, Dear Edwina and Alice TYA, SEUSSICAL the Musical and SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM Monday Magazine runner up for best musical. Recently, Joanne directed the teen cast of 13 a new musical by Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown. She is the founder and faculty member of the SALTWATER CREATIVE ARTS STUDIO providing training programs for young performers.