• Director's Annual Tunawards

" 80% of success is just showing up!"  Woody Allen

Started as an annual event just prior to Thanksgiving of 2010, these awards were initiated by Music Director Bob Shami after receiving a suggestion from Chapter member Bryan Schmidt that delivering actual fish might be a way for Bob to show his appreciation of chorus member's efforts, as opposed to a Director's normal role of finding errors and trying to fix them. His choice to distribute these awards just prior to the Canadian Thanksgiving is a deliberate one. 


Why tuna?

We often say that on those occasions when the Director gives out compliments to the chorus, it is like distributing fish to trained seals. Bob took Bryan up on his suggestion and so was born the Tunawards, (pronounced Tune-Awards): the tradition of giving an actual can of tuna to those deserving special recognition. 


124 cans of tuna have been awarded since the first TUNAWARDS in 2009/2010


Woody Allen was right!

The single most important thing a singer can do to improve his own success as a singer and the success also of the whole group, is to simply attend as many rehearsals as possible. And to attend with "purpose". That way, the improvements we make each week as a group are carried forward by the maximum number of singers. We don't have to spend as much time reteaching the ones who missed last week.


If we see ourselves as musicians, taking seriously our responsibility to the music and to one another, it begins by being a regular attendee at rehearsal to the best of our ability.  Tunawards are therefore mostly based on attendance-related achievements.






Given annually to the first-year member who, in his first season, attends the highest percentage of the 40-45 scheduled chorus rehearsals and major performance events like the annual show or an occasional "Pie Gig", with a minimum attendance of 75%.   It was too close this year to have just one winner!

  • ALEX CAMPANA - 80% attendance in his rookie year, starting Sept. 2022.  Bonus points for accepting the job of Program Ad Co-ordinator in his first year as a member!
  • FR. JEFF SHANNON - 86% attendance
  • MAJ. SEAN FUREY - 88% attendance


Given annually to any member who, in the past year, achieved 100% attendance at all scheduled chorus events:

  • JOE MICELI - who hasn't missed a single rehearsal or performance since joining in Sept. 2018!



Given annually to members who achieved the greatest improvement in their attendance compared to the previous year.  This usually means those whose attendance improved by 15% or more.

  • Not awarded this year due to the disruption caused by Covid resulting in the cancellation of all chorus activities from March 2020 until our limited restart in April 2022


Given annually to any member who, in the past year, achieved his personal-best attendance of any year since record-keeping began in 2002.

  • JESSE LETHBRIDGE - A 13-year member with a personal best (PB) attendance of 88%

  • DAVE HARASYMIW - a 24-year member with a PB attendance of 93%!
  • DOUG ILES - a 46-year members with a PB attendance of 93%

  • LAYNE HILL - a 47-year member with a PB attendance of 95%



Bob Holley at 2010 Medal of Merit2023 BIG KAHUNA TUNA - BOB HOLLEY on one knee with Mayor Amoroso during - "Only You" at Medal of Merit Ceremony, May 7, 2011.

A special award, given at the Director's

discretion, to a member who has displayed extraordinary faithfulness and dedication to the chorus over many years.  A man who faithfully attends rehearsals and performances, knows his music, and is always willing to help his risermates or to pitch in when asked to help out.


The 2023 winner of the



A 35-year member, Bob has averaged 77% attendance since 2002 and continues to be a solid contributor to the lead section.  He always knows his music and is an inspiration to the entire chorus - the kind of solid chapter member at the core of any successful chapter.  And who among us could possibly equal the down-on-one-knee task that we need whenever we sing to a "Sue" in her Chair of Honour" during Only You/Sue? That's worth at least a can of tuna from his grateful director!


Previous "Big Kahuna-Tuna's":

  • 2019 - ART FINK

  • 2018 - AL CARSCADDEN

  • 2017 - JIM DUNCAN

  • 2016 - DOUG ILES

  • 2015 - DANNY RAE

  • 2014 - LAYNE HILL

  • 2013 - JIM TOWNSEND

  • 2012 - AL BROWN

  • 2011 - DON WHITE

  • 2010 - MIKE LUTHER


Awarded to a member whose extraordinary faithfulness and dedication often occurs mainly behind the scenes and whose contributions therefore may otherwise go unnoticed by the membership of the chorus at large. 


The 2023 winner of the UNSUNG "GREATER-TUNA" TUNAWARD:

  • PAULI VALLISharron and Pauli Valli - Feb. 08 2020Sharron and Pauli Valli - at the Feb. 08, 2020 Valentine Social

A 9-year member with an attendance record of 90% over that span, this tells but a portion of his contributions to the chorus.  He can often be found toiling away in the kitchen, making the coffee we enjoy after rehearsals and is among those who stay late to clean up the kitchen so our Salvation Army hosts are left with a good impression of the Chorus.  He has accepted the onerous task of looking after the chorus uniforms, storing them at his home and making sure all the men are properly outfitted - a task that often goes unnoticed and unthanked. His dedication to his music, to the well-being of the chapter and to its members is absolute and so very much appreciated if seldom formally recognized.  He accepts the well-intentioned (and gentle) kicks to the shin from his director when the situation demands.  He exemplifies the best qualities of chorus brotherhood. Congrats to Pauli and a big thank you from all of us for your service and commitment to the Chapter!

Previous Unsung "Greater-Tuna's":



  • STEPHEN RUTTI - 2017

  • ART FINK - 2016


  • KEVIN COLLAR - 2014

  • DON MYERS - 2013

Congratulations to all of this year's TUNAWARD winners!


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