Our Mission

The Okanagan Festival Singers’ Mission is to provide opportunities in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley for the performance, appreciation and enjoyment of choral music. We will promote, organize and encourage choral music through performance of choral works and in the presentation of choral concerts, bringing the experience of great choral music to the Okanagan.

Under the direction and guidance of Leroy Wiens, the OFS has developed into one of the foremost choral ensembles in the BC Interior. They have created their own unique place in the hearts of Okanagan audiences with their baroque performances of Handel’s Messiah.


Leroy Wiens, is the founding conductor of the Okanagan Festival Singers. Under his direction for over 30 years, this auditioned Okanagan based choir has developed into one of the premier choirs in the B.C. interior.

Leroy earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon. He has studied with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival, and noted Canadian conductors William Baerg, James Fankhauser and Wayne Riddel. He also earned undergraduate degrees from the University of British Columbia (Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Winnipeg.

Leroy has guest conducted for the Okanagan International Festival of the Arts, Viva Musica, Kelowna Mozart Festival and the B.C. Choral Society. As founding conductor of the Kelowna Community Chorus, he directed this one-hundred voice non-auditioned choir for 20 years. He also has led numerous church choirs and has held the position of Assistant Conductor with the Vancouver Cantata Singers.

In 2010 he was the recipient of the Arts Educator award from the Central Okanagan Arts Foundation for excellence in arts education. He recently retired as a music specialist from the Central Okanagan School District.

Our History

The OFS was founded by Leroy Wiens in the spring of 1986 for a performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto. This was such a wonderful experience that the choir decided to continue and has been making inspired music ever since. Our dedicated, auditioned members attend weekly rehearsals from as far south as Penticton and north to Vernon, and all points in between.

The OFS repertoire includes large classical works, such as Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and Haydn’s Creation, to name but a few. The choir also performs many a cappella pieces, music by Canadian composers, and musical works from the 14th to the 21st Centuries. Special concerts for children include a Children’s Messiah complete with puppets and opportunities to sing along, and Handel’s The King Shall Rejoice complete with coronation!

For the past several years, the OFS has participated in regional choral festivals and community events. OFS has shared the stage with other choirs, such as the Amabilis Singers from Vancouver, the Yume Women’s Choir from Japan, and Serious Options of Kamloops. In June 2017 they hosted the internationally celebrated Elektra women’s choir from Vancouver.

Board of Directors

  • President: Thomas Heilke
  • Vice President: Gwynn Ketel
  • Secretary: Angela Meyer
  • Treasurer: Susan Marshall


  • Ramine Adl

Artistic Director:

  • Leroy Wiens