About SWS

Mission Statement

We are a circle of compassionate friends,
renewing our spirits through singing beautiful and meaningful songs
about the earth, justice, and peace.
We are transformed through song and ritual, good company, good food, good fun
—then we share ourselves and our songs in our communities.
We connect with the larger web inspired by
Carolyn McDade, Norma Luccock, and others of song and action.

Our Musical Director

Susan Summers, SWS' Director
Susan Summers, PhD, MTA
(photo David Gattey)

Susan is a certified music therapist who has worked with elders in long-term care and hospice care for over 30 years.  She is on faculty at Capilano University in the music therapy program and maintains a small private practice in vocal psychotherapy and the use of voice for healing.

Susan has great depth for the music we sing.  She joined the Sacred Web Singers in 2007, sang on the 2011 recording of Widening Embrace, and has attended many of Carolyn McDade’s programs. She is inspired by Carolyn’s music and by the opportunity to share music with others as a way to offer needed change in the world. She is an excellent musician with a kind heart and a beautiful soul.

This Ancient Love: Visions of a Sacred Land is an inspiring youtube video, which captures the depth of Carolyn McDade, her music that we so love, and her teachings.

Our Story

In 1988, a women’s singing group started meeting on Friday mornings in Lion’s Bay, BC. Having been a music teacher for many years, Norma Luccock became the leader of Ruah (meaning life giving, breath, wind of life). Ruah sang at programs supporting people in oppressive regimes, mostly in Latin America. In 1990, Carolyn McDade’s songs were introduced to Ruah, and the group learned songs from her then new recordings: This Ancient Love, Sorrow and Healing, and As We So Love.

In 1998, at Carolyn’s request Ruah expanded to become the BC-based group for the western Canadian recording We Are the Land We Sing, which was to be recorded in Banff the following year. The Sacred Web Singers was born out of this event and began gathering one Sunday each month. The Vancouver-based group was unique in that it was the only group that existed before this recording in Banff. Thus, the group has always had a large repertoire of music from a variety of sources, a tradition that continues today.

In 2007 in Boston MA, BC’s Sacred Web Singers joined with 80 women from across Canada and the United States to record My Heart Is Moved, a CD of songs based on the Earth Charter. In 2011 in Banff Alberta, the group again joined 120 women from the 13 North Amercian circles to record Carolyn’s most recent CD, Widening Embrace.  Norma Luccock was the main conductor for this recording project.

Norma directed the Sacred Web Singers until she stepped-down in 2012 to focus on her compositions and expand upon the great work Carolyn McDade has been doing.  An accomplished songwriter, she has gifted the Sacred Web Singers with her songs for many years, and we continue to sing them as a regular part of our repertoire.  Norma composes music and leads workshops throughout North America, sharing her original choral creations and musical expertise.

In 2012-2013, the choir continued with a transition team leading the change and Nicki Hamilton as accompanist. In 2013, Susan Summers became our Musical Director.

Sacred Web Singers’ Web of Life 2018
(photo Chris Mann)

SWS’ Web of Life

A symbol of our connection with all life, the earth, all that is visible and invisible.  Women who have sung with us are invited to add to the SWS Web of Life.