I started the Phil Dwyer Academy of Musical & Culinary Arts [“PDAMCA”] back in 2005, with the goal to create an environment where people could explore their creative potential, interact with world-class faculty in a relaxed and social environment, and to gain a greater appreciation for the importance of good food in all of our lives. Over the years we have had some amazing musicians join us at the PDAMCA; including Canadian jazz icons like Don Thompson, Ian McDougall, Michel Donato and Oliver Gannon. We have also enjoyed having some of the younger generation of jazz greats like Seamus Blake and Amanda Tosoff and her group.
We have also eaten a lot of amazing food! Starting from day one of the first PDAMCA (Phil’s special Chicken Curry) the camp lunches and barbecues have served as a central social hub for the camp participants and faculty. Campers have dined on — and prepared — sushi, fresh pasta, steamed clams (that they dug themselves), pizza on the barbecue, kebabs, ceviche, and more “standard” summer fare like burgers and chicken on the barbecue. We have had visits from award-winning chef Peter Zambri and were blessed with a multi-year relationship with Chef Trevor Hooper.
After taking a couple of years break, while I went to law school (!), PDAMCA is back in 2018 with an amazing lineup of faculty who are not only amazing performers, composers, and bandleaders, but they are also experienced and gifted educators who are affiliated with some of the top music programs in the BC, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and New York City. Quite honestly I think this is one of the best music faculties it would be possible to find anywhere. We look forward to exploring the full range of musical concepts, from the most fundamental to as far as our imaginations will take us.
We will also be having the students taking turns, in groups, preparing healthy and interesting lunches for the whole camp on a daily basis. This will be under the skillful tutelage of a trained professional cook. And, we also have a variety of other activities planned to take advantage of the natural beauty of the surrounding area – Parksville is one of the most sought-after beach destinations. Join us this summer to have fun exploring your musical voice and eating some tasty food.