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Toronto’s ÖÖBIK mixed choir is back with their popular Simmaree performance

Simmaree was coined by our beloved Alan Liik more than three decades ago. The name joins the lively conversation of the ‘küla Simman’ – a kind of country kitchen party, with cabaret – the music and performance, and together presents the choir’s songs along with dance, musicians, soloists and ensembles.

The first Simmaree was held at Tartu College in May 1996 with the theme of Ööbik Emajoel (on the Ema river).

Since then, fourteen more Simmareed have been performed with most hosted at the Estonian House which could accommodate the increasingly larger audiences. The music and costumes from each Simmaree were based on a theme or an era and included a mix of Estonian and international songs and/or lyrics. In 2017, the choir hosted Ööbiklubi – a variation of the Simmaree that was set in a nightclub atmosphere with lounge-type songs. The choir was excitedly planning for Simmaree 2020, which was also our 25th anniversary but the pandemic changed these plans until now.

Throughout the pandemic, Ööbik continued to rehearse regularly. For the first year, practices were via Zoom which was challenging but participation remained notably strong and singers were keen to keep up vocal techniques and social connections. A number of rehearsals were held outdoors as weather allowed. When it became possible, Ööbik went hybrid, offering in-person practices simultaneously with Zoom, and continues to practice with this flexible offering. These days, most singers are happily singing and sitting next to their vocal partners, and appreciating the immediacy and joy of being together. The hope is to share this music, fun and togetherness with you, our audience, at our performance.

Mark your calendar and gather your friends for Saturday, June 10th at Tartu College, and get ready for a night of nostalgia and enchanting melodies as Ööbik takes the stage and transports you back to the 1950s and 1960s with timeless classics from Grease and the iconic hits of that era. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:30. Refreshments will be served at intermission. Cash bar. Tickets available here for $35 or for $40 at the door. For other arrangements or questions, contact:

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