Marlee Walchuk Music Biography
However, her earliest memory of singing on a stage was at the Cave Supper Club at about aged 6. Judy & Jim were a popular opening act there and when Wayne Newton rolled into town to try out his new show, they had arranged for Marlee to get up with him and sing Red Roses For a Blue Lady. She was hooked.
By 17 she had already played the Vancouver Coliseum 3 times opening up for touring acts and frequenting the countries top hotel show lounges with their original and cover band, JUDE.
At 18, they loaded up the wood-paneled station wagon and with her siblings, moved to Los Angeles to train at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in singing performance, acting and dance. She said it was like living in the movie Fame.
After 2 years, she returned to Vancouver and joined the 7 piece rock/horn band, The Visitors shaking up the Vancouver A-list rock rooms.
Marlee would spend the next 6 years enjoying the steady work of the thriving Vancouver club and pub circuits learning her trade in duos, and trios such as Nightwing, Syntax and finally went out on her own with a single act and won the battle of Vancouver’s Best Solo Rock Acts.
She balanced her club performances with her studio singing for commercials and other artist’s album projects and many guest appearances on Canadian TV shows such as the Jim Byrnes Show, The Irish Rovers, Music, Music, Music with Ray Roper and the Fame Game as well as numerous BC telethons and the Vancouver Show.
During this time, she recorded and entered one of Judy and Jim’s original country songs, God Bless the Woman in the Canadian Song Festival and it won first prize. It was put on a compilation project with the other category winners and ended up becoming a National Canadian country music hit.
Marlee was nominated for 5 BC Country Music Awards and was asked to perform on the live show. Entering an North American contest a few years later with another of Judy and Jim’s songs, Family Bible, Marlee took the Best Vocalist Award in 1999.
She was flown to Holland by the Canadian government to sing at a ceremony in Vancouver’s, sister city, Coevorden and was the voice of the Home Show for Vancouver for 4 years and then for the Ideal Home Show in London England in 2000.
With the popular, all-female pop/rock band Mistress, she toured the US and Canada opening for acts such as Darby Mills and the Headpins, The Northern Pikes, Thomas Dolby and the Pursuit of Happiness and left that project just as the DJ’s began replacing live bands.
It was at that time, she went back to her first love, live Musical Theatre. (See Theatre Bio)
Her 1st solo album One More Chance was released in the late 90’s and she toured Germany 3 times playing to with crowds of up to 10,000 people eager to hear her smooth, sexy and powerful voice. Frequent convention work even had her singing with Micheal Buble when he was starting his career.
She moved to Sydney, Australia in 2001 and performed with the all-female cover band, Safari (formerly the Party Girls) for 6 years.
Returning to Vancouver in 2006 with the love of her life, Marlee legally married, Nathalie Callender and they formed the duo, Sugarbeach. They would release 2 CD’s of their own dance/pop original music and 3 singles which all soared to number one on the GLBT music charts in the USA.
Winners of 3 Pride In the Arts Awards in the U.S. including Favorite Group of the Year and nominated for an OUTmusic Award in 2009 in New York City and for 4 awards in 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marlee Walchuk and Tully Callender of Sugarbeach are known worldwide for their anthem, Living Out Proud which they wrote for the 30th Anniversary of Vancouver Pride and also launched both Whistler and Vancouver Pride houses for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In 2011 they wrote and performed the theme song for the 2011 North American Outgames, Come On Out, which was also the #1 Song of the Year on the Outvoice 2011 Top Ten Countdown in the U.S.
They played Pride festivals in New York City, the U. S. and England as well as the National Women’s Music Festival and BOLDFest.
Sugarbeach also created of the promotional site, RightOutTV and Global Awards, RightOutTV Music & Video Awards which promoted and awarded LGBT original artists.
Marlee Walchuk and Tully (Nathalie) Callender were inducted into the GLBT Hall of Fame in January, 2014 for their creation and management of RightOutTV and the impact and resource that website have been to the GLBT arts community and community at large.
Marlee is currently singing her favorite music with the 12 piece, soul/R&B band, Souled Out. She is actively pursuing live theatre projects and will be in the upcoming musical, Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas.
And when she’s not doing all of that, she paints.
Tours of Germany
Rock/Pop Single Act
Vancouver Dyke March
Winner Best Vocalist
Marlee produced and sang on this Christmas CD benefiting Women and Children with HIV