Minister – Rev. Leigh Olson

Rev. Leigh Olson

I’m Leigh Olson, your new minister, and I’m excited to meet you in September!

Here are a few things you might like to know about me:

  • I was born and raised on the Prairies, in Mitchell, SD. – My family was very active in the local United Methodist Church.
  • I have a husband named Graeme Jannaway, who does business continuity planning, plays tympani for Metropolitan UC’s Silver Band, and enjoys many hobbies.
  • I have a daughter named Hannah, who will be studying Massage Therapy at Humber College in the Fall, and a step-son named Andrew, who is an insurance broker in Windsor. They are exactly 9 years apart in age (same birthday).
  • We have a dog named Cuilean (I am an animal lover) and my daughter also has a hamster and hermit crabs.
  • My undergraduate degree is from The University of Northern Iowa School of Music – BA Vocal Music
  • My Masters of Divinity is from The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (PCUSA)
  • Originally ordained in the United Methodist Church, I became a United Church minister in 2003.
  • I have served many different congregations, rural, small and large town, before coming to Toronto, where I worked in North Toronto, Etobicoke, and Scarborough.
  • I enjoy music and the arts, sports, gardening, sewing, riding bicycles, walking and swimming, reading and learning, driving, and talking to people of all ages.

I look forward to working with you in September and having the chance to sit down and get to know each of you.  Enjoy your summer.

Music Director – Lianne Tan

Lianne has been our Music Director and Organist since 1997. She accompanies our worship

Lianne Tan

Lianne Tan

music on organ and other instruments, and conducts the 20 voice senior choir, which recorded and released their first CD entitled Jubilate! in 2004. Lianne enjoys working with the young people of West Plains to encourage an enjoyment of music and the arts.  She has led a junior choir, an Easter band, intergenerational choir, and the Men’s Choir.  In 2008, Lianne worked with many church members and friends to produce an awesome production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, with cast members drawn from the woodwork of the West Plains family.  The shows were a great success!

Lianne graduated from McMaster University with a Master of Engineering degree.  She worked in the pioneering field of digital radiography at McMaster Medical Centre before beginning her career as a science teacher at Appleby College in Oakville, where she serves as chapel organist for daily services and for special occasions, including visits by HRH Duke of York and renowned Inuit artist Kenojuak.  Lianne accompanies the 80 voice Appleby College Chapel Choir and has accompanied the Cantus Chamber Choir on performance tours to Italy, France and New York City.  In April 2013, Lianne performed with Cantus on the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.  Lianne has loved and sung choral music since youth, counting as valuable training her time singing with the Georgian Bay Youth Chorus, the Hamilton Children’s Choir, Vox Nouveau, McMaster University Choir, the John Laing Singers and the Burlington Civic Chorale.  She began piano studies at an early age, and took up the organ in high school, when she joined the Binkley United Church choir in Hamilton, under the mentorship of Dr. William Renwick.  Subsequently, after a short time of organ study with Dr. John Tuttle,  Lianne earned the Diploma of Colleague of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (CRCCO).  She has been active as a church organist in the Greater Hamilton area ever since.  Lianne holds the ARCT diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Diploma in Lay Ministry from Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto.  She served as President of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Hamilton Centre, from 2001-2003 and remains actively involved in the RCCO’s mission to promote the organ and its music.  She had the once in a lifetime privilege of contributing to the process leading up to the installation of the new three-manual Casavant pipe organ at Appleby College in 2003, and continues to have the pleasure of consulting with West Plains member, Neil Shaw of Shaw Organs, on the delightful Shaw electronic organ at West Plains.

We are so blessed with Lianne’s amazing musical gifts and her wonderful personality at West Plains.

To contact our music director, Lianne, send a message to: