Sonshine and Broccoli met while they were both attending the Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College. At first, they brought together their voices and Broccoli's guitar to run music programs for young families, but they soon fell in love with writing original songs to entertain the youngest music fans and parents alike. Since then, Sonshine and Broccoli have grown into leaders of Canada's music scene for children, releasing five previous albums and performing at festivals, exhibitions, and community events in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and all across Ontario. They have appeared many times on both local and national television and radio programs where they share their music and their positive messages for children.
For 17 years, families across Canada have been singing and dancing along with Sonshine and Broccoli, the Juno-nominated duo from Toronto, Canada who know how important it is for children to have music they can call their own. Described as "brilliant performers whose music and energy are infectious" by Chris Kennedy of the Royal Ontario Museum, best friends Lisa Sonshine and Brock Burford have always made their fans feel like part of the family with their upbeat and interactive performances. Now a mother to two boys herself (Love you Zade and baby Barryn!), Sonshine saw during the pandemic how important it is to reassure kids and let them know every day that they are enough. With their sixth album Born to be Brave, Sonshine and Broccoli use new songs and exciting collaborations with recent Juno Award Winners Kairo McLean and Kirk Diamond to build confidence, celebrate differences, and encourage kids to allow their own unique star to shine bright.
During the pandemic, Sonshine and Broccoli knew how important it would be for families to continue to enjoy events together in a safe way that would also let kids know that someday things would get back to normal. Sonshine and Broccoli quickly pivoted to online performances, partnering with big brands such as Indigo, Mastermind Toys, and Blue Mountain. They also stayed connected to their fans through online guitar lessons with Broccoli and through social media, where Sonshine also connects directly with other new moms.
Now Sonshine and Broccoli are excited to bring their live performances back to the stage and to be releasing their sixth album along with a series of music videos. Having gotten their start helping young children discover their own musical talents, Sonshine and Broccoli were especially thrilled that a chance encounter led to a collaboration with 13-year-old Kairo McLean, who was the youngest nominee and winner ever in theJuno's Reggae Recording category in 2022. Sonshine and Broccoli's own album It's Cool to Be Kind was a Juno nominee for Children's Album of the Year in 2019, and they were named Funky Kids Radio Artist of the Year in 2022 and won Best Children’s Song of the Year for "Spread Your Wings and Fly" in The USA Songwriting Competition. Sonshine and Broccoli have released their brand-new album for which they received a grant from The Ontario Arts Council titled Born To Be Brave available on all major streaming platforms.
In nearby Thornhill, Brock Burford grew up playing elite-level hockey, hanging out in studios with his television-producing father, and trying his hand at acting. The diverse musical collection in the Burford home shaped Brock’s tastes to include everything from The Nylons and barbershop quartets to The Beach Boys, The Who, and The Beatles. But it was learning to play the riff from Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” that got seven-year-old Brock hooked on the guitar, and he spent years studying both classical and rock guitar. Then in his teens a role in Annie led Brock to re-discover the joy of singing, and to the revelation that his love of acting and music could be combined.
From as early as the age of five, Toronto-born Lisa Sonshine was eager to perform for family and friends. She was belting it out at her own bat mitzvah when her powerful voice caught the ear of the evening’s other entertainment – jazz legend Jackie Richardson. Richardson connected the family with renowned vocal coach Theodore Gentry and at age fourteen Lisa began her professional training. Gentry encouraged Lisa to try everything from opera to jazz, but when she was alone and singing from her soul, it was lyrics from the musical Rent that echoed out from behind teenage Lisa’s bedroom door.
And so at Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre program in Toronto, the driven vocalist with boundless positive energy and an eye to stardom met the charming and down-to-earth guitarist who loved a great lyric as much as a great lick. More than ten years and countless live shows later, the playful harmony of that friendship is still reflected in the songs and stage presence of Sonshine and Broccoli.
LIVE SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
• Toronto Blue Jays Jr. Jays Day – Toronto, Ontario
• Western Fair – London, Ontario
• Burlington Musical Festival – Burlington, Ontario
• Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba – Brandon, Manitoba
• Museum London, Storybook Garden – London, Ontario
• Jr. Juno Performance, 2019 – London, Ontario
• A Celebration for the Mayor – Ottawa, Ontario
• St Joseph’s Hospital Halloween Fest – Toronto, Ontario
• Much Music BBQ Celebration – Toronto, Ontario
• The Royal Ontario Museum – Christmas Break 2017 & 2018 –Toronto, ON
• Sussex Theatre – Sussex, New Brunswick
• The Bolton Centre – Edmonton, Alberta
• The JCC Vancouver – British Columbia
• Ontario Place Summer Concert – Toronto, Ontario
• NBA All Star Game – Toronto, Ontario
• Sick Kids Hospital – Toronto, Ontario
• Toys R Us Concert – Toronto, Ontario
• Atlantic Jewish Council – Halifax Nova Scotia
• Dandelion Festival – Ottawa, Ontario
• NYE Countdown K-Rock Centre – Kingston Ontario
In 2014, Sonshine and Broccoli teamed up with Alex Karolyi of ShadowPath Theatre, to create I Want To Be - a musical of self-discovery.
The interactive pop-rock musical premiered at the 2014 Hamilton Fringe Festival and received so much praise that it went on to be the opening show for the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival. The show also aired on Rogers Television and has been adapted for school performances.
View Magazine touted I Want To Be "as an engaging spectacle that provides the youngest fringers with quality entertainment". While Mooney on Theatre observed that "it's not easy to have a production where kids are tuned in and engaged for the duration of the show, but the creative song and dance numbers kept the kids smiling, and they were having the time of their lives".