Flamenco Rosario and Vancouver International Flamenco Festival cofounder Victor Kolstee dies at age 75

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      Members of British Columbia’s arts and music scenes are among the people around the world mourning the loss of a Vancouver-based flamenco talent, whose legacy of artistic and musical works continue to contribute to B.C.'s culture.

      Flamenco Rosario announced that guitarist Victor Kolstee, a cofounder and musical director of Flamenco Rosario and the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, has died. He was 75 years old. The cause of death has not been stated.

      Kolstee was born Hans Victor in the Netherlands in 1946 and his family moved to Vancouver in 1956.

      His initial interest in rock music gave way to a passion for flamenco that became the foundation for his career.

      After studying guitar, dance, and music in Madrid, Spain, he and his wife, Rosario Ancer from Mexico, performed in various parts of the world, and launched a flamenco school in Monterrey, Mexico.

      Settling in Vancouver in 1989, the couple established the Centro Flamenco School and founded the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, which is now in its 32nd year.  

      As a musical director, Kolstee arranged and composed original creations and performed as the lead guitarist; also worked with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Arts Umbrella; and participated in numerous festivals.

      He released his album Tocaor (the Spanish word for a flamenco guitarist) in 1999 and performed at venues in Vancouver such as Chai and Kino Café.

      In addition, he also established himself as a photographer, with two solo photography exhibitions at Yuko Onley’s Visual Space in 2016 and 2019, and had one of his photographs selected for the Salt Spring National Art Prize exhibition in 2015.

      In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of Kolstee’s choice: Heart and Stroke foundation, B.C. Cancer Foundation, Vancouver General Hospital, and B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation.

      Victor Kolstee
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