The Band

Back of the Bus is a Saskatchewan based Celtic band that was formed in 2003. We perform for festivals, weddings, corporate events, ceilidhs, house concerts, pubs and cruise ships ( we’re waiting )!

Members of the group are Jim Walls, Sheila Churchman Vaadeland, Anna Bekolay, Kathi Davis-Lepage, and Paul Runalls. Click below to learn more about each of our members:

Paul Runalls - Vocals, Five String Bass, Guitar, Mandolin

Paul is a familiar figure in the Saskatoon and Saskatchewan music scene. As front man for Paul Runalls and the Prairie Sailor Band, Paul has been entertaining children and their parents for over thirty years. He has even appeared on CBC’s Mr. Dressup Show in an episode called, “Paul Visits”. Paul is an accomplished songwriter and recording artist and he writes music for the children’s animation called, “Tales of Ty the T-Rex “. 17 of his songs air regularly on the CBC Kid’s Stuff Stingray channel. Paul has had two songs reach the finals of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition as well as reaching the semi finals in the UK Songwriting Competition. His latest endeavour has been helping the Saskatoon Health Region promote their Germ Smart campaign through music and animation.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoxdS4eXy18&feature=share .

Anna Bekolay - Vocals, Violin

Anna is one of the busiest and “in demand” musicians in Saskatoon. A conservatory trained musician and vocalist, Anna teaches music from her studio and is a respected adjudicator of strings and voice. She divides her other time between Back of the Bus, The Bass Invaders, The Whiskey Jerks, Troubadours du Bois, Voci Strane, the PhDivas, and she partners with Gillian Snider, Kathleen Brannen, Elizabeth Bekolay and Ash Jones when she can! Anna can play a number of styles and she penned the title song of our second CD, “Over the Ocean”.

Sheila Vaadeland - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion

Sheila is at home with blue grass, folk, country, rock and roll and the blues, as well as with celtic and children’s music. A long time member of the Prairie Sailor Band, Sheila has travelled the Children’s Festival circuit and is just as comfortable on stage at Ness Creek or at a gala performance at the Remai Arts Center. Sheila loves to make music with friends on stage as well as in the recording studio. Sheila can be heard as the Momma in this recent popular worldwide cartoon video she performed in produced by the Saskatoon Health Region. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoxdS4eXy18&feature=share.Sheila is a lovely singer with great tone. With a ton of rhythm to spare, she also adds sweetly blended harmonies, and a natural stage presence. In real life, Sheila is an enthusiastic and much loved Pre-K teacher in Cut Knife. .

Jim Walls - Vocals, Guitar

Jim wanted back in the band business since his adolescent rock and roll days, and folk-rock teen years. He had been playing celtic folk music for many years as a solo, and leaped at the chance to play with this group of musicians. Influenced by the Corries, Dubliners and Great Big Sea, he is always searching for a new “old” tune to add to the musical mix. A social worker by training, he finds Back of the Bus great personal therapy. In his spare time, Jim is an award winning amateur actor and director. Jim is a grandfather to Jimmy and wee Penny and he loves to tinker with his vintage MGB.

Kathi Davis-Lepage - Vocals, Tin Whistle, Accordion

Kathi is thoroughly steeped in Celtic music, dance, and culture.  She has played for years in Celtic bands including Tipperary Creek, Keltos and Peat Fire Flame. She taught and operated a studio for celtic dance for 18 years and sang in a Welsh choir growing up. Kathi also has a background in Renaissance and baroque music. Kathi has a degree in Music and has taught music for years as well. (Fortunately she started all these endeavors when she was a youngster!) Kathi is family supporter of Clans Celts and Clover.