The Wiebes: A Brief Biography
Shane and Angela Wiebe have been singing together since the day they met. Their first adventure, long before they began dating, was a choir tour of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the year 2000 with the Columbia Singers. The group was led by Tony Funk, who would end up bringing the couple together again two years later. As the story goes, Angela needed a pianist to accompany her on violin. She called Tony for the number of someone who could help her last minute, and was given Shane’s. The couple began performing regularly together, started dating in June of 2002, and were married in December of 2003. The following March Shane began his journey to a TOP FIVE spot on CTV’s hit television show, “Canadian Idol”, where he had the privilege of working with musicians like Lionel Richie and Gordon Lightfoot. In June of 2009, “THE WIEBES” officially formed and released, “Into Your Light”, which won “Inspirational Album of the Year” at the 2010 Covenant Awards. In December 2009 The Wiebes released their Christmas record, “Christmas With You”. The album was nominated for two Covenant Awards, and ended up on the Canadian Top 50 Radio Charts among artists like Michael Buble and Elton John! In 2012, The Wiebes released their fourth studio album, “The Hymns Collection”, which brought them their second Covenant Award. The Wiebes currently reside in Stratford, Ontario with their two children: Joelle (7) and Josiah (5) who frequently travel with them on their tours. Listen to samples of the new tracks, or order your copy of the album HERE!
To quote Shane and Angela: “Quite simply, we do what we do because we love music, we love each other, and we love God! We aren’t afraid to have fun, and be outright ridiculous at times, but when it all comes down to it, we can’t help but talk about our faith in Jesus Christ. He alone is our hope. He alone is our security in an unpredictable world. He’s the author of everything beautiful, and the healer of anything broken. He is our best friend, and our only means to salvation. If you haven’t met Him, you should introduce yourself. Trust us, He’s listening”.
Angela was born and raised in Stratford, Ontario, home of the Stratford Festival (and, of course, the world-famous Justin Bieber). Fittingly, the arts were an integral component of family life for Angela. She began studying violin at just three, then moved on to vocal training, piano lessons, and finally guitar. At age eight, Angela began singing with the internationally acclaimed St. Mary’s Children’s Choir.
After graduating from grade thirteen, Angela went on to obtain her Worship Arts Diploma at Columbia Bible College. She had come to study under the world-renown Tony Funk. While at CBC she played and toured with “Souled Out”: a group well-known to churches across Western Canada. In the year 2000, Angela headed to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria with the Columbia Singers, under the direction of Tony Funk. It was on this trip that she met young Shane, then only seventeen. She noticed him having incredible talent, but definitely lacking in maturity. The two weren’t exactly friends. Angela returned home to Ontario and completed her Medical Office Assistant Certificate the next year.
Her desire to spend more time with her aging Grandmother brought her back to Abbotsford, British Columbia in fall of 2001, and from time to time, Angela would perform in the area. One such performance, at Mountainview Alliance Church in Langley, proved particularly challenging. With only four days to spare, Angela’s pianist called to say she couldn’t make the show. Angela called Tony Funk with hopes of finding someone who could accompany her last minute - Tony gave her Shane’s number.
Born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Abbotsford, BC, Shane didn’t know life without singing. He sang in church choirs starting at three and began studying piano at age seven. He recalls how much he hated practicing and how his mom would sit beside him on the piano bench, wooden spoon in hand, ‘spurring’ him on. “Someday you’ll thank me that I pushed you to keep going”, she would say. “I’ll never use this - never!” was his response.
Shane ate his words when he first began playing in church youth bands at fourteen. Having his piano training meant that improvisation came quite easily to him. At fifteen he sang in front of his school, accompanying himself for the first time. Marlene Funk, a music teacher, saw that performance and encouraged Shane to join the Abbotsford Senior Chamber Singers the following year.
With intentions of travelling to Germany in the coming year, and in need of one more tenor, Marlene Funk’s husband, Tony, asked her if there were any young men in her school choir that might be up for the challenge of joining a college choir. She suggested Shane. At seventeen, he travelled with the group to Europe, alongside the noticeably gorgeous Angela Bensler. Though the pair had talked a few times, he found her a bit snobbish and not exactly his type. He was, after all, three years younger than her. He imagined that once the tour had finished, and she had gone home to Ontario, he would not see her again.
In fall of 2001 Shane began studying at the University of the Fraser Valley. His father had passed away that spring, so he ditched his plans of heading up north to work on the oil rigs and went straight into post-secondary education. He still performed from time to time, and so, when he received a random phone call from Angela Bensler one day, asking if he’d accompany her on the piano, he agreed (for a fee of course).
Shane & Angela’s Story
The pair met up at the home of Dave and Betty Giesbrecht in Abbotsford, BC, where Angela was boarding at that time, for a last minute rehearsal. They thought alike, blended well, and even had similar senses of humour; needless to say, a rehearsal had never gone so well. Following the performance, Shane went on his way and Angela on hers. That was, of course, until a friend was unable to come to Kamloops, BC with Shane for a Christmas concert some two weeks later. Shane asked Angela if she’d be able to fill in. She said yes, but with ulterior motives. She believed she had found the man she was going to marry. He, on the other hand, had no idea; she was a friend and no more, or so he thought. Two weeks later Angela bought him a pair of expensive leather gloves; Shane couldn’t help but wonder why some random girl would spend so much money on a Christmas present for him. He spent that Christmas in Disneyland with his family, but often found himself thinking about a ‘random girl’ who had bought him a pair of leather gloves.
Shane and Angela became great friends. They had become pleasantly accustomed to performing together on a regular basis and even sang together in the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Singers. Following a rehearsal in May of 2002, Shane and Angela went for walk at Mill Lake. It was happening, they were falling in love. One month later, under the light of a full moon, the two shared a dance on the beach of Chilliwack Lake and made their courtship official. The next year they travelled once more to Europe with the Columbia Singers, again, under the direction of Tony Funk; how different this trip was from the first some three years prior… the pair was now inseparable.
In July of 2003 Shane called in a favour and obtained usage of the Chan Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver, BC. He planned a private concert in Angela’s honour, involving close friends and family. And for the finale, Shane asked Angela to become his wife; they were married five months later.
Just a few months after the wedding, having been urged by Angela’s brother and sister-in-law to try out, Shane climbed to a Top Five spot on CTV ‘s hit television show Canadian Idol. It was here he had the privilege of working with artists like Lionel Richie, Gordon Lightfoot, and Debra Byrd . He quit his day job and began doing music full time; Shane and Angela have since worked with artists like Adam Gregory, Mark Masri, Ali Matthews, Kevin Pauls, Fraser Campbell, Nelson Boschman, and Calvin Dyck; and sharing the stage with artists like Jim Byrnes, The Booth Brothers, Starfield, Tommy Hunter, The Hoppers, Greg Sczebel, Amanda Falk, Mark Fewer, and many more.
While on tour in Ontario the following year, Shane and Angela discovered that the Wiebe duo would soon be a trio. Joelle was born November of 2005. Josiah, their second, came in August of 2007.
The Wiebes now reside in Stratford, Ontario, and still cherish the opportunity to perform their music together whenever and wherever they can. For The Wiebes, this is a full-time commitment: their musical ministry is their sole source of earning their living. If you’re interested in having The Wiebes play at your church or event, or supporting them in some other way, please contact them by clicking here.