Singing sensation and new mom Jill Barber shares her sexy secrets, including her favourite local date spots, top romantic movies and the music that gets her in the mood for love
Credit: Candace Meyer

Singing sensation and new mom Jill Barber shares her sexy secrets, including her favourite local date spots, top romantic movies and the music that gets her in the mood for love

Jill Barber lives, breathes and sings romance. The Ontario-born songstress followed her heart across the country to marry her “one true love,” local CBC personality Grant Lawrence. The couple now calls East Vancouver home, and recently welcomed baby boy Joshua into their family. But even with a new baby, there’s still room for romance in Barber’s life. That spirit of romance is captured on her latest album, a collection of classic French love songs that is the auditory equivalent of an aphrodisiac. BCLiving caught up with the Juno-nominated artist to find out how she keeps the passion alive – even with a six-month-old.

Love, Marriage and a Baby Carriage

Love, Marriage and a Baby Carriage

How to keep romance alive with a baby

Instead of grand gestures, it’s the small stuff that starts to really count – a back massage, dining in candlelight or sunset stroller walks.

Most romantic gift you’ve given your hubby

One day Grant remarked on how much he loved the cover artwork for one of our favourite records by Canadian band Cuff The Duke. I was able to track down the original painting and surprised him with it for Christmas.

Grant’s proposal

It was very romantic. It was Canada Day 2009. We were up at his family’s cabin in Desolation Sound. It was a beautiful day, so he suggested a kayak and picnic. We pulled our kayaks up onto the rocks, and he got down on one knee and presented me with a ring. Then we both celebrated by jumping into the water. I was wearing only that ring.

Valentine’s Day plans

Believe it or not, this will be the first Valentine’s Day that we will ever celebrate together! In the past, I’ve always been booked for gigs in other cities. So this year we’ll do something really special by just staying home – sitting by the fire, drinking bubbly.

Favourite champagne

Veuve Clicquot

Favourite Date Spots in Vancouver

Favourite Date Spots in Vancouver

Bikini Beach

This little secret beach between English Bay and Second Beach is the perfect place to spread out a blanket and watch the sunset with your sweetheart.

Campagnolo Roma

It’s great to have a neighbourhood restaurant that you can take a romantic stroll to, and this is our local fave for simple and authentic Italian food.

La Casa Gelato

Grant introduced me to this Vancouver landmark during my pregnancy. It’s famous for carrying over 200 flavours of gelato. Stepping inside this gelateria is a fun date, and sharing a cone in the park across the street on a warm summer night is a romantic treat.

Jill Barber’s Valentine’s Day Playlist

Jill Barber’s Valentine’s Day Playlist

“Picture in a Frame”

by Tom Waits

“You Send Me”

by Sam Cooke

“At Last”

by Etta James

“Georgia on My Mind”

by Ray Charles

“Night Windows”

by The Weakerthans

Jill Barber’s Can’t-Miss Romantic Movies

Jill Barber’s Can’t-Miss Romantic Movies

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

The soundtrack to this 1964 French musical has had a big influence on my music. I’ve also gathered lots of style inspiration from Catherine Deneuve’s character in this film.

Annie Hall

I adore this neurotic love story for all its clever dialogue and observations about love, sex and compatibility following the demise of a relationship.

Sense & Sensibility

When it comes to speaking the language of romance, Jane Austen is the master. I am also in love with Emma Thompson, who not only stars in the film, but also wrote the screenplay.

The Bridges of Madison County

This film gets me every time. It’s heartbreaking. It’s the story of a woman’s duty versus her own heart, and the chemistry between Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood’s characters is palpable.


This Palme D’or-winning film is a devastating story of true love in the face of aging and ailing lovers. It is my favourite film of the last few years.

Love Notes

Love Notes

The inspiration for your latest album, Chansons:

I spent some time in the South of France studying French and immersing myself in French culture. I really fell in love with the “esprit” of French music.

Chansons is a collection of covers. How did you choose the songs?

It was kind of like a relationship. Certain songs would catch my ear, and I’d listen to them over and over, courting them, trying them on for size, and the songs that stuck with me are the ones that I committed to tape.

Chansons is recorded in French. What do you think makes the French language so romantic?

You really have to pucker your lips in order to speak it!

The most romantic song you’ve ever written?

“Never Quit Loving You.” I’ve sung it at many weddings. It even appeared in a Dodge car commercial about a wedding.