Donations have been tallied and we are thrilled to announce a grand total for Light Up the Choirs!
$12,836.04 to be exact.
Light Up the Choirs was a late summer project of the BCCF, prompted by the stories we were hearing from the Interior of entire communities being evacuated, and of property and belongings going up in flames.
BCCF Project Manager, Brigid Coult, offers some insight behind the initiative:
In the Lower Mainland, we had some days of smoky haze as well as some spectacular sunrises and sunsets, but we heard tales of evacuated families having to leave all their possessions, and we knew that there were supportive communities rallying in Kamloops and Prince George. What could we do outside the affected area?
I challenged the BCCF Board to rally communities to make something happen, and the Lower Mainland responded. We have a BCCF tradition of Parades of Choir – bringing many choirs together for each to share a moment on the stage. I decided that we would do this on a smaller scale, and keep it community based.
The end of August and the beginning of September are not the greatest time to be planning concerts – many choirs haven’t begun their seasons; many singers are still away. I knew that it was asking a lot to have choir offer performing repertoire by the third weekend in September. But for many choirs, last season’s repertoire was easily renewed, and for others, an early retreat made new repertoire possible.
So, we ended with five concerts in three days:
Friday 22 September, 7pm, at Magee School in Vancouver
hosted by Magee Chamber Choir, with Sound Eclectic and EnChor
Saturday 23 September, 3pm, at Alderson Elementary School, Coquitlam
hosted by BC Girls Choir (Allegria Chamber Choir and Bella Voce Tour Choir), with Choral Connections and Vancouver Chinese Choir
Saturday 23 September, 7pm, at Highlands United Church, North Vancouver
hosted by Highlands United Spirit Singers, with North Shore Chorus, Pandora’s Vox and Carousel Chorus
Sunday 24 September, 3pm, at Fraserview MB Church, Richmond
hosted by Richmond Chorus, with Richmond Singers, Gilmore Park United Church Choir, Canada Melody Choir, Grace Community Choir, and Surrey Children’s Choir
Sunday, 24 September, 7pm, at Willoughby CR Church, Langley
hosted by Langley Chorus, with First Capital Chorus Barbershop Choir, Senior Opus Singers, Opus One Women’s Choir and Trinity Western University Chamber Choir
Admission for all concerts was by donation, and all the venues allowed us to use the facilities without fee.
The results exceeded my expectations. Our audiences (and many of the singers) were most generous, and we ended up sending more than $12,000 to the Red Cross for their Wildfire Relief Fund, as well as forwarding cheques made out to the Red Cross for nearly $800.
My gratitude goes to our concert venue hosts, our hosting choirs, the conductors, the local coordinators, our five generous audiences and to all the singers, who came together to make a difference in the lives of others.