Last summer I bumped into an ex-colleague and asked him how he was spending his days. He is one of those people who has their hands in several interesting pots.
“I’ve just started a choir project with World Folk Music Ottawa. They received a Trillium Fund Grant to create a choir of newcomers to Canada. The goal is to promote diversity while introducing newcomers to the vibrant life in rural communities, and to create a cultural exchange with those communities through the sharing of music and song.”
Well, it’s been a year in the making, but that conversation was the beginning of a great partnership. This Saturday, May 13th Almonte’s Rhythm & Song Community Choir will host the One World Choir from Ottawa for a cultural exchange of food, music and song. The One World Choir will be accompanied by the four-piece Main St. Market Band from Ottawa.
Upon arrival in Almonte, the One World Choir will get a tour of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum to learn about the history of the textile industry and how it intersects with immigration to this area. Curator Michael Rikley-Lancaster will then walk the group up Mill St. for a tour of downtown Almonte. The group will end up at Almonte’s United Church Hall where the Rhythm & Song Choir will provide and share in a potluck meal. After supper, each choir will sing their own selection of songs in an informal performance before joining together for some community singing.
World Folk Music Ottawa delivers music programs and projects for all ages that benefit less privileged communities. The One World Choir, led by Chris MacLean, is WOFOMO’s newest project. MacLean has been working with the choir on a weekly basis since October 2016. They’ve learned songs in many languages, including English. The twenty-five adults and children are both new and established immigrants from countries around the globe, including a recently arrived Syrian family. Singing together for fun, once a week, gives the participants a much-needed sense of community and relief from the many stresses associated with settling in Canada.
The One World Choir has also partnered with the Rhythm & Song MERA Choir in MacDonald’s Corners, The Song Kitchen Choirs in Wakefield and Ottawa, and recently performed at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival and in Merrickville They will also be performing at the Dickinson Days Festival in Manotick in June.
Interested members of the public are very welcome to for the singing portion of the program which takes place this Saturday, May 13th at the Almonte United Church Hall, 106 Elgin St. from 7:00 – 8:30pm. Families are welcome.
Jennifer Noxon leads the Rhythm & Song Community Choir in Almonte and MacDonald’s Corners as well as singing workshops in the area.
For more information on the weekly afternoon and evening choir sessions in all locations visit www.jennifernoxon.com/choir.