For the past 8 years, I have had the honour of being invited by the Cowichan Intercultural Society to conduct my Lila Community Choir at the annual One World Festival here in the Cowichan Valley. This event is a celebration of culture and traditions from around the globe and brings representation for all of those who have settled in the Valley from afar. It is a day full of fun, music, and community bonding.
The singers in the Lila Community Choir, some of whom have been singing with the group for years and some who are brand new, gain a wonderful opportunity to perform but also to connect with other members of their community. Opportunities like this open them (and me!) up to so many possibilities, open doors, new friendships, open hearts. It is my great passion to find them as many performance opportunities as I can, not only for their sake but also for mine and the audiences we meet.
You see, the outreach component in music has always been an incredible, irresistible draw for me. Seriously, what better way to bring people together than through the arts? It is the great unifying force in this world, allowing us to share our experiences and thoughts and feelings with greater depth while rising above any discriminatory factors. It brings us together with the best intentions. To create and to be open and to be heard.
I am so pleased and so fortunate that this year the performances are a plenty! The Cowichan Intercultural Society has planned not only the One World Festival, but also the annual Walk of Nations, they have also put them both on the same day! We will march through Downtown Duncan, singing our hearts out and representing the Lila Music Centre. We'll arrive at the VIU campus and jump right into the One World Festival. It will be such a great time.
Since we'll be on such a roll, the choir is going to keep the energy going and will also be performing with the incredible Coco Love Alcorn on her Wonderland Tour. She'll be making a stop in Duncan on September 23rd and has invited the choir to be her back up singers! How exciting! She has chosen a couple of songs that allow our lovely community choir to join her on stage. I met Coco recently and we discovered a shared passion for musical outreach and inclusion so this was a perfect match.