ArtZone Sun Peaks hopes to spread holiday cheer and have fun with members
If you’ve heard Christmas carols echoing throughout the village, it may be your neighbour practising for the new Sun Peaks Choir.
Started by ArtZone Sun Peaks and led by the group’s president Marj Knive, the choir is meeting virtually each week until a space is secured.
Last year Jim Alix and Lisa Bentz hosted Sunday jam sessions in Morrisey’s Public House which were well received so Knive said she was looking for another way to continue making music in the community.
She said she was also motivated to start the group by Dr. Barclay of the Sun Peaks Community Health Centre stating mental health issues have risen since the beginning of the pandemic.
“There’s nothing like singing to make you forget your troubles for a few hours and focus on something positive.”
When she found an app with more than 350 songs and the ability to practise alone or as a group she decided to see if there was interest in the community.
Since starting Oct. 21 they have 15 members and are hoping to begin practising at the Sun Peaks Centre in November.
They will learn four Christmas songs and two other songs with hopes of having an opportunity to safely perform around the holidays. Even if, Knive said, it’s just for individual community members in need of cheer.
As practices move to in-person meetings all BCCDC guidelines will be followed to ensure a low risk of spreading COVID-19. Face shields are also being provided with help from grant funding received by the Kamloops Art Council.
Should the group decide to continue into the new year, Knive said, local voice coach Maria Cannon, who recently launched Sun Peaks Creatives , has volunteered to take over as musical director.
“It’s very casual,” Knive said. “Nobody’s going to hold us back, everybody is just singing to have fun, it’s about having fun. It’s also about learning how to use your voice as well…we are doing some things that will hopefully help people learn to sing well.”
Members can join at any time through the ArtZone website or can contact Knive with questions at [email protected].