Well, wow! Music In Communities is thrilled to announce we won Community Presenter of the Year at the Nova Scotia Music Awards! This acknowledgement from our peers is heart-warming and huge. Enormous thanks to everyone involved over the past two years of our fledgling operation. Almost since the beginning, we have had to try to keep the music alive in our community through Covid. It has been a crazy challenge and also incredibly rewarding to bring people together safely when we needed it the most.
We’re grateful to collaborate with other fantastic community organizations. Thanks to the Deep Roots Music Cooperative, Acadia Performing Arts Series, Wolfville, Kentville and Canning Recreation Departments, the Alexander Society for Inclusive Arts, and Ross Creek Centre for the Arts.
In our efforts to bring music to the margins, we’ve hosted improvising session for folks with learning disabilities; after-school ukulele clubs; outdoor singalongs and pop-up choirs; trans- and queer-friendly sessions; a Black History Month series and more.
Some of the real “THIS IS WHY WE DO THIS” moments have included:
Maisie Gilbert on drum kit with her School of Rock girl-group at the Canning Legion;
Sarah McInnis conducting a masked, socially distanced pop-up choir singing In the Bleak Midwinter in Clock Park in December;
T. Thomason inspiring a trans kid to sing after hormone treatments had altered his voice;
Measha Brueggergosman’s version of Sinner Man at the Church Brewery;
Reuben Gilbert jamming with the local old-timers in the gazebo at the Canning Kitchen Party;
Ken Shorley and Sahara Jane improvising together at the Jam Dances;
And so many other little moments that made me cry, and make it really easy to do this work, because the results are tangible. i keep seeing ways we can do more.
The Music In Communities team is growing all the time so if I miss anyone, my apologies. Here are some of the people who have run our programs, run sound, volunteered at the door, hosted workshops, made posters, filmed us, and helped me keep my head from exploding. Thank you: Sarah McInnis, Peter Williams, Amelia Robitaille, Michael Langiewitz, Laura Billington, Reuben Gilbert, Maisie Gilbert, Bethan Delorme, Matt Delorme, Kimberly Smith, Kathleen Purdy, Phil Dennis, Zakary Miller, Mark Riley, Fisher Akao, Terra Spencer, Rebecca Fairless, Sam Wilson, Jah’Mila, Sarah Levy, Brandon MacGregor, Wendy LaPierre, Donna Lynn Holmes, Ken Shorley, Sahara Jane, Mairi Chaimbeul, Ananda Kavanagh, T. Thomason, Eli Dunlap, Brian Borcherdt, Katy Hopkins, the Dearlies, and all the amazing musicians who have played for us.
xo Kim Barlow, Director
(Photo l-r: Sarah McInnis, Reuben Gilbert, Maisie Gilbert, Kim Barlow, Frieden Gilbert, Terra Spencer)