Help kick off the Christmas season with carolling for charity as part of the Tree Lighting Festival on Nov. 23.
The second annual Carolling for Change fundraiser is an initiative by the Grandmothers for Africa, and runs from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. This year, people who want to support the fundraiser will be able to donate for a button to vote for their favourite group.
“We have the choirs set up radiating out from Nanaimo Square, by the CIBC, and the people go from group to group,” said organizer Corinne Durston. “Each choir has a bucket set up for donations. Last year, we were asking for people to give some change to make a change.”
Last year over $400 was raised, with $150 going towards supporting the local Meals on Wheels School Breakfast Program.
The fundraiser has already grown, from five groups of carollers last year to seven so far this year, and the Grandmothers for Africa are hoping to reach at least eight groups by the actual start of the carolling. Sign ups for the fundraiser are open until the night before the Tree Lighting Festival.
“We’d love to have more carollers, more singers out. Any size groups are welcome, from just two people, to 22 people,” said Durston, who wanted to make it clear that everyone is welcome to join in the carolling. “They don’t have to be professionals, we’re looking for enthusiasm, for people coming out who want to have some fun and get in the Christmas spirit.”
There will be a school group from Columbia Elementary School, a group from Princess Margaret, and other impromptu groups in addition to the other carolling groups.
If you can’t join as a caroller for the evening, the Grandmothers for Africa are still hoping you can show up for the final song before Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7:15 p.m.
“Last year we sang Silver Bells,” said Durston. “This year the song we’ve chosen is Jingle Bells. If you only want to sing the one song, come on out. Santa will be there with the mayor, his helpers will be there too for the tree lighting.”
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