There was an amazing moment at last year's Dundarave Festival of Lights, the day we rolled out again for the season -- as it had been brought out for over a generation -- the Dundarave Nativity to its place of honour at the heart of the Beach. The sun was bright on this last Saturday of November, and three school choirs took up the Festival's invitation to sing whatever they liked to get us into the spirit of the moment. Many of these kids -- most of them, in fact -- had never had a chance to sing in a public space. They'd sung in rehearsals in their schools, and in concerts again inside the schools and these experiences were empowering. But there was something else at work, you could see it in their faces, as they belted out carols to people they'd never met before. Hundreds of people gathered around them, pressing in at the Peace Globe on Dundarave Beach, under palm trees and a speckless sky. It was an experience of full on, unabashed joy.
The Festival brought to these kids a new experience of freedom. And it's a wonderful thing for us to find in the Sarah McLachlan Foundation an organization dedicated to give this experience of freedom to kids the whole year through. In the Foundation's words:
Sparked by the influence of music in her life, international singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan dreamed for a long time of opening a music school for inner city youth. Her dream first took shape with the creation of The Sarah McLachlan Foundation (SMF) in 1999, and in 2002 it became a reality with the opening of the Foundation’s first free music school – the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach (SMMO).
Inspired by her vision, the Foundation’s mandate is simple: to bring music into the lives of young Canadians; building self-esteem, and fostering creativity through the power of song and sound. The school is dedicated to helping young people ﬁnd their voice by providing a free music education. It's the start of a relationship with music that will have a lasting impact on all parts of their lives.
We're delighted to welcome the Youth Choir from the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach to Dundarave Beach; we are kindred spirits in this beautiful work.
The Dundarave Festival Society
We are a circle of friends working in the Dundarave Festival of Lights Society to bring to life the promise of Christmas in our community, a season of life, passion and purpose that leaves no one in the cold. This is community-driven social change, in the true spirit of Christmas and the best spirit of our community.