By Justin Seward
The Bow Island Health Centre’s long-term care residents are bound to have some excitement in the coming weeks as they will be able to experience a virtual concert from some talented country music artists.
The first virtual concert will be performed by the Washboard Union on Dec. 11 and Aaron Goodvin will follow with a Christmas concert on Dec. 24.
“Members from the Sakamoto Agency are hoping to do 100 concerts for the long-term care facilities across Canada,” said Katelyn Scott, a BIHC recreation therapist.
“They have some big name concert goers in there and some of them being Aaron Goodvin and the Washboard Union. What we’ve done is just connected and found a few dates where those singers are going to perform these individualized concerts just for our residents here. They’re going to start out with a little shout out and say ‘Hello Bow Island residents.’”
BIHC’s therapy assistant and aides will stream the concert via Zoom on the facility’s big television, getting the residents set up, engaged and create a dance-a-long as long as possible.
“There’s so many therapeutic benefits for music-just that sensation of joy and sensation of community- and really just a distraction from what’s going around with us right now, especially with all the isolation due to COVID,” said Scott.
“(And) families not being able to come in and visit as much. It’s definitely a very desolate environment with the COVID- institutionalized living. We’re just trying to offer an opportunity just to kind of have fun and offer those moments of quality of life and opportunity for joy and self expression.”
The Washboard Union sings hits such as “Dock Rock”, “Country Thunder”, “Shot of Glory” to name a few.
Goodvin has produced songs such as “You Are”, “Lonely Drum”, “Bars and Churches” and a Christmas album titled “Please Come Home for Christmas.”
BIHC’s Resident Family Council donated an honorarium for the concerts.
Sakamoto Agency did the 100 Homes Concert Connection for Care Homes with the intentions of giving back to the elders and the idea of the infirmed of our communities facing hardship with the shutdown of the live music industry.
“As a volunteer initiative by Sakamoto Agency and our talented artists, our goal is simply to deliver some joy and light toresidents of long-term care facilities who have been so negatively impacted by COVID-19,” read the release.
“With the support of Sakamoto Agency’s award-winning roster of artists, and other emerging and established Canadian artists, Concert Connections will bring together and entertain those who are currently unable to enjoy family visits or larger gatherings within their community. For the artists, it’s an opportunity to play for an audience, to give back to their communities, and hone their craft.”
Sakamoto Agency has offered BIHC a Duane Steele and Bobby Wills concert in the New Year.