Oceanside musician’s musical tour to aid Africa

Ron Klusmeier embarks on tour to help Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Children were totally taken with Ron’s grey hair

Children were totally taken with Ron’s grey hair

Ron Klusmeier, local musician and composer, is embarking on a big tour of the country — 200 dates from west to east — plus a side trip to New Zealand, and he expect to be done by June, 2013.

Yet, he said the prospect of what he calls a farewell tour, is not as daunting as the living conditions he saw while in Africa touring villages in Ethiopia. Klusmeier was in Africa in June, checking out the efforts of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFB) — a multi-religious denominational organization based in Winnipeg that sends food aid and education to places like Ethiopia.

“We saw people’s homes there, aid recipients,” he said. “These are people that are desperately poverty-stricken.”

He said they saw the impact of AIDS on the people there, leaving many orphans behind and a legacy of short lives.

The Foodgrains Bank works with the Canadian International Development Agency to help offer education and skills to farmers in Ethiopia, rather than simply offer food aid.

“I think the whole famine thing on the Horn of Africa has fallen off our radar,” Klusmeier said.

It’s in support of CFB that Klusmeier is making his epic musical tour of Canada. Twenty-five per cent of the proceeds from the tour will go to the CFB.

He launches his tour of churches this Sunday, Aug. 19 at Parksville’s Knox United Church at 7:30 p.m. He’s calling it a ‘tour of a lifetime’, and as he is preparing to retire, said it will be his last.

Klusmeier and his wife Christina — who will lead workshops on the use of technology in worship — are going, as are a few friends for support.

To learn more about the tour, Sunday’s kick-off concert and the CFB fundraising effort, visit www.musiklus.com.