The Gardens Choir has, for the second year in a row, won the open category of the Lieutenant Governor’s Sing Me a Song contest. — Submitted by Jocelyne Asselin

Gardens Choir wins Lt.-Gov. contest for second year

Qualicum Beach choir looks forward to performing original song live for Lt.-Gov.

The Gardens Choir in Qualicum Beach has done it for the second year in a row.

The choir, made up of The Gardens at Qualicum Beach residents, may only be a year-and-a-half old, but it’s already got two significant accolades.

After winning the open category of Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon’s Sing Me a Song contest in 2017, Guichon (now the former lieutenant governor of B.C.) announced the Gardens Choir was among the winners again this year.

“(The choir members were) so excited,” said Laurel Wright, recreation programmer at The Gardens who started up the choir. “We had a little celebration with champagne.”

The Sing Me a Song competition invites musical groups of all ages and genres to write and sing an original song. While last year’s theme was on Canada’s 150th birthday, this year’s theme was the upcoming anniversary of B.C.’s entry into Confederation (coming up in 2021).

Choir member Bob Drew-Brook, who came up with the beginning lyrics of the choir’s award-winning song last year came back to write the lyrics for the whole song, A Proud Canadian Province, this year.

Fred Durant, new to the choir, wrote the melody, said Wright.

The choir also got support from Village Voices member Lesley Ozero, who agreed to accompany the choir for its performance, which was posted to YouTube.

“When I spoke with the lieutenant-governor’s office, they said they loved our spirit and they loved our decorations,” as well as their comedic touch, said Wright.

While the choir is excited to get to perform the song live for B.C.’s new lieutenant-governor, Janet Austin, this summer, the choir will be missing a member.

“Sadly, one of the residents in our first row, Peter Cook, he actually passed away one week after we submitted the video, so we really dedicate our song to him,” said Wright.

“It’s a good memory that we have of him.”

The choir plans to give its $1,000 winnings to the Gardens’ music therapy for residential care residents.

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