Grant helps music strike a chord on the streets this summer

Thanks to a recent grant from the B.C. Arts Council, a free community music and arts program for all ages will happen on the streets of Qualicum Beach and Coombs this summer.

Afro-Mumanzi plays for an enthusiastic crowd at Smithfords in Qualicum Beach last summer.

Afro-Mumanzi plays for an enthusiastic crowd at Smithfords in Qualicum Beach last summer.

Thanks to a recent grant from the B.C. Arts Council, a free community music and arts program for all ages will happen on the streets of Qualicum Beach and Coombs this summer.
The project, called Striking Accord, is being put on by the Arrowsmith Community Enhancement Society (ACES) and will see marimba’s — large wooden instruments that resemble a xylophone — dispersed around the two communities for the public to experiment with and enjoy.
ACES member Val Dare and Arrowsmith Community activity coordinator Marilynn Sims dreamed up the project, inspired by artist Luke Jerram’s Play Me, I’m Yours project In New York City, where pianos have been placed in outdoor spaces in 16 cities around the world.
“It’s all about the public,” said Dare. “It’s inviting them to come and try them out and experience them.”
In Striking Accord, 14 marimbas will be placed in front of participating businesses in Qualicum Beach daily for three hours from June 21-23, with volunteers available at each one to assist.
On June 24 seven marimbas will be placed around Coombs. June 24 will also be a day of workshops for the public to learn how to play in ensemble, and on June 25 concerts in both Coombs and Qualicum will feature the workshop participants as well as local marimba bands like Jangano Marimba.
A street dance in Qualicum from 8 to 10 p.m. will close the event with professional marimba bands Kumbana Marimba and Afro-Mumanzi.
“I really like it because it animates the streets and gives people the opportunity just to come across something they don’t expect and have the opportunity to express themselves creatively,” said Dare.
“And it’s something very unique,” said Simms, “it hasn’t been done here before.”
The grant from the BC Arts Council of $3,800 was made possible by the Parksville and District Musical Association.
Another grant of $1,450 came from the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Organizers are hoping a shortfall of $500 for the project will come from local donors. To donate call or email Val Dare at vgdare@gmail.com or 250 586-6583.
The upcoming project ties into a current project of Dare and Simms’ called Life is a Celebration; Marimba Music for Seniors. This involves seniors taking marimba classes from youth in Coombs and seniors mentoring students to build a set of marimbas at Qualicum Beach Middle School (QBMS).

Thanks to a recent grant from the B.C. Arts Council, a free community music and arts program for all ages will happen on the streets of Qualicum Beach and Coombs this summer.

The project, called Striking Accord, is being put on by the Arrowsmith Community Enhancement Society (ACES) and will see marimba’s — large wooden instruments that resemble a xylophone — dispersed around the two communities for the public to experiment with and enjoy.

ACES member Val Dare and Arrowsmith Community activity coordinator Marilynn Sims dreamed up the project, inspired by artist Luke Jerram’s Play Me, I’m Yours project In New York City, where pianos have been placed in outdoor spaces in 16 cities around the world.

“It’s all about the public,” said Dare. “It’s inviting them to come and try them out and experience them.”

In Striking Accord, 14 marimbas will be placed in front of participating businesses in Qualicum Beach daily for three hours from June 21-23, with volunteers available at each one to assist.

On June 24 seven marimbas will be placed around Coombs. June 24 will also be a day of workshops for the public to learn how to play in ensemble, and on June 25 concerts in both Coombs and Qualicum will feature the workshop participants as well as local marimba bands like Jangano Marimba.

A street dance in Qualicum from 8 to 10 p.m. will close the event with professional marimba bands Kumbana Marimba and Afro-Mumanzi.

“I really like it because it animates the streets and gives people the opportunity just to come across something they don’t expect and have the opportunity to express themselves creatively,” said Dare.

“And it’s something very unique,” said Simms, “it hasn’t been done here before.”

The grant from the BC Arts Council of $3,800 was made possible by the Parksville and District Musical Association.

Another grant of $1,450 came from the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Organizers are hoping a shortfall of $500 for the project will come from local donors. To donate call or email Val Dare at vgdare@gmail.com or 250 586-6583.

The upcoming project ties into a current project of Dare and Simms’ called Life is a Celebration; Marimba Music for Seniors. This involves seniors taking marimba classes from youth in Coombs and seniors mentoring students to build a set of marimbas at Qualicum Beach Middle School (QBMS).

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