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Kamloops Alliance Church inviting all to free concert on Nov. 26

The country gospel Christmas evening of song and celebration features 14-time Aboriginal Award winner Yvonne St. Germaine
Yvonne St. Germaine_photo 5
The Nov. 26 free concert will include songs from Yvonne St. Germaine (above) and a Christmas message from Norm McCallum.

The Indigenous Connections team at Kamloops Alliance Church, led by Woodland Cree elder Norm McCallum, is inviting Kamloops residents and evacuees from flooded areas to enjoy a country gospel Christmas evening of song and celebration featuring 14-time Aboriginal Award winner Yvonne St. Germaine.

The free concert will take place at Kamloops Alliance Church, at 200 Leigh Rd. at the north side of Overlanders Bridge, on Friday, Nov. 26, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“We know it’s been a very difficult season for so many with all that has been happening throughout the world, within our Kamloops community, and for our neighbours in Merritt, Princeton and beyond,” McCallum said.

“When we first planned this special concert a few months ago, it was my vision to build bridges with all peoples that would unite us in love and understanding and open the windows of our hearts toward one another and with Indigenous peoples of this country,” he said.

“Now more than ever, I see how special it is to open our doors to not only our local community, but also to those who are here with us in Kamloops hoping to return home.”

The free event will kickstart the holiday season through stories and a Christmas message from McCallum, plus music by Yvonne St. Germaine, a self-proclaimed “Metis-gal from Saskatoon” who, through song and sharing, hopes to bring light and joy to the lives of many.

“I have dedicated my heart to our Indigenous communities, not only in song, but in motivational speaking to help bring healing,” St. Germaine said.

“Those who join us at the event can expect to hear a spin on my own sound of country gospel music. My vision is that my music will help the community of Kamloops and all evacuees enjoy an evening of hope, knowing that no matter who you are or where you come from, we are a community.”

Organizers note that because the event is deemed a worship event by the public health officer, vaccine passports will not be required, although masks will be mandatory, a physically distanced section will be available and all COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

In addition to the music, the event will feature refreshments, including Indigenously sourced coffee and tea and locally made bannock.

For Kamloops Alliance’s lead pastor Chris Throness, the evening is one aspect of the church’s commitment to building friendships and partnerships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

“Our church deeply wants to be a part of a better future with Indigenous peoples, while not denying or diluting the painful past,” Throness said.

“This event is an opportunity for all people to come together and I believe we could all use a night of song, story and unity.”