African Children’s Choir bring concerts to Saanich

Choir performs a mix of English and African songs, ranging from well-loved children’s tunes to traditional, spiritual and gospel favourites

The African Children’s Choir is headed to Saanich for two nights of energetic and colourful performances. The 43rd rendition will be at Emmanuel Baptist on Oct. 30 and North Douglas Pentecostal on Nov. 1

It’s a long way from Saanich to Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, but that isn’t stopping African Children’s Choir from coming to the Island for a series of lively concerts.

The 43rd rendition of the choir is coming to the district for two shows that are sure to delight audiences with the children’s energetic singing and dancing. Eighteen children – nine boys and nine girls – are set to perform on Friday at Emmanuel Baptist and Sunday at North Douglas Pentecostal.

“It’s very moving and very inspiring – I think what people leave with is the spirit of the children,” said choir manager Tina Sipp. “It’s engaging, it’s bright, it’s colourful.”

The ACC was founded by missionary Ray Barnet in 1984 after a trip to Uganda, where religious persecution had left hundreds of thousands of children orphaned.

“During that time, he gave a ride to a little boy to a village, and the little boy sang praise songs the whole way,” said Sipp. “Ray was really taken by that and thought, if we could just bring these children to the west, I’m sure they would want to help support them.”

To date, more than 1,200 children between the ages of seven and 12 have been a part of the choir. Many have lost one or both parents to AIDS or other poverty-related diseases, and all are victims of extreme poverty.

Through the choir, the children are provided support for education that they otherwise wouldn’t receive. Sipp said without education, it is challenging for many children to break out of the cycle of poverty.

“What we’re trying to do is raise money to educate as many children as we can so that they can become self-sustaining and to contribute back to their communities, their countries, their continent, in a very positive way,” she said.

“It really becomes a family for these children. We sponsor them from primary school all the way through post-secondary – through college, through technical training, through vocational training. Whatever it is they qualify for, we support them through that.”

The choir performs a mix of English and African songs, ranging from well-loved children’s tunes to traditional, spiritual and gospel favourites.

The concerts are free, but donations are encouraged, which support such ACC programs as education, care and relief and development programs. Over the last 31 years, more than 52,000 children have been enrolled in their education programs.

“Our hope is that when people see the potential of these children and the ambassadors they could become, they’re really giving to Africa’s future,” said Sipp. “It’s a huge calling that we have, to do our best to raise up the future generation.”

Choir 43 performs at Emmanuel Baptist, 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Rd., on Oct. 30 and North Douglas Pentecostal, 675 Jolly Pl., on Nov. 1. Both shows start at 7 p.m. For more information, visit africanchildrenschoir.com.

 

Just Posted

BC SPCA proposes fines for animal mistreatment, reduction in commercial trade

Animal welfare group’s ideas brought to Victoria councillors

New Victoria graving dock will offer high-paying jobs

New facility will reuse and treat any water required for repair process

Trial date delayed in case of slain Oak Bay sisters

Case of Andrew Berry, charged in deaths of daughters, will reconvene in three weeks

Pearkes opens doors to home renovation and decor expo

Plenty of ideas for homeowners at Victoria Early Spring Home Expo running Friday through Sunday

Man surprises trial, claims responsibility for Saanich sex assault

Fellow inmate of accused David Hope claims responsibility

Light snow leads to heavy traffic in Victoria

Wednesday’s snowfall caused traffic chaos as commuters tried to get home

Indigenous elders share history with Ladysmith students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

It’s quietly business as usual for the E&N

Waiting game continues in quest for direction on service ceased since 2011

Dozens represent Saanich at B.C. Winter Games

More than 2,100 athletes, coaches and family in Kamloops for Games, Feb. 22 to 25

New UVic program combines Indigenous and non-Indigenous law

A leading Aboriginal legal theorist praises a new program at the University… Continue reading

OT win gives Cougars early lead in VIJHL playoffs series

Westshore led 2-0 after one, Victoria comeback completed with Berryman goal

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

Pilot program trains next generation of Island farmers

Parksville’s GoodSeeds introduces youth 17-30 years to agricultural careers

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

Most Read