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 Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Sea Cadets host a garage sale for Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground

Proceeds from a garage sale going to the Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground.

Nurse comes home to ‘dream job’ at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Jane Fox is the first Aboriginal liaison nurse at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Killer clowns and chainsaw-wielding ghouls descend on Central Saanich corn maze

Fright Night takes place at Saanichton Corn Maze Oct 19, 26

Key tag program leads to new respirator at Jubilee Hospital

TB Vets donate 28 life-saving respirators around B.C.

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Most Read