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This article was published 14/10/2014 (2206 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
An October music festival wants to prove that many senior citizens are still active in the community.
Taking place at the Lutheran Church of the Cross (560 Arlington St.), the Manitoba Seniors Music Festival began Oct. 14 and will run until Thurs., Oct. 30 featuring a total of nine concerts performed by mostly seniors and young people as well.
Howard Mar, a St. James resident and festival chair, said this is the third year the festival is running. Mar said the purpose of the festival is to show that senior citizens belong in society and deserve to be seen and heard. "Seniors are still capable and can work with other generations," Mar said.
The festival started three years ago when Mar and two of his friends got together and thought a music festival by seniors would be "good for the city."
Mar insists that although it’s called the Manitoba Seniors Music Festival, the performances were created with people of all ages in mind as he wants people from all generations to attend. Mar said it will be a night of nostalgia for many, but he thinks kids will enjoy it too.
"Older people will recognize older acts," Mar said. "People and family groups who want to go out and enjoy music, the festival is a good place to go."
According to a release from the festival, each of the nine concerts will present three unique groups, for a total of 27 different acts.
Lane Graham, president of the Bison Men’s Chorus, said the festival is a chance for his group to get out and perform for an audience.
"All of our group really enjoys it," the 72-year-old baritone said. "It’s fun, it’s a challenge and some of us have said it’s therapy."
There are a few members of the Bison Men’s Chorus who have been singing together since 1985 when the chorus began. Graham is one such member. And although members of the chorus are mostly 55 or older, Graham said there are some University of Manitoba students on the roster.
The Winnipeg South Osborne Branch 252 Royal Canadian Legion Concert Band, also known as "The old 252 Band," will be performing Oct. 15 as part of the festival. Bob Hall, conductor and retired member of the Canadian Forces, said there are people in the ensemble from all walks of life.
"We have a lawyer, we always say, for copyright infringement," Hall joked, "And we have graduates from high school who wanted to continue playing. We go from 21 to 87, so that’s quite an age spread."
Branch 252 has a local following as well. The band plays Winnipeg South Osborne Branch 252 on the first Saturday of every month between 4 and 6 p.m. after the meat draws and bingo.
Tickets for each performance are $12 which can be purchased at the door of the concert venue, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra box office (555 Main St.), or McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Ave.). The concerts will take place on Oct. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 29, and 30, all starting at 7 p.m. For a full list of performances, visit manitobaseniorsmusicfestival.ca
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.
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