Benefit concert to aid refugees

Musicians from all walks of life come together for a special concert to raise money for a family in Syria.

Sid Johnson and Lena Birtwistle will join other local talent in a benefit concert aimed at bringing a refugee family to Ladysmith.

This Sunday, local music enthusiasts will sing to send Syrian refugees to safety in Canada.

The Refugee Benefit, being held at Ladysmith First United Church, will aid a local group’s effort to sponsor a family of three to come to Canada.

Organizers say that with the recent unrest in the country, it could be a matter of life and death for Yousif, his wife Noor and son Mohammad.

Proceeds from the concert will go towards the $23,000 they are raising to get the job done.

Bob and Joan Mair, concert organizers, said the concert became the result of a monthly open mic session at the Hardwick Coffee House.

“I emcee that, and that’s really where the idea came from to put on a concert for this refugee situation,” Bob said.

“It had immediate support from the church and coffee house performers.

The concert begins at 2:30 p.m. and will feature a variety of music styles.

Kim Teh will perform ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone’ and ‘Hallelujah’ while Alan Lomax will sing ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. Headlining the concert will be local artists Lena Birtwhistle, Sid Johnson and Evan Miller.

“I would call it a medley because it’s all different types of singing and songs,” Joan said. “For instance, the minister from the church is going to be singing a song in English, but he’s also going to be singing a Korean song.”

“There’s something for everybody.”

The Refugee Benefit concert takes place Nov. 6 at the Ladysmith United Church. Admission is by donation.