In four years, the community has come together to raise more than $16,000 for the Ladysmith Food Bank through the Celebration of Light.
The fundraising variety concert brings people together to celebrate Christmas and support the food bank, and this year, the fifth Celebration of Light will take place Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Ladysmith Eagles Hall.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50, and this includes hot drinks from Starbucks and homemade treats.
“A lot of people have said to us we should put the price up because people would pay more, but the reason we kept it at $7.50 is we didn’t want to exclude anyone,” said Lisa Burness of the Celtic rock band Skellig, a driving force behind the event. “If people want, they can either pay more for their ticket or bring more cash for the donations jars or bring more food for the food bank.”
At this time, the Ladysmith Food Bank is particularly hoping for donations of canned fish, meat and beans; canned milk; pasta sauce in cans; dried rice and dried pasta.
This year’s list of local entertainers includes Skellig, Ryan McMahon, Murray Atkinson, Dead Byrds, Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys, Rev. Up and the Deadbeat Deacons, Elf Song (Sandy Jasper and Steve Tozer), and carols by the Ladysmith Celebration Brass.
“There’s going to be a bit more for kids this year,” said Burness. “Father Christmas will be there, and there will be a Christmas photo booth for a small donation.”
Burness says, this year, there will also be a mini Christmas tree decorating contest. There will be mini Christmas trees at each table, and decorations will be supplied. Guests are also welcome to bring their own decorations.
“The idea of it is it’s a really nice family Christmas celebration, a bit of fun, but obviously, the main impetus is collecting food for the food bank,” said Burness.
The event is organized by Skellig and the Rock Christian Fellowship, but there are many other people involved.
“The Eagles are very, very supportive of this event every year, and all the musicians donate their time,” said Burness. “There are lots of people in town who make the goodies; we get trays and trays.”
Tickets are now on sale at the Ladysmith Community Health Care Centre from X-ray or reception staff members, or they can be reserved by contacting Lisa Burness at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-734-1766. If a business or group wants to buy a whole table, that is an option.
Burness encourages people to get their tickets quickly, as this event often sells out quite quickly.
If people can’t make it to the Celebration of Light but they would still like to support the event and the Ladysmith Food Bank, they can drop off food donations to the health centre X-ray or reception staff.
As well, Skellig is performing Friday, Dec. 6 at the Sportsman Pub, and the band will be collecting donations during that show.