Our Place/Chez Nous and The Seeds of Friendship Concert.
The Joie de Vivre and O. Koshetz choirs are collaborating on a concert of children’s songs, folk songs, Spirituals, and sacred music (including two Rachmaninoff pieces as a joint choir), entitled The Seeds Of Friendship, to raise money for Our Place/Chez Nous Drop-In Centre. The concert will take place on Sunday, April 24th, 7:00 PM, in St. John Brebeuf Church, 1707 John Brebeuf Place in River Heights, off of Grant http://www.sjbcommunity.ca/ . Tickets are $20.00 for adults, free for children twelve and under and can be obtained by contacting O. Koshetz Choir members directly or at the door.
Our Place/Chez Nous Drop-In Centre http://www.ltcam.mb.ca/member_cheznous.htmlis known to its visitors as “The Cross” because of the large brown cross above the entrance at 676 Main Street, across from Thunderbird House. It is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM. The visitors are mostly homeless. They get coffee (reputed to be the best in the area), snacks, clothing, toiletries, a chance to take a shower, and a place just to “hang out” for a few hours. Some play cards or computer games; some fall asleep. Ideally, it is a haven, a refuge from the hurly-burly of life on the street. Sometimes disputes arise, particularly when people are intoxicated, but usually reconciliation occurs without resorting to the authorities. Our Place /Chez Nous runs exclusively on volunteers and the generosity of the parishes in the Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg. OP/CN is a continuing education in Pope Francis’s Option For The Poor. Chez Nous is one of several institutions such as L’Arche, Micah House, Immaculate Conception Drop-in Centre, Union Gospel and Siloam Missions, Main Street Project, Winnipeg Harvest, and some inner-city churches.
The Joie de Vivre choir http://www.joiedevivrechoir.ca/ began in 2001 as a program for senior singers in the Preparatory Division of the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, and is now open to mature singers of all ages. When Helga Anderson retired five years ago, John Tanner was offered the director’s position. We rehearse on Saturday mornings in the school gym and perform in St. John’s College Chapel on the U. of Man. campus. The Seeds of Friendship Concert will be our first collaborative endeavour with another choir, and perhaps the first time a choral concert of this dimension has taken place in St. John Brebeuf Church.
The O. Koshetz choir http://www.koshetzchoir.org/ sings almost exclusively in Ukrainian. The Choir is celebrating its Seventieth Anniversary this year. Olexander Koshetz, a world-renowned choral conductor and composer, was exiled from Soviet Ukraine in the 1920’s, and Winnipeg’s Ukrainian community invited him in 1939 to come and teach music to their children. Koshetz died here in Winnipeg after an all-too-brief stay, but his name lives on with this wonderful choir, which is now conducted by Miroslava Paches. Mira completed her musical studies at the Lviv Conservatory, immigrated to Winnipeg, married Max, and is now raising three musical boys and running a very successful private music studio. She also conducts the Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral choir.