Mbira Spirit bring a unique blend of country and Zimbabwe music to We Are One! Nov. 30 at First Metropolitan United Church. (Photo contributed by West Coast Reach Association)

We Are One! celebrates solidarity, inclusion with song and dance

Nov. 30 performance includes performers from across Greater Victoria

Rick Stiebel

News Staff

We Are One! takes an innovative approach to commemorating Human Solidarity Day and the International Day of Persons With Disabilities through universal elements that embody the human spirit.

The event is an initiative of West Coast Reach Association, a non-profit organization launched in 2017 to celebrate diversity and inclusion through the performing arts by bringing people and community together through music, dance and narrative, said Anne-Marie Brimacombe, artistic director and co-founder of Reach.

“We Are One! features performers who celebrate what makes us similar inside, and very different on the outside,” she explained. Pablo Cardenas, considered one of Cuba’s great jazz pianists, brings the energy and spirit of the Caribbean to the show, Brimacombe noted. Syrian violinist Sari Alesh, who came to Canada as a refugee, will share enchanting music from the Middle East, while Mbira Spirit, a husband and wife team, fuse Canadian country with music from Zimbabwe.

Other performers include award-winning Broken Rhythms, who will touch hearts and minds through Rhythmical Contemporary dance, Brimacombe said. “And Canadian Qristina Brooke will get your toes stomping with Celtic singing and fiddling.”

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Also featured are the three performing groups of Reach, the Victoria Diverse-City Singers, a multi-cultural choir, the Our Place Out-Reach Singers and the Reach Performing Company, which celebrates diverse-ability.

The show will be emceed by former popular radio hosts Forbes and Marshall.

We Are One! takes place Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at First Metropolitan United Church at 932 Balmoral Rd. in Victoria.

Tickets $25 at the door, or $20 in advance at weareonevictoria.ventbrite.ca or from the show’s performers. The event is wheelchair accessible and sign language interpreted.

“We’ve tried to keep ticket prices low to make this very special event accessible,” Brimacombe noted. “Some businesses have sponsored tickets as well for those who would otherwise not be able to attend.” All proceeds will assist West Coast Reach Association’s programs and events.

For more information visit westcoastreach.org, email westcoastreach@gmail.com, or call 250-889-0871.

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rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com