Calgary singing choir is all about spreading joy around the city through song
It’s all about spreading joy through song.
The Adult Recreational Choir Society (ARC) is celebrating its 21-year anniversary as a not-for-profit and charitable organization in Calgary.
ARC is composed of around 100 choir singers who perform at various venues and churches around the city.
“Our membership spans multi-generations. We have people under the age of 30 right up to 82 years old, which is remarkable,” says Trish Weatherup, founding member of ARC and performance coordinator for Something Good, a program that aims to expand ARC’s community impact.
“Also, our members are doctors, nurses, teachers, professionals and from all walks of life, really,” she adds.
Enhancing quality of life
Weatherup notes the importance of learning teamwork skills, even in adulthood, and says participating in recreational activities such as singing is a great way to enhance those skills.
“It encourages teamwork and community, improves breathing and posture, and it is proven that singing, in particular, improves the quality of life,” Weatherup says.
Weatherup says it’s important not to sacrifice extracurricular activities due to time constraints, which is why this program offers flexible options.
“Something Good was inspired by a number of long-time members of the association who felt a need to give back to the community in a different way,” Weatherup explains.
Spreading joy across the city
The choir takes its free performances to local seniors homes and veteran organizations.
“We wanted to bring joy to seniors residences and agencies that deal with marginalized populations and folks that wouldn’t normally have access to a big stage production.”
One of the choir’s main goals is to bring joy to the community. A new approach it has taken is to encourage audience participation.
“We started to bring along some instruments for our audience members to play, such as bells, tambourines, and spoons,” Weatherup says.
“When we left one of the care facilities, we bumped into a gentleman who had the opportunity to play the spoons and he was elated.”
Not only have the choir members helped spread joy, they have also received feedback from audience members they’ve helped in an unexpected way.
“We’ve had audience members come up to us and say, ‘For the hour to hour-and-a-half that you were performing, I didn’t feel any pain, I didn’t feel sick; I just felt joy.’”
Giving back to the choir, too
These impacts on community members and marginalized individuals have made the singers and volunteers with the Something Good choir proud.
“During our last performance, we had trouble getting through our song at the end because we just felt so emotional as to what we were seeing,” Weatherup says.
Weatherup is now looking into other organizations and agencies around the city, such as The Alex Centre, to expand the choir’s reach.
“I can’t see myself ever not being a part of this association. It’s really changed my life personally and enhanced the way I live,” Weatherup adds.
All levels of experience and musical ability are welcomed at the ARC. If you are interested in helping spread joy around the city, register here.