It was a crash course in event planning but volunteers, performers, organizations and sponsors threw themselves into the challenge to arrange From the Heart of Sea to Sky: Waves of Compassion Concert fundraiser for victims of the tsunami in South Asia - in only two weeks.
The event runs from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 15) at Brennan Park Recreation Centre.The musical and performance lineup includes Between Shifts Theatre, Kori Rowe and Lawrence Dinwoodie, Juan De Marias, Davy's Locker, DMV, Lorraine Gamba, Norm Foote, Carolyn Grass & Paul Borchert, Carol Grolman, Bruce Henczel, Howe Sound Dance Academy, Howe Sound Secondary International Student performances, Mamquam Elementary Children's Choir, Paul Coulter Brown, Rhythm Dawgs, Cam Salay, Joanna Schwarz, Sea To Sky Singers, The Shifters, the Squamish Martial Arts Centre, St. John's Children's Choir, the Squamish Nation children drummers and dancers, and the Von Trapp Family Singers.
"We've aimed to get a real balance for families," said Joanna Schwarz, one of the organizers and the president of the Howe Sound Performing Arts Association. "There's something for every age group and hopefully every taste."
"This is a huge disaster. I think it's important we reach down into our hearts and give," said Norm Foote, who is performing and MCing the event along with Denise Imbeau and Tamara Stanners.
"I think we live in a very fortunate part of the world. We have an awful lot of stuff. The proceeds and the efforts are all to aid. Why wouldn't I help?"
Mamquam Elementary's choir is performing a special song, called Share Your Goodwill.
"It's a song about if you have something to share, you should share it," said Anne Thomson, the choir director. She asked her students if they wanted to participate in the fundraiser, and the positive response was unanimous.
"They were honoured and thrilled to be able to help," Thomson said.
Anne Iacovone will be singing along with a band called The Rhythm Dawgs at the event. Two of the songs are going to be blues songs, and the third is one she wrote with her husband Mario after the killings at Columbine High School called A Need to Pray.
There will also be speakers on hand, including Coun. Jeff Dawson, who will talk about his adopt a village project, and Mayor Ian Sutherland.
In keeping with the international spirit, international students and students in a global awareness club from Howe Sound Secondary school will be filmed having a round table discussion, which will play at the event. Grace Halvorson, the international student counselor, said she has five students from Thailand.
"It was particularly meaningful for them," she said.
Two international students will also be performing at the event. Chanisa Adhikomprapa will be playing a Chinese zither and Tack Lee will play the violin.
"He plays the violin beautifully," Halvorson said. "I think it's great to see the community as a whole get involved."
Bianca Peters will be at the event all day to film it for Channel 10 and Mountain FM will be doing hourly updates. For those not as interested in music there is free swimming during the fundraiser.
A special phone number has been set up at Connections Message Centre for people to make donations from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 15. The number is 604-815-4004.
There is also a silent auction, with donations from local businesses.
There is no charge to attend the event. People are welcome to come even if they have already donated money to tsunami relief.
"We encourage people to come down on Saturday to celebrate the spirit of a community that cares," Schwarz said.
In addition to the concert, Dracula: the Panto is playing at the Eagle Eye theatre this weekend, and all the money raised at the Jan. 15 2 p.m. matinee performance will be donated to the event.