Corona-Palooza is the title of a series of Mother’s Day weekend live concerts outside South Surrey seniors’ residences, organized by Telus volunteers, that will be shared with the public through Zoom tele-conferencing. Contributed poster

Corona Palooza – Telus concerts offer musical treat for quarantined seniors

Mother’s Day live weekend performances open to public through Zoom teleconferencing

Just in time for the Mother’s Day weekend, it’s Corona-Palooza.

Quarantined seniors will be treated to live concerts outside four residences in South Surrey this Friday (May 8) and Sunday (May 10) – and through Zoom tele-conferencing, friends, relatives and members of the public will be able to see and hear the performances, too.

The short concerts, brain-child of South Surrey-based Telus operations manager Dean Donnelly, are designed to be part of a COVID-19 pilot project, Concerts 2 Connect, that could be picked up by colleagues in other communities during May, when Telus traditionally does community outreach projects throughout its service areas. These projects usually range from painting of facilities to beach garbage pick-up.

This weekend’s concerts are headlined by violinist Tina Tate, owner of Music For Life musical therapy studio, and vocalist/keyboardist Steve Levin, religious leader for the White Rock South Surrey Jewish Community Centre and Burquest Community Centre.

Donnelly said their playlist for the 20-minute musical treats will include everything from klesmer/swing songs like Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, to Frank Sinatra favourites, fiddle jigs and selections from the classic Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.

Also joining in will be Kwantlen Polytechnic University student Anjali Sharma, to sing O Canada, and guitarist/vocalist Ryan Keogh, a Telus environmental engineer.

“The concerts are completely open to the public on Zoom, without any special passwords, and relatives may be able to glimpse loved-ones on their balconies during the performances,” Donnelly said.

On Friday the Concerts 2 Connect crew will be at the Suncrest Belevedere Residences on King George Boulevard at 1 p.m. (Zoom link: https://zoom.us/meeting/95753403914); Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge on 16A Avenue at 2 p.m. (Zoom link:https://zoom.us/meeting/91056432785); and the Abby Lane and Amica residences on 16 Avenue at 3 p.m. (Zoom link: https://zoom.us/meeting/99584491201).

On Sunday, the concert will be at 1 p.m. at Retirement Concepts’ White Rock Seniors Village on Maple Street (Zoom link: https://zoom.us/meeting/99576358887).

Donnelly, a frequent community volunteer – he’s also part of the South Fraser Search and Rescue team – said that, as a supervisor, he has been doing Telus installation and service calls in protective gear while workers’ access to sites has been limited during the pandemic.

The idea for Concerts 2 Connect came to him after one such call, he added.

“I was just coming out of the Amica building and saw a fitness session in progress – about 20 per cent of the residents had come out to participate – and I had an epiphany,” he said.

“I thought, we need to put together a concert series that we can replicate in all the other service communities.”

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca

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