Musical fundraiser in Port Alberni supports life after loss

Camp Kerry Society raising funds to provide grief and loss supports to children and youth

Aspen Switzer is a singer, performer and music therapist. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A musical fundraiser will take place at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni this weekend, raising funds to provide grief and loss supports to children and youth on Vancouver Island.

The Camp Kerry Society specializes in providing bereavement programs and supports to individuals and families impacted by serious illness, grief and loss. Most recently, the society has started working with hospices across Vancouver Island to development a youth bereavement program on the Island.

Although Camp Kerry is based in New Westminster, its founder—Dr. Heather Mohan—lives in Port Alberni.

“That’s part of the reason behind bringing something [to the Island],” Mohan explained. “We definitely know there’s a need for grief support here. We just wanted to do something to help.”

The starting point for Camp Kerry is connecting with youth who have experienced significant loss—usually the loss of a parent or guardian. After connecting with youth, therapists will work with them in group settings or one-on-one counselling. Camp Kerry also offers retreats and recreational activities—many of which are planned and delivered by other youth. The first camp on Vancouver Island will take place next spring.

“We try to support where we see that there are gaps,” said Mohan. “We’re beginning conversations with hospices to see that that would look like.”

To introduce their work to the Port Alberni community, Camp Kerry will be hosting an all-day event at Char’s Landing on Saturday, June 29.

The event will start with a music and mindfulness self-care workshop for those coping with or working with grief and loss. The workshop runs from 1-4 p.m. and is ideal for caregivers, health care workers and other volunteers.

The June 29 event will culminate with an evening fundraising concert, featuring award-winning singer-songwriter Aspen Switzer at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7).

Switzer’s influences range from folk to country to bluegrass to rock and jazz –but she has evolved a style that is all her own. Her second studio album, “humble but bearing no apology,” won two awards for best Folk/Traditional Recording of the year and best Roots/World Recording and was also chosen as a finalist for three awards at the 2009 BC Interior Music Awards.

Switzer took a break from touring and recording to complete her Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree at Capilano University and now specializes in working as a music therapist with those coping with serious illness, grief and loss. She returns to her art wiser, more fulfilled and balanced. Her new material reflects her experience of working deeply with people from all walks of life and integrates her own experiences with those she touches in her work.

She will be joined on Saturday by a team of music therapists—including Mohan.

“We’ve all worked extensively in this field,” said Mohan. “The music isn’t about grief, per se. It’s celebrating and recognizing love and loss. This will be an evening to bring people together to hear some good music and to raise money for a good cause.”

Tickets for the concert and registration for the “Find Me A Sanctuary” workshop on Saturday, June 29 can be found at Tickets will also be available at the door.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre hosts last workshop of the summer

Find out how you can support the Community Arts Council through COVID-19

EDITORIAL: Connect the Quays a key concept for tourism

Pathway could be a tourism gem for City of Port Alberni

Port Alberni artist pens dystopian novel

Haven Hold by Shelley Penner is set to debut on August 25

Volunteer rescuers train for helicopter exits at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

More technical rescues mean Alberni Valley Rescue Squad members must keep up specialized skills

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Most Read