A musical celebration of military families and the 25th anniversary of Military Family Services, the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) will be hosting a virtual ceilidh on Nov. 24.
Held in partnership with Guitars for Vets, the ceilidh will be held on the MFRC PEI virtual platform and will feature a variety of notable artists and individuals connected to the military community.
“We decided to host a virtual ceilidh so that everyone across Canada can participate—regardless of what remote posting location they may be located in. Military families often relocate many times throughout their lives, and virtual programming allows people to connect, reach out, become part of a community, all from the comfort of their own home,” said Margaret MacKenzie, Virtual Program Coordinator PEI MFRC.
The evening will start off with a welcome and thank from MP and parliamentary secretary Karen McCrimmon.
Individuals participating in the event include country/folk music artist Terry Kelly, honorary colonel of 14 Wing Greenwood. Kerry, who wanted to be a part of the evening despite having a concert that night, sent in a video in which he will be singing a song he wrote for first responders and military members.
“It talks about first responders, military men and women, who are just there to say ‘it’s my job. It’s what I do.’ He wrote a song about how that impacted him when he hears that,” noted MacKenzie.
He will also be discussing the importance of the cadet program, living a balanced life through healthy choices and MFRCs.
Also performing is veteran Ryan Carey who was deployed on Operation Medusa in Afghanistan. He will be sharing a song he wrote entitled “My Lady Soul” about military spouses.
The PEI band Emerald also decided to take part and will be singing their song “All is Fair.” The song is about living with mental injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Not only will Emerald Junction be performing at the virtual ceilidh, the band is gathering with community members in PEI at a centre for a live ceilidh.
Two military spouses will also be singing and sharing their work during tomorrow night’s event. Nicole Blanch will be performing Amazing Grace, a song she once sang at a Canadian cemetery in Italy. She will also be sharing a black and white painting she completed of a boy during the Second World War.
Ali Davis, a military spouse for more than 20 years, was in a car accident three years ago that left her with a brain injury. Because of the brain injury she could no longer perform her music. However, when she heard of the virtual ceilidh she wanted to share a song she wrote. She will be performing that song at the event along with sharing her artwork, a series of paintings of poppies and fireworks representing the fear those with PTSD have of loud noises.
The evening will round off with a performance from the Canadian Military Wives Choir, who will be singing “Together We are Stronger.”
The event is the brainchild of MacKenzie who was inspired after hearing a song by folk artist John Paul Cormier entitled “Hometown Warriors.”
“It [the ceilidh] celebrates the journey of the military family, the veteran family, the reservist family and the first responder family. We have so many people that are sharing such beautiful beautiful music and music is healing,” noted MacKenzie.
The Virtual Ceilidh will be held on Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. EST. To register click here.