Reported by Lindsey Lloyd
A local caroling group is dropping songs from its repertoire to meet the cultural diversity of Metro Vancouver.
While caroling is associated with Christmas, the Caminando Carolers perform for a variety of different clients around the holidays.
The singers are often asked to drop songs due to religious associations, according to Miriam Davidson, the founder of the caroling trio.
The professional singers come together every year preserving the caroling traditions while respecting others.
“I’ve had this happen quite a bit when [the client] says no traditional music, which becomes tricky because Christmas is a Christian holiday,” Davidson said. “Your repertoire goes down about half.”
Sandra Neerava Nash, a member of the carolers said it’s not the lyrics that matter. “People like the music behind the songs even if the words don’t necessarily resonate.”
The Caminando Carolers are celebrating their twentieth anniversary together, performing in handmade traditional Victorian costumes.
“There’s a connection that happens,” Nash said. “It’s a dance that we do together because we’ve been together for so long.”
The group began singing in coffee shops and now their clients include Tourism Vancouver and the Teahouse in Stanley Park.
“I look back at those days and cringe in horror. I didn’t know half the songs we sing now,” Davidson said. “In the beginning it required many hours of personal preparation.”
The group has now booked a new venue, Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley for the charity event Charity Shopping Night.
The organizers believe that the carolers helped make the event a success.
“People loved it,” said Kaylesha Penner, the marketing director of Willowbrook Shopping Centre. “It was different than what we’ve had in the past.”
The group will stay busy until just before Christmas.
The next South Vancouver event will take place at the Oakridge Centre on Dec. 23 and 24.