Boots, brollies, baritones take to the streets

James Bay man hopes to create Christmas carolling tradition

Ian Kerr

Ian Kerr

Get ready James Bay, your neighbours are coming a-wassailing.

Grant Kerr and his family moved to Victoria from the Maritimes four years ago, and he found one Christmas tradition lacking.

“When our boys were two and four we would drag them around in sleds over snow banks (carolling),” said Kerr. “I found that we were missing that aspect of Christmas.”

He decided that if he wanted to see groups of carollers out in his neighbourhood, he would have to organize it himself.

“My wife organized a similar carolling outing in our old Victorian neighbourhood back East. She started with a few friends the first year. A few years later, we had about 75 people coming in from all over south western New Brunswick,” said Kerr, who lived in the Maritimes for 13 years.

“It was one big, happy throng. I miss that tradition, so thought I’d get something going here.”

Kerr is organizing a community carolling event in his James Bay neighbourhood on Sunday (Dec. 18), meeting in front of Beckley Farm Lodge, 530 Simcoe St., at 4:30 p.m.

Acknowledging there are plenty of carolling events around Victoria, Kerr said his is a little different than most – it’s outdoors and roving the neighbourhood.

“It’s an all-weather thing. Bring your brolly, bring your rain hat and gumboots, anything you can to stay dry and warm – and your voice works really well when wet,” Kerr said in anticipation of typical West Coast weather.

The carolling group will walk about a kilometre from Beckley Farm Lodge to James Bay United Church where participants will be treated to hot chocolate and cookies.

Don’t worry if you don’t think you can sing, either, just show up and see what happens. “When you’re in a group, it doesn’t matter. The point is to just have fun. Just about anybody can sing. You just have to open your mouth and try,” Kerr said.

Family friendly, Kerr said the event puts a smile on a lot of people’s faces. “Whether you’re singing, or whether we surprise you by showing up and singing in front of your house or apartment building, you never see a grumpy face. It’s all smiles and a lot of fun.”

Carolling books will be supplied but feel free to bring your own.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Most Read