Neighbourhood carolling returns to James Bay

The family-friendly event was organized by neighbours two years ago and has become a neighbourhood tradition.

The streets of James Bay will be ringing with song again this year as carolling returns to the neighbourhood on Christmas Eve.

The family-friendly event is being organized by a couple of neighbours who started up the roving tradition two years ago in their community.

Catriona Argue got involved last year as a way to exorcise some ghosts of Christmas past. Some three decades ago, when she was a teen, Argue attempted to organize a door-to-door carolling event in her hometown of Comox.

“I don’t know what went wrong. And I’m not even sure anybody showed up,” recalls Argue, a mother of two teenagers, with a laugh. But last year she had considerably more success when a good crowd turned up to sing carols on a cool December night.

This year it will be a rare opportunity to sing with her father who will be in town for the holidays.

“It’s going to be really cool to sing with my dad who is a really good singer, unlike me,” Argue says.

And that’s the whole point, according to co-organizer, Grant Kerr, who organized community Christmas carolling in James Bay in 2011.

“Anybody can sing,” says Kerr, a father of two pre-teen boys. “And in a group it doesn’t matter if you think you can’t, or are a little shy. I think as a society, as a culture, we’re just out of practice.”

James Bay Christmas carolling will take place no matter what the weather, Argue and Kerr promise.

“If it’s a little cool, bundle up,” Argue says. “And make sure you have your walking shoes on because we’ll be going door to door and we may show up at your house.”

“And James Bay is a perfect neighbourhood for walking,” Kerr says.

Anyone wanting to participate can join James Bay community carolling, starting at 7 p.m., Dec. 24, in front of James Bay United  Church, 511 Michigan Street.

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

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