Annual Kagawong Christmas concert a resounding success!

The Island Singers performed the song ‘We Shall Light a 1,000 Candles’ in an extraordinary online presentation as part of the annual Kagawong Community Christmas concert.

KAGAWONG – While it may have been done in a different form, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the annual Kagawong Community Christmas concert, held this past Saturday evening, may have, in this reporter’s opinion, been the best yet. 

And while it was held entirely online, what everyone needed and enjoyed was a great evening of musical entertainment, hilarious skits and jokes and being able to reminisce about some past performances and performers. And on all points, this year’s concert delivered.

This year’s show was hosted by Jill Ferguson, from Kagawong and Mike Coomes, all the way from his home in Calgary, Alberta. They welcomed the many attendees, from such venues as Peru, Nova Scotia and Australia.

After the welcome, a seven-minute clip from the vault, of a previous concert, had Mary Buie getting audience members up and active with the “Christmas elf” routine.

Another of the classics from the vault was the ‘Didn’t we get this last year?’ skit which featured Chris and Heather Theijsmeijer, Jill Ferguson and Willa Wilson. Awesome, and plenty of laughs.

Speaking of laughs, during gaps between performances in the show Jill and Mike would read jokes, such as, “what happens if you eat a Christmas decoration? You get Tinsellitis!”

A second included Jill asking what Santa Claus’s favourite summer Olympic event is. “Why of course, North Pole vaulting!”

‘Welcome to Our Village’ is an original song about Kagawong. This masterful and thought-provoking performance was delivered from the vault and featured Jamie Ward, the late Don Bainbridge, Heather and Chris Theijsmeijer.

Did you know Kagawong Billings has a ukulele group? Well it does, and the performers at the River Bend pavilion performed a splendid Christmas song. 

This Billings ukulele group are shown in a performance filmed at the River Bend stage that was featured on the Kagawong Community Christmas concert.

“2020 is coming down soon, thankfully, and even the toys are stressed out,” stated Ms. Ferguson, who introduced the Wilson sisters, featuring the Wilson sisters, Willa, Connie and Paula, along with John Mallea, and Ken MacKenzie who performed a very funny ‘A COVID Christmas’ skit.

Another series of vault performances from past concerts had been provided by Marilyn Farquhar and shown on Saturday. The three skits included Stan Gordon dressed to the nines dancing with a female partner, a harmonica performance by Bruce Galbraith, and a third of Jacquie Gordon, who was shown in a chair in front of a group of youngsters gathered around her listening intently as she told them Christmas stories. All three performers have passed, but as Mr. Coomes noted, “gone from this world, but not forgotten.” 

Chris and Heather Theijsmeijer performed two beautiful songs, one being ‘God Rest ye Merry Gentleman.’ 

Another Maple Point resident and performer, Marcel Beneteau, performed a song by the late John Prine, “’Silent Night all Day Long’ and a second beautiful song in French.

Jill and Hailey Ferguson performed a hilarious skit, ‘Choosing the Right Vaccine For You’ that no doubt had all viewers in stitches.

‘What World is This?’ provided a terrific performance on the piano by Arik Theijsmeijer. This was followed by an equally good ‘Grown up Christmas Wish List’ by Chris Theijsmeijer on piano.

What would a Kagawong Community Christmas Concert be without Superman and Super Woman (Mike Coomes and Suzie DeKuyper), getting everyone on their feet, and leading them in singing and dancing.  Hilarious!

Youngsters Chase Cisson, eight years old and his five-year-old sister Brooke also provided great performances, all on video, from Calgary. Chase performed a Christmas song in sign language while Brooke bade a recitation of a Christmas story, both from Calgary, Alberta. They are the children of Jennifer Buie, daughter of John and Mary Buie of Kagawong.

Another must see every year at the concert is the classic, “The 12 Days of Christmas,’ also known as the Christmas skit, featuring Jill Ferguson, Heather Theijsmeijer and Chris Theijsmeijer. This is always one of the most popular and most hilarious skits put on during the annual concert, and while it was from a past concert it was a must see!

Heather and Chris Theijsmeijer performed the song ‘God Rest ye Merry Gentleman.’

And the last act was, in a word, incredible. Chris Theijsmeijer, conductor of the Island Singers, has been compiling individual performances by the singers and put them all together on one screen. They performed the song, ‘We Shall Light a 1,000 Candles,’ in memory of Marc Hovingh.

“2020 has been rough for many reasons, but with this concert it shows there is still a lot to be grateful for,” said Ms. Ferguson. “We would like to thank everyone. Merry Christmas.”

Viewers of the concert had the opportunity to make a donation to the Manitoulin Family Resources food bank. $700 had been raised as of this past Monday. 

Marcel Beneteau performs with harmonica during the Christmas concert.