‘A Gift of Hope’: Celtic concert raising funds for refugee relief

A close-up of a fiddle against a grey background
An international Gaelic song group has created a community with ripples of goodwill reaching beyond the group. Photo by Providence Doucet on Unsplash
Anastasia Avvakumova - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 24-11-2021

An online Celtic music concert is raising funds for a young family fleeing violence in Nigeria this Saturday, Nov. 27.

The concert, named “A Gift of Hope,” features world-renowned Celtic musicians from Scotland and Canada, including Allan Macdonald, Eileen McGann, Hamish Moore, Sine McKenna and Christine Primrose.

All proceeds will go to support parents Joseph and Merit plus their two children in immigrating to Canada from Nigeria, where they "have been threatened with the trauma of starvation, disease and violence on a daily basis,” writes organizer Shawna Hett.

A flyer with a red background announces benefit concert.

Many well-known musicians are joining the fundraising effort. Image courtesy of Beatrix Baxter.

The concert was born from conversations in a weekly online Gaelic song group with an international membership. Cortes resident Beatrix Baxter, who is helping to promote the event, said for her it all started with a local song group, in which many of the participants wanted to explore their shared Scottish and Irish ancestry. They joined the Sunday Gaelic song lessons offered by Sine McKenna from Glengarry County in Ontario.

Hett has been a friend and student of McKenna's for many years. Recently, in a Sunday class, she shared the darkening news from her friend in Nigeria, and the benefit concert was born.

"A Gift of Hope" runs Saturday, Nov. 27 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. PST.

The organizers are working on the possibility of recording the show for ticket holders who cannot attend live, and there is also a GoFundMe campaign for anyone who simply wants to make a donation.

Finally, anyone interested in joining the Sunday online Gaelic song group can find out more by emailing beatrixbaxter@riseup.net

Listen to the CKTZ News story below to learn more: