The Katlodeeche Children’s Choir, organized by Sister Maggie Beaudette, has been practicing a variety of songs to perform at the library to celebrate Christmas.
The choir has been running out of Chief Sunrise School, but is for any children on the reserve that wish to sing. So far, ten children between grades one and six have joined.
“Last year the kids were so enthusiastic, I decided to do it again even though I retired in June,” said Beaudette.
This year, she has received $5,000 in funding from the NWT Arts Council, which went toward custom-made traditional vests sewed by Elaine Lamlice, Margaret Fabian, and Rose Lamalice.
“They are absolutely beautiful,” said Beaudette about the vests.
Beaudette said that the vests add to the sense of belonging for the kids in the choir.
“They should take pride in who they are,” she said.
In addition to having their own traditional vests, the children have been learning Christmas songs in Slavey in time for their performance.
“One of my goals with this is to bring them back to their traditions,” said Beaudette, “so we’ve been learning some songs in their traditional language.”
She said the choir will be performing “Jingle Bells” in Slavey.
The choir has been practicing every Wednesday at lunch hour at Chief Sunrise. Beaudette has been gathering recyclable products from generous individuals and companies, and turning them in for spare change to buy the children a lunch during their practice times.
“Eating together forms a bit more community,” she said.
While Beaudette is getting by with the recyclables she picks up, she said she is open to picking up a few more from others willing to give.
In accordance with the funding agreement from the NWT Arts Council, the Katlodeeche Children’s Choir must perform three times this year. The choir will therefore be going to Fort Smith later in the season.
Come to the library at 2 p.m. on Saturday to experience the choir’s new vests and sparkling voices. Beaudette said the songs are interactive and will be fun for the whole family.