By Andrew Burashko, Artistic Advisor

Just over eight months ago, Concerts in Care Ontario had never produced a video concert, had never tried to connect with seniors in any way except live and in-person. And look at us now!

Covid may have removed our possibilities of indoor, in-person concerts, but we are still sharing our music, still connecting with hundreds of seniors on a regular basis.

We have produced 14 virtual concerts, our “From Our Home to Your Home” series. And there are 4 more coming before Christmas! We offer a wonderfully wide variety of music – violins, cellos, brass trio, piano solo, nostalgia duos, Broadway, and jazz.

We estimate that these 14 concerts have been watched more than 6,000 times in these last few months, brightening the day for many seniors, their care workers, their families.

We curate the concert specifically to connect to entire care home communities or to individuals watching on an iPad or tablet. Concerts in Care virtual performances focus attention on happy thoughts and beautiful sounds, rather than the isolation and loneliness so many are experiencing during this pandemic.

And now we go Zoom!

We want to thank Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, our honourary patron, who initiated the idea for her series of Zoom Concert Calls across the province, facilitated by Concerts in Care.

Recently, Her Honour wrote to us about her experience.

As a province we have had to confront the vulnerability of our seniors and the value we place on those who are their personal care workers, Through your organization, I was so pleased to have an opportunity to connect with both residents and workers to thank them personally while hearing their stories, and to enjoy live music from some of the best performers in Ontario. This program will remain one of my fondest memoires of this uncertain time.

Musicians and seniors continue to meet over ZOOM for Concerts and Conversations – live and in person – but distanced through a screen! Where it is permitted, a few people gather in a room with a large screen, or stay in their rooms with their iPads, tablets, or laptops. We talk back and forth in the Q & A/Conversation break, and have so much fun! The seniors are so delighted to have a visit from our musicians, and our musicians are so thrilled to have a live audience! It isn’t quite the same, but it’s pretty darned close.

Mark Lundrigan, Director of Recreation, Bradgate Arms, wrote:

The residents at Bradgate Arms-Revera have really enjoyed this program as it provides the opportunity for residents to enjoy a variety of quality musicians, and to engage in conversation and ask questions of the performers. It is important now more then ever to maintain social connections with our greater community and Concerts in Care provides an avenue to do just that.

A screen shot of our Zoom Concert Call with (clockwise from lower right) Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, pianist Kevin Ahfat, Exec Dir Debra Chandler, and the residents of Pioneer Ridge, Thunder Bay.

Test Run A Zoom Concert!

To “try out” a Zoom concert, email Debra or Brenton and they will arrange for you to have a link to an upcoming event. debra@concertsincareontario.com OR brenton@concertsincareontario.com.