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Two years ago, St. Paul’s Church in Charlottetown put together a concert with a variety of acts from different cultures to celebrate the theme of common humanity in diversity. It mingled local entertainment with music and dance by immigrants from ‘exotic’ corners of the planet. The evening was entitled “It’s a Wonderful World.” Much of the news nowadays is discouraging: about simplistic populism and reactionary xenophobia – suspicion, even fear, of the ‘different.’ It’s easy to slip into feeling that things aren’t very wonderful. But we believe that we, in our Island society and in our wider global community, are still on the right track, moving ahead toward not just tolerance, but real inclusion – to recognition of commonalities, to multicultural sharing and full fellowship.
So once again, St. Paul’s is hosting a celebratory variety concert, on Sunday evening, March 24h, and we call it “It’s Still a Wonderful World.” In the beautiful church, a place of beauty and harmony, we’ll have a mix of wonderful local mainstream talent with wonderful acts from other cultures. There’ll be songs and instrumentals by the skilled students of UPEI Music and the School of Performing Arts. The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors will drum and dance through new tellings of a colourful First-Nation legend. Chinese culture will be illustrated through the Belle Ame youth band and the Love Island choir. There’ll be a song in Swahili, and dancing, too – both exotic Sri Lankan traditional and home-grown line-dancing. Tying it all together will be Phase II and Friends, the lively rock-n-roll band with the Music P.E.I. award as Community Contributor of the Year. And the MC will be Gerard Murphy, the popular host on Ocean radio.
This is entertainment with a purpose – a positive statement of goodwill, and also a celebration of 250 years of St. Paul’s as an Island parish.
Rob Thomson, St. Paul’s Church,