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South Arm to host massive block party

By Don Fennell

Published 11:24 PDT, Tue June 13, 2017

Every June, South Arm Community Centre hosts a block party to celebrate life in the neighbourhood. This year, they’re expanding the scope of the event to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

“It’s a free family event with activities for all ages,” explains organizer Winnie Wong.

Community development co-ordinator at South Arm, Wong says the June 24 party (from noon to 5 p.m.) will feature free food, live performances, prize giveaways, arts and crafts, bouncy castles and representatives from various community groups.

Wong says the overall theme is Canada, which includes many Canadian-themed activities, including hockey. There will be two hockey-related activities: target shooting and a hockey equipment relay.

South Arm’s history is being showcased in the form a “walk-through outdoor museum” where guests can regale in archival photos of what the community around the centre was like from the 1950s onwards. There will also be photos of founding families in the area, as well as schools, South Arm area buildings and various activities from yesteryear.

All the fun kicks off just after noon with the sounds of the Children’s Choir of Richmond. A group of 40 young singers ranging in age from five to 12, who get the opportunity to learn the foundations of choral singing through popular traditional Chinese and English songs, will take to the stage.

At 1 p.m., the Taiko 55 Drummers will showcase their musical talents in a captivating performance. The group of women from South Arm’s taiko drumming program are part of the only organized taiko program for older adults in the Lower Mainland. They’ve been together for four years and performed at many community events throughout the city.

At 2 p.m., renowned local performing artist Cherelle Jardine will be in the spotlight. A household name in Richmond for more than a decade, she produced the popular music series “Musical Expressions” for seven years and has earned many accolades for her talents including a Richmond Arts Award.

Paying homage to one of Canada’s most beloved musical acts, The Hip Show caps the energy-filled day with a tribute to the Tragically Hip. The tribute band has been performing since 2008 and has established itself as the most authentic-looking, sounding and entertaining in the country.

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