This will be the 12th year the Peace Region Songwriters’ Association hosts the concert, which will once again take place at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre.
“Place at the Table started around 12 years ago when we all decided it would be nice to give something back to the community,” said Linda Studley, a member of the songwriters’ association and one of the organizers of the first concert. “As songwriters and performers, the one strength we can donate is our time and our music, and we fixed on the Salvation Army as being an organization in Dawson Creek that we really wanted to support.”
Admission into the concert is by cash donation, so patrons are encouraged to give as much as they can afford. Studley said one of the added benefits of having admission by donation is that it makes it affordable for families to enjoy the concert.
“This is becoming a bit of a tradition for some families to have the opportunity to come out for a fun evening, and it’s very much a “pay what you can afford” type of thing,” she said. “It’s a great way for people to get into the real spirit of Christmas, which is enjoying the fellowship, and helping out others who need it.”
The concert will open with performances by two groups with the Salvation Army Community Church. The Salvation Army King’s Kids will perform their very popular blacklight mime show, accompanied by Christmas music. Studley said it is great to have the King’s Kids back for another year, as they have become a staple of the concert.
“We were one of the first places they ever played several years ago, and I remember they were all very nervous about going on stage, but they’ve become such troopers now!” she said. “They are so good at what they do and we’re so proud of them.”
There will also be a performance by a choir of younger children, the Salvation Army God’s Gift.
Several members of the songwriters’ association will then take to the stage for solo performances and for some collaborations between artists. Studley said they are pleased to have their newest member, Elaine Armagost, join them for a performance that evening.
“She has some really good songs, and some really fun songs, so she’s a great addition and it’s nice to have her on board.”
Audience members will be encouraged to sing along with the performers for a couple of Christmas tunes towards the end of the concert, and the evening will conclude with the song, “A Place at the Table,” which was written by Studley and her husband, Bill, specifically for the event.
A concession will be open featuring some holiday goodies and hot beverages including coffee and hot apple cider. Studley said they are very grateful for the event’s sponsors, who have provided for the use of KPAC, the printed materials for the concert, the coffee being served, and also several prizes that will be drawn for and awarded to patrons throughout the night.
She said through the generous support of the community, they have fundraised nearly $1,000 in each of the last few years of hosting the concert, and she estimates they’ve raised nearly $10,000 in total since the first concert.
The doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and she encourages patrons to come early as KPAC has filled up quickly during the last few concerts.