Every Monday at 5 p.m., the residents at Windsong, a strata complex in Courtenay, B.C., converge on their respective balconies and break out in song.
Led by Dick Cowling, the ‘Windsong Singsong’ is a way for neighbours to gather, social distancing intact, and interact.
“One of our residents heard that people where banging pots and pans to show support for the health workers, so we thought we would get together and sing O Canada,” said Cowling, in a phone interview. “They asked me to lead them so I go out on the back lawn and they all come out onto their balconies and we sing. They all liked it so it sort of carried on.
“We used to do it every night, but I started running out of songs.”
Cowling picks out appropriate songs, either by himself or by suggestion from other strata members, prints off the lyrics, and distributes them to all 10 units a couple of days in advance.
“I let them know what songs we are going to do and they can rehearse on their own,” he said.
“It’s just our way of showing our appreciation,” said Pat Rivers, who, at 93, is the oldest participant. “It’s one thing seniors can do, and it’s a beautiful way to say thanks. And it’s also entertaining for people walking by.”
There are 15 residents in the 55+ strata (five couples, five singles) and participation is always at or near 100 per cent.
“In normal times we quite often have potluck dinners and that sort of thing that everybody comes to… so we are quite a close group,” said Cowling. “It would be nicer to carry on the way we were of course, but this is one of the ways we can say hello to each other and have a bit of a social time.”
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