MANDATE | NOVEMBER 2016 4
CONCERTS RAISE $80,000 FOR
CANADIAN FOODGRAINS BANK
WITH THE LAST NOTES now sung,
the first-ever Spring into Song concert
series for the Canadian Foodgrains
Bank has successfully wrapped up.
The 41 concerts, performed by community and church choirs from Charlottetown to Vancouver Island, raised
almost $80,000 for the Foodgrains
Bank’s Conservation Agriculture project in East Africa.
After a 3: 1 match from the Government of Canada, a total of $320,000
was given to the project to help 50,000
farm families in Ethiopia, Kenya, and
Tanzania adapt to a changing climate
and increase yields through crop rotation, minimizing soil disturbance, and
Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a
partnership of 15 churches and church
agencies, including the United Church,
working together to end global hunger.
Altogether, over 900 people sang in
the choirs or were involved in organiz-
ing the concerts. About 4,000 turned
out to enjoy the music and learn more
about the Foodgrains Bank.
The concert series, which was conceived and organized by Ron Klusmeier
and Christina Bogucki, featured the
music of Klusmeier, a well-known
Canadian choral composer.
“I am profoundly grateful for the sup-
port received from so many Canadians
who participated in this year’s Spring
into Song concerts,” he says. “What
started as a dream manifested itself as
an outpouring of song and caring in
communities from coast to coast.”
“We had a choir of 25 who sounded
like 50,” says Diane Kjorven, who
led a choir in Prince George, British
“The audience participated when
invited and seemed to enjoy them-
selves,” she adds. “The smiles on their
faces just increased my joy.”
Former United Church Moderator
Walter Farquharson attended the
Spring into Song concert in Fort
Qu’appelle, Saskatchewan, with his
“We were delighted by the presenta-
tion,” he says. “It was so moving and
The concerts also encouraged
participants to use their own voices
and send postcards to Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau asking the Canadian
government to increase its support for
small-scale farmers in the developing
world. A total of 2,500 postcards were
signed and sent.
New music and supporting resources
are being developed for a series of concerts in 2017.
“We want to involve more choirs
and reach even more people next year,”
says Klusmeier. “Through singing we
can celebrate God’s goodness and come
together to share our vision of helping
those who don’t have enough to eat.”
For more information, visit Canadian
In Hanover, Ontario, over 200 people participated in the Spring into Song concert.