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Rotary Carol Festival about song, community

The Rotary Carol Festival is all about song, but it’s also about community.
The Fort Macleod tradition continues Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at F.P. Walshe school.
“The Rotary Carol Festival has become a real Christmas tradition here in Fort Macleod, something that people mark on their calendar as an event not to be missed,” Rotary Club president Martin Ebel said. “It is an evening where everyone is invited to come together, sing and enjoy Christmas songs as a community, and reflect a bit about this special time of year.”
Rotary Club past president Gordon MacIvor agreed.
“The carol festival is a long-standing tradition and a time for all of our people — young and old, juniors and seniors, families — in our community to come together and sing their hearts out and to enjoy all of our coming together to focus on all the good things in our community and to share the Christmas spirit that permeates us all,” MacIvor said. “Without it, who would we be?”
The 2011 Rotary Carol Festival features six choirs from local churches, musicians from F.P. Walshe school and the Rotarians themselves.
“At Rotary, we want it to be an inclusive, uplifting event that brings people closer together, and that is one of the reasons why the last song of the night is always ‘Let there be Peace on Earth,’ first sung by the Rotarians for the audience, and then by everyone together,” Ebel said. “That is the spirit of the festival.”
The 2011 carol festival line-up includes Trinity United Church, Welcome Mat Singers, Holy Cross Catholic Church, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints 1st Ward, F.P. Walshe school band, Fort Macleod Alliance Church, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints 2nd Ward, with a finale by Rotarians, their spouses and friends.
“The warmth of the evening felt inside F.P. Walshe school is contrasted by the coldness of the evening outside,” MacIvor said. “Our choirs lead us in remembering songs and tunes from our childhood and they place a smile on our faces and make us feel good inside: the Christmas spirit.”
“For all who are there, and we do completely fill the Walshe gymnasium, the choirs sweet voices are a gift to us all,” MacIvor added. “They bring joy to all of our hearts and make us better people.”
MacIvor said he is sad for people who don’t attend, because they miss out on a tremendous feeling of community spirit and compassion for fellow man.
“The sadness also comes for those seniors who are restricted to their homes for health reasons,” MacIvor said. “Their families should make the attempt to bring them along.”
Admission is by a free will silver collection. Proceeds from the 46th carol festival will go to the Fort Macleod Handibus Society.

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