VYC Kindred Sings Songs for Belonging

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

VYC Kindred Sings Songs for Belonging


As communities grow increasingly diverse in places like British Columbia, where 29% of the population identify as immigrants, programs like VYC Kindred, from the Vancouver Youth Choir, are offering music as a meeting place for the region’s past and future. Led by Deanna Gestrin and Russell Wallace, both musicians and members of Indigenous tribes, VYC Kindred has been connecting immigrant and refugee youth to the music of B.C.’s Indigenous cultures since 2021. Participants are introduced to Indigenous music and culture and invited to share their own stories, forming the foundation for long-lasting friendships and connection to their host community—no singing or English-speaking experience required. Read more about the program in this CBC News article.


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