An Easter fundraising concert to help stock the Hazelton food bank will double as an opportunity for concert musicians across the northwest to play as an orchestra.
About 300 people are expected to attend the 12th Annual Community Good Friday Music Concert at the Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School.
Organizer Bent Hougesen said musicians from Prince Rupert, Terrace, Smithers and Nisga’a would share the stage with Hazelton instrumentalists at the community fundraiser.
“We bring them all together and we end up with a combined band with about 50 or 60 people and everybody has already practiced music so it sounds wonderful,” he said.
“It’s a whole, huge orchestra and we have a great time.”
Concert-goers are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items and collections will be taken on the night.
Hougesen said last year’s concert raised $1,500 for the food bank, which is run by the Salvation Army.
“They seem to be able to use everything that they get and more,” said Hougesen.
“This area is somewhat economically depressed so there are lots of people who depend to some extent on this.”
Salvation Army administrative assistant Janet Hougeson, who is Bent’s wife, said there is a huge need for food bank items in the Hazelton area.
She said every month about 130 families accessed the service, which is only open on Wednesdays.
“It makes a big difference,” she said.
“The Salvation Army does subsidize the food bank quite heavily but we really count on the donations that we get from people.
“In a lot of cases we are getting food donations that are things we would not be able to afford to buy.”
Hougesen said it also provided a rare opportunity for the region’s musicians to perform as an orchestra.
The concert will be held at 7 p.m. on April 3 in the school auditorium.