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Handbell Ringers spreading Christmas joy in Oliver

Handbell Ringers spreading Christmas joy in Oliver

The Okanagan Valley has no shortage of artistic and talented folks, such as Oliver’s Handbell Ringers.

The group is a coterie made up of nine ringers that wrangle 115 different bells and chimes, and a vocal choir of 15.

For more than a decade they have made it their mission to entertain and lift the spirits of the communities up and down the Okanagan Valley.

The weeks leading up to St. Nicholas’ arrival is always a busy time for the handbell club, since nothing says “Christmas” like ringing bells.

The troupe has already jingled their way through the yuletide market in the Penticton Lakeside Resort and delighted residents and guests of Penticton’s Sun Village Retirement Residence.

Performances are set for both care home facilities in Oliver – McKinney Place and Sunnybank Centre. Being welcomed into these homes is a privilege and honour that the club enjoys not only at Christmas, but in the spring each year as well.

The Kiwanis Club of Oliver has booked the Handbell Ringers as entertainment for their annual Christmas party once again.  Director Helen Wollf chimed in, “We have been so kindly supported, since our group’s inception by the Kiwanis Club of Oliver. It is an honour to be asked to perform for them once again.”

Meeting on at least a weekly basis starting in September, the ringers don’t only get a physical workout. Research shows that there is no other activity that engages the brain so completely as learning a musical instrument. Perhaps the biggest benefit to being a member of the ringers is the group “therapy” that members are treated to. Unlike learning other instruments, which are generally done in solitude and isolation, this instrument is like no other. It simply doesn’t work without all its parts.

“I look forward to our Thursday nights together as a highlight of the week,” says Wollf.

The culmination of all the hard work is the two public performances coming up Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. at Oliver Alliance Church.

Audience members from one to 101 are sure to be filled with Christmas goodness when the ringers and singers combine their efforts, along with their friend and master of ceremonies Mal Bearman, in presenting “A Festive Celebration,” with no admission fee to the public.

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