The power of Whistler 

Tsunami relief fundraiser has a spiritual element

What: The Power of You

Tsunami relief fundraiser and community consciousness-raising event

Where: MY Millennium Place

When: Friday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m.

Tickets: $20

A globally-conscious, headstrong local with a can-do attitude, a mystic arts practitioner and a couple with a slide show’s worth of striking travel photos have joined creative forces to organize a unique fundraising event for victims of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia.

The Power of You — A Whistlerite’s Place in Our Global Community, a fundraiser for UNICEF’s tsunami relief effort, presents a program equal parts culture and spirituality in the theatre at MY Place next Friday evening.

Organized by Christian Kessner (the aforementioned can-do man), Kelly Oswald (the mystic arts practitioner) and Christa Hoffs and David Smith (the travel photo-bearing couple), The Power of You features an eclectic lineup. An impressive collection of speakers are on the roster, including William Roberts of the Whistler Village Church, Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly, Lyndsey Smith of UNICEF, and Anne Rowan of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Youth from Whistler Secondary and Myrtle Philip Community Schools will read works describing their personal reactions to the images they have seen of Tsunami victims. The Lil’wat Hand Drum and dance troupe is also scheduled to make an appearance and Hoffs and Smith will present a slideshow of travel photos from the affected countries – a heart-wrenching look back in recent time at the region pre-tsunami disaster.

The Power of You will incorporate spirituality in the form of a guided meditation for the entire theatre, led by Oswald. There will also be a sound-healing session using traditional Tibetan Singing Bowls with Cheryl Brewster, a mystic arts practitioner from the Lower Mainland, and a performance by the One Dance Creative Arts Company, a group that integrates spiritual healing with the power of dance.

The spiritual element is a crucial part of The Power of You, which is seeking to raise community consciousness and send healing energies as well as funds to the affected areas.

"It’s that whole thought that we are all one, we are all connected," Oswald said. "That energy is real and that we can heal through energy. That thoughts are things and that we can work with the power of intention to create a new reality.

"If we’ve got 250 people in one place we can help tsunami victims and compassionate aid people. It’s really the combined effort of everything, being sent energetically in that direction and hoping that on some level it’s going to make a difference."

The evening also includes a silent auction, raffle, bar, psychic readings, massage and an intermission performance by local reggae band KostaMan and the Mighty Backhoes.

The event’s tsunami relief raison d’être ties the Power of You to the present, although organizers recognize the positive spiritual guidance they are hoping to promote is something the Whistler community can benefit from on an ongoing basis, opening the door to another Power of You event in the future.

But for now, energies are focused on Southeast Asia.

"I’ve been there every single year... six years in a row," Kessner emoted. "It’s my home away from home and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for those people."

Tickets for the Power of You are available at the MY Place box office. For purchasing information call 604-935-8410.

Pickin’ for Relief in Pemberton

Bluegrass fans wanting to contribute to the tsunami relief effort will want to make the trip out to Pemberton next weekend for Pickin’ for Relief.

The fundraising concert has assembled an impressive West Coast bluegrass and roots music lineup that includes the Courageous Mountain Rangers (formerly the Tragically Hick), Archie Pateman and the Boot Screefers, and the Mountain Bluebirds.

The intimate event takes place at St. David’s United Church on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. 100 per cent of the $10 ticket proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross. Donations will also be accepted.

Tickets are currently on sale at Pemberton Esso, Pioneer Junction Shell and the Alpine Meadows Market.


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