Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Galilee Centre - a weekend away - Part 1 - First Impressions...

Not the ocean, but the Ottawa river! Awesome!
A glorious tapestry of nature greeted us at Arnprior's Galilee Centre. The weekend promised Choral workshops with Gabriel Lewis-O'Connor,  a huge Saturday evening concert with the Glebe choirs; and oodles of time off to bond with choir members, have fun, walk the trails and gaze at the ocean-like Ottawa River till Sunday morning!

Which came much too soon!
Gabe and Pierre at a local Arnprior pub - great food!!
Pete picked up Gabe from the airport and he stayed over at ours Thursday night. After a visit to the Peace Tower Carillon (blog post to come), we arrived in Arnprior in time for an early dinner. Then, on to the Galilee Centre to check in.

I am going to say little else in this blog post. Feelings about the success of the weekend are best expressed in thank you emails from choir members.
Rooms at Galilee Centre are quaint and cozy
We had a good chance to publicly thank Gabe for all that he did, but there wasn't the same opportunity to thank Pierre.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to throw a huge collective hug to Pierre for everything he did to bring this workshop retreat into being! It was certainly one of the highlights of my short life to date.
The trees, oh, the trees!!
And a shout out to Susan, EC members and all the others who worked behind the scenes on this, and to all those donors (choir members and others) who contributed so generously to our 40th anniversary fundraising campaign, without whose support this couldn't have happened.
Pierre and Gabe begin by exploring the forest paths
Thanks to you all, and I hope you all got a chance to visit or revisit the eastern white pine forest called Gillies Grove, where Ontario's tallest tree is located.

NB: the beauty of forest walks and runs is that, besides the trees, you never know what or who might be lurking therein, even the odd Stairwell Caroller fan could be walking their dog just waiting for a chance to be invited to come to one of our concerts, you never know. (David invited a person on his run through the forest and he actually showed up!)
Choir members arriving for the big weekend
Just wanted to say a BIG HUGE thank you to everyone for a really fun weekend when I learned even more about singing and more about my new found friends in the carollers. I am so happy to have become a part of this family, and I hope I will stay in it for a long time.
Relaxing before the evening workshop
We should do this again!
The Galilee Centre and the Royal Oak
I would like to join with David and Annika by saying how amazing and how much fun it was to get to know so many of you better and what a privilege it is to be a part of carollers.
The trees, oh, the trees...
"I can only echo what has already been expressed -- it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to know so many people better this weekend, and the master classes were so helpful (and exhausting!)
A mysterious structure beckons...
Thanks to everyone who participated this weekend, and huge thanks to those who did all the work to let the magic happen, especially the Steering Committee and the 40th Anniversary Committee.
A relaxing gaming session in the evening in one of the many cozy salons
This is not the sort of thing that happens overnight, but through months and months of effort and planning, and I truly appreciate it.
Sing alongs, of course!
I miss those who weren't able to make it, and look forward to this kind of choir dynamic in the future -- not to this extent, obviously, but certainly a continuation of the 'family vibe'. I *love* our collective mind, and how well we work together."

Part 2 - Denyse (en Français) (in English)
Part 3 is HERE

Learn more about the Galilee Centre
History of the Galilee Centre
Who are the Oblates?
Galilee Centre Mission and Vision

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa U. 
The Stairwell Carollers are proud to have won both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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