Jingles for Jackets took place in Kimberley on the snowy evening of Dec. 22, a brand-new event that gathered the community together in the Platzl to sing Christmas carols and raise winter clothing for Operation Street Angel and money for the Food Bank.
It was a fantastic success both in terms of the enjoyment of its attendees and that it raised 370 pieces of warm clothing — and counting — and $1000 cash for the Food Bank.
It was initially intended to be held at Centennial Hall, but due to the recent change in COVID restrictions, organizers had to pivot last minute and thanks to the flexibility of the City of Kimberley and the willingness of the attendees to go with the flow, the change to the Platzl wasn’t a problem. Gently falling snow and mild temperatures were a welcomed bonus.
The event featured the talents of Kimberley’s beloved holiday staple Arne Sahlen on piano, providing the foundation for the evening’s soundtrack. He was supported by the Kimberley Ladies Choir and several guest musicians including Pamela Ruby of the band Kootenay Lately and Oliver McQuaid. McQuaid’s business Kootenay Mortgage also helped fund and put on the event.
The night was also supported by local businesses Biscuit and Stonefire Pizzeria, who provided the heat lamps, and a whole host of volunteers.
The event was created by Chelsea Van Derwerff and Natalie Skokan.
“The evening went well,” Skokan told the Bulletin. “The ladies choir haven’t sung together for over a year because of Covid so I know some of them were a bit nervous, but they sounded amazing. The musicians that joined us were super fun and sounded great.”
Sahlen, always a treat especially at the holidays, was a huge highlight of the evening, despite some hiccups leading up to the event.
“The biggest shout out needs to go to Arne Shalen,” Skokan said. “His car broke down, he had the wrong piano at first and still he managed to pull everything together and shine through. He absolutely rocked it.”
There were no rehearsals beforehand and so all the music was right off the cuff, giving the night a very genuine atmosphere.
“Lots of adults came up to me afterwards and said it reminded them of being a kid and of similar events they attended when they were young, so it was a really magical evening,” Skokan said.
With everything that’s been happening in Kimberley, this wonderful event that gathered together the community to support its less fortunate individuals called to mind a scene from the story of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. Despite his best efforts to destroy Christmas for Whoville, Mr. Grinch is at first dismayed, then inspired as the citizens of Whoville still come together and celebrate the day.
“And they’ll sing, and they’ll sing, and they’ll sing, sing sing!”
While there’s no one green creature for the town to blame for the recent misfortunes of fires, increased COVID counts and tightened restrictions and business shutdowns, the people of Kimberley still managed to gather together to create some warm and special memories, while simultaneously looking out for the people who need help the most at this time of year.
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