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A Special Message...

Merry Christmas!

It brings me pleasure to be able to bring you a Christmas greeting this year. Although we are not doing a lot of bell playing, if any, in Canada this holiday season, much has been accomplished on the Handbell Musicians of Canada front - the silver lining in a worldwide pandemic. We have over 150 members, and counting, an active website, a newly elected board that will take over in early 2021, and we have many operational documents and procedures for this new HMC organization to begin to operate by. I cannot thank the Interim HMC Board enough for their tireless time and effort over the past 6 years. This has been and will continue to be a labour of love for these people. HMC is very much looking forward to being able to gather together in the coming years and to be able to ring joyous music together.

During this Celebratory Season, I do hope that some of your bells are ringing. Before “lockdown” in Manitoba, my group was able to record twice in order to have that “special music” added to our Zoom services. Since then, I have recorded 3 solos and a duet (with Ron Vert) for the Advent and Christmas season. There are ways, but we do need to be more creative than usual it seems.

May your holiday season be filled with Love, Happiness, Hope, and Family in a fashion that is safe and healthy. Best wishes for a brighter 2021!

Patsy Andrews-Vert

Chair, HMC Interim Board

Handbell Musicians of Canada is a national organization that fosters the art of handbell ringing across the country. How do we do this? By hosting festivals and learning events, presenting concerts and performances, awarding scholarships and bursaries, supporting the development of composers, conductors and clinicians, and by creating a network through which musicians from all over Canada can collaborate, learn, and grow with each other!

L’association nationale “Handbell Musicians of Canada" promeut et encourage les clochettes à travers le Canada. Et comment? En organisant des événements musicaux et pédagogiques, en donnant des spectacles, en décernant des bourses, en appuyant le développement des compositeurs, des chefs d’orchestre et des animateurs, tout en créant un réseau pour que tous les musiciens canadiens puissent collaborer et s’enrichir mutuellement!

Please feel free to send us your inquiries in English or French. We would be pleased to respond in the language of your choice.

Veuillez nous contacter avec vos questions en anglais ou en français. Cela nous ferait un plaisir de vous répondre dans la langue de votre choix.

Handbell Musicians of Canada is fully inclusive of all peoples, regardless of ability, age, ethnicity, faith, gender (identity, expression), race, sexual orientation or status (economic, family, marital).

What's News

HMC “Heightening the Curve” Membership Campaigns

Late in summer 2020, a membership drive campaign was launched when the new Handbell Musicians of Canada website went live. With national wide efforts to “flatten the COVID curve”, the HMC Website Committee decided to go the other way by “heightening the HMC membership curve” with the hashtag #100bylabourday. Canadian handbell musicians were invited to become the 100th member to join by Labour Day 2020.

Our winner was Cathy Larson from Fort McMurray, AB and she received a special edition HMC mask. Cathy is one of our greatest handbell cheerleaders in Northern Alberta and has even founded a teachers’ handbell ensemble along with her numerous school groups. She most recently served as VP for ALGEHR (Alberta Guild of English Handbell Ringers) and is a long-time member of ALGEHR’s Board of Directors.

Delighted with the enthusiastic response from all the new members, the Website Committee decided to continue with the hype and the excitement of the HMC inaugural Board Elections to offer another contest. This time the goal was to reach 150 members by Voting Week in mid-October.

And we did! Our 150th member was 16-year-old student Lucas Bridge from Edmonton, AB who has probably been ringing for most of his young life as his mother, Tammy-Jo Mortensen, was Music Director at Robertson-Wesley United Church until 2019. Lucas is also a very talented fiddler and has studied with none other than Donnell Leahy (of the famous fiddling family and husband of Natalie McMaster) and others during his family visits to NS. 

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