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North Battleford Kinsmen Band host annual Christmas concert Dec. 10

Their second show post-COVID-19 brought the Battlefords together for music, fun and the Christmas spirit.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — The North Battleford City Kinsmen Band hosted their annual Christmas concert for the second time since the COVID-19 pandemic Dec. 10, bringing together the NBCK choir and band, a youth ensemble and a jazz band as they connect the community through music during the holiday season.

‘We’ve been a band for over 70 years,’ Amy Francais, president of the NBCK Band, said, with Christmas concerts spanning decades. Despite livestreaming their 2020 show, 2022 marks their second in-person concert since the pandemic.

"I know some of our audience members might still be a little hesitant to be in a room filled with people. We’re now giving people to option to come in via livestream. We’re trying to go back to some semblance of normalcy,’ Chinley Hinacay, artistic director and general manager for the band, said.

After an Oct. 29 Halloween concert and their Nov. 11 performance for Legion Branch No 70 Remembrance Day Ceremony, they’ve been preparing for their Christmas concert.

“This is one of our most well-attended concerts, so knowing that you’re going to have a packed house adds to the excitement,” Francais said on their preparations over the last six weeks.

Though she’s a little biased because she's a part of the band, Francais said she’s most excited about their performance of Sleigh Ride.

"... it's a classic."

Hinacay was most excited for their rendition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. “It’s a series of musical vignettes accompanying the classic Clement C. Moore poem. We have a special guest narrator for that, in the form of our honourable mayor David Gillan. We don’t usually get the chance to collaborate with other people outside of music, so this is going to be fun.” 

Gillan was more worried that he wouldn’t be in tune or on time with the band. However, he was excited to be back celebrating the holidays with more normalcy.

“It’s obvious a lot more open than it has been for the last few years, and that’s great. People are getting together with family again; over the last few years, that's been very difficult. The spirits (in the community) are much higher, people are much happier.”

Speaking on the event, Gillan said, “I think it’s just fantastic. The NBCK Band work and practices so hard, and it’s such a great event to put on, and it’s great to see a full house ... I’m happy to be here, and I’m happy to be a part of the band today.”

You can view the entire livestream online at the NBCK Band's Facebook Page: