• Hunter Cresswell

Angels Share adapts

Annual Chelsea fundraiser goes digital

When asked about his next song to drop, Gatineau Hills music royalty Ian Tamblyn expressed, in his usual dry humour (this reporter was sure there was a wry smile hidden behind his facemask): “It’s a nice song, it has words in it.”

(Left) Musician Ian Tamblyn and Angels Share artistic director Deborah Thomson ham it up on the stoop of Grace United Church in Chelsea on Nov. 19. This year the annual Angels Share fundraiser for the Mill Road Community Space and a chosen community organization, has been forced to adapt, like every other aspect of life, to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual live concert, Angels Share is going digital. An eclectic team of artists have teamed up to write, perform and record a holiday song, “The Night When Angels Share,” and create an accompanying music video, which will premiere on Dec. 5. Hunter Cresswell photo

The others present for the photo shoot on the steps of the Grace United Church in Chelsea on Nov. 19 put the songwriter to shame when it came to describing his song “The Night When Angels Share”: “It’s the most hopeful thing I’ve heard through all this,” Angels Share artistic director Deborah Thomson said.

The “this” she referred to is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected just about every facet of life at this point, including annual community fundraisers like Angels Share.

What started as a fundraising concert for the Mill Road Community Space 16 years ago snowballed into a fundraiser both for the community space and a different community organization each year.

Since concerts are out of the question this year, given the need to be social-distanced, the Angels Share fundraiser is taking on a new form — it’s going digital.

The Angels Share former artistic director, Tamblyn, wrote the song, “The Night When Angels Share,” along with additional lyrics by Margot Doucet, Chris MacLean and Jacob Milne. Musical arrangement was done by Tamblyn, Thomson and James Stephens.

The song is performed by Tamblyn, Pat Maher, Kate Weekes, Doucet, Alise Marlane, Milne, MacLean, Stephens, Sheena Turcotte, Allysann Foehring, Thomson, and Doug McArthur.

McArthur is putting together a music video featuring all those artists performing the song in their home studios and editing it together into one cohesive piece.

“You literally can phone it in now,” Tamblyn, ever the jokester, said.

The music video will premiere on the Mill Road Community Space Facebook page via a live video on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Those who miss the live premiere are in luck: unlike missing the usual Angels Share concert, the music video will remain online for people to watch again and again.

To pair with the online premiere, a GoFundMe crowdsource fundraiser with a $3,000 goal has started. The funds raised will be split this year between the community space and the Chelsea Christmas Hampers Project, which is sponsoring eight families this year. The hampers include at least one gift per child in the family, household items and plenty of non-perishable foods.

To donate visit bit.ly/39nFODN.

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