We began in March 2000, with the support of the Vancouver and District Labour Council, as a strategy to bring community activists and unionists together. Our members are people who are young, old, and in-between; people who read music and people who don’t. We have members who belong to unions and members who don’t; members who are retired and members who wish they were. Our criteria for acceptance are a willingness to sing and a commitment to the principles of labour and social justice movements.
We have sung with Utah Phillips at the Vancouver International Folk Festival, with the Seattle Labour Chorus at the Paul Robeson Memorial Concert, for Fidel Castro in Cuba, at the Western Workers Heritage Labour Festival in San Francisco, at the Pacific Northwest Labor History’s Association’s Wobbly Festival in Seattle, at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival in Princeton, BC and at Miners’ Memorial Day in Cumberland, BC. However, we are most commonly found singing in Vancouver, on picket lines, at peace marches, demonstrations, memorials and social justice benefits.
We are ordinary people who like to sing and contribute to social change.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
We are a group of people who share a progressive labour, political and social agenda, and who advance this agenda through our dedication to singing together.
Our goals are:
- To give voice to the wealth of progressive music from different current and historical struggles around the world.
- To inspire each other and those with us in struggle to believe, to fight, and to have hope.
- To show solidarity with those in struggle, no matter how large or small the audience or the venue, and regardless of their ability to pay.
- To bring together activists and supporters from different movements to work together and learn about one another.
- Through our collective will, to take specific actions to better the world.
OUR REHEARSAL SPACE
Earle Peach our conductor and musical director, is a long-time composer and musician whose work has been featured in numerous films and plays. Through his distinctive choral arrangements and with his humour, patience and energy, we are able to blend unique harmony and artistry into our singing.
In August 2012, Earle was recognized as a Local Hero for his work in building community in East Vancouver. After a pot luck supper, a plaque was unveiled at the MOBY Garden at the corner of 11th & Commercial. Take a look if you’re near the Broadway Skytrain Station.
Earle is also a member of the folk band Illiteratty . You can find more of his music at CD Baby, Cypress Choral Music and Sound Cloud. Earle is also, along with Barbara Jackson, Songtree, an eclectic collection of stories told in song.
And listen to an interview on The Activist Network on YouTube where Earle talks about his life as a choir activist and how his music interacts with how he lives and what he believes in.