Nov 11, 2021

By Christine Ross

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The pandemic disrupted our rituals for saying goodbye to loved ones who died during the pandemic. A National Grief and Bereavement concert this month will use the healing power of music during these challenging times.

“We’re all in this together that’s why I was more than happy to offer my voice to this concert,” said singer-songwriter Fred Penner. The 75-year-old legendary Canadian children’s performer will sing Courage at the Saying Goodbye Concert.

Fred Penner

The multi  Juno-award winner knows all too well the healing power of music, his sister and father died a year apart fifty years ago.

“Knowing that music has a special part in your spirit and being aware of that is a critical part of the dying process, bring as much music as possible to people who are close to the end of their lives.”

Singer-songwriter Tara Shannon will host this year’s concert which is a mix of virtual and in person performances at Ottawa’s National Art Centre.

Tara Shannon

“Many people who had lost loved ones, not necessarily due to COVID but just during COVID, they didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye in the way that we normally say goodbye,” said Shannon.

Tara says our culture doesn’t handle grief well and music has a beautiful way of stepping in when our words fail us.

“This concert really serves a purpose in providing a collective experience where we’re holding space for each other whether you’re grieving or someone you love is grieving.”

This 2nd annual event on November 14th falls two days before National Grief and Bereavement Day. The concert features Canadian artists including John McDermott, Johnny Reid, Michelle Wright and many more. It’s free but donations are welcome for palliative care.

Click here for more information.


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