Those who chose to brave the weather and venture to the Tumbler Ridge Library on the evening of December 1st, were treated to a dramatic reading of Charles Dickens? ?A Christmas Carol?.
In 1990, Judy Maddren, the voice of World Report on CBC, performed ?A Christmas Carol? with the help of CBC colleagues and the support of her family. A small sum was raised for a women?s shelter. The dramatic reading by Maddren was requested the following year and it has grown into a nationwide event in its lifetime. Since its inception, Maddren has helped many communities across Canada put on their own readings and raise money for local charities.
This year, Tumbler Ridge Public Library contacted CBC in order to organize a dramatic reading for its residents. CBC helps each community organize the event with complete ?how to? instructions. The ?Christmas Carol? team in Toronto helped in arranging Chris Walker as the CBC personality, explained Michelle Burton, Library Manager. Chris Walker, who wakes many of us northerners up through his show ?Day Break? on CBC radio, was the welcomed host for the evening. Burton said she was ?hoping to get someone from Daybreak? and she was very pleased Chris Walker was the host.
The literary classic and it?s characters, which have been staged and filmed in an abundance of variations, was brought to life in the Tumbler Ridge Library through the voices of Larry White, Tim Schofield, Chris Walker, Sherry Berringer, Charissa Tonnesen and Bob Norman. All readers kept the attention of the audience giving life to the characters through varying pitch and intonation.
?A Christmas Carol? is a timeless story, which tells the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is a greedy and selfish man who despises Christmas and all that it encompasses, even despising all who enjoy the holiday and partake in its festivities. During the story, Scrooge is visited by a series of spirits that forces him to reevaluate his beliefs, his attitude and his way of life. ?A Christmas Carol? is a tale of greed, regret, redemption, community and family. The underlying theme of hope extends beyond the borders of religion and connects to all who has read it or has had it read to them.
The reading of ?A Christmas Carol? was a nice kickoff to the holiday season. Dave Price entertained people upon entering the library as he played Christmas carols on the keyboard.
A food or monetary donation was required for admittance which all went to the Christmas Food Hamper and Tumbler Ridge?s new Food Bank.
The evening was filled, with the reading of ?A Christmas Carol?, the music of the Adult Community choir and the performance of ?Heavy Things?. The Tumbler Ridge Adult Community choir sang many traditional Christmas Carols, some with accompaniment and some Acappella between the five staves. ?Heavy Things? performed Christmas carols as people meandered with their hot apple cider during intermission.
Michelle Burton thanked all who attended the evening for their generous donations to the Christmas Hamper and Food Bank, which is ?very much needed? here in the community. ?There were approximately 120 people in attendance?, stated Burton.
Burton extended a very big thank you to Joanne Ferrari, who was integral in the planning for the event. The event helped raise $276.95 as well as an abundance of food items.
Chris Walker was pleased with all the volunteers and the library staff for working so hard to make the library match the ?festive season?. Walker also commented on the lovely gift basket that awaited him at his hotel. The basket was very ?unscroogelike? and it was a nice welcome that was very much unexpected, commented Walker. The gift basket was put together by Mila Lansdowne and included products from Renata Grondzakova, artwork from Mila, Dr. Charles Helm?s book, as well as wine, cheese fruit and crackers which were donated by the Library. Rita Kostaluk also donated to the Gift Basket.
It was an evening worth repeating and when Burton was asked if this would be an event Tumbler Ridge would see again next year, she said it was a lot of work and she hadn?t really thought about it. However, she also said even though it was a lot of work, it would be easier to plan the next time.