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Refugee Children's Choir Comes To Stratford

The Nai Children's Choir (Courtesy - Naikids.com)

The Stratford Summer Music Festival recently invited a Children's Choir made up of Syrian refugees to perform at an upcoming concert in Stratford.

STRATFORD - For newcomers to Canada, maintaining their home land identity can be a challenge, as they are often dealing with trauma, stemming from their war torn countries.  

The Nai Children's Choir connects Syrian refugee children to caring Canadians, helping to bridge cultural gaps and heal from trauma.  

In July, the choir was slated to perform at an international choral festival at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, but because President Trump's recent border ban included Syria, the group was nervous to cross the American border and decided not to perform in the USA.  

In true Canadian fashion, The Stratford Summer Music Festival invited Nai's Choir to perform at their upcoming concert called ORIGINS by the Canadian Arabic Orchestra.   

The festival's founder and Artistic Director, John Miller says he felt compelled to extend an invitation to the group.  

"I thought we Canadian's should show them some strength and a different attitude.  So we have invited them to come and they have accepted the invitation to come and sing in Stratford about music from nations particularly from the Middle East and in Canada."

Miller says he is expecting a touching performance from the children who are as young as seven.

"They are learning Canadian music, but they are also wanting to share with us Canadian's music from their home lands, which for most of them is Syria." 

The choir has performed at a range of venues and events, including for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outside the House of Commons.

Tickets to the cultural concert in the 19th are $40 for the full program, which includes performances by Laura Grizzlypaws, from British Columbia who sings of her culture beside members of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra.  

Members of the mystical Turkish meditative community, and the Sufi Whirling Dervishes will also grace the stage.  Show time is 3pm.


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