This year, Tonari Gumi’s 7th Annual Christmas Benefit Concert took place at a new location, St. Matthias & St. Luke Anglican Church at 680 West 49th Ave. in Vancouver. While much larger than our previous location, this church still has the same Christmas atmosphere and spirit that we had before, but in a larger chapel with a parking lot and convenient to public transit. More than 130 guests plus nearly 20 participants made for a very festive atmosphere. We were treated to seasonal numbers from Miss Honoka Shoji on the harp, the NAV Chorus under the direction of Akira Nagai, solos and duets from Marina and Diana Agasian, and the ever popular Pacific North Trio with Akira and Seri Nagai (violins) and Keiko Alexander at the piano. Our MC was Gordon Kadota and we were also treated to remarks from Acting Consul General Kinji Shinoda and Tonari Gumi Board Chair, Joji Kumagai. The final number had all of the performers and the audience join in on Silent Night, sung in both English and Japanese.
Coupled with a very successful raffle, this year’s Christmas concert will contribute significantly to the Tonari Gumi/JCCA “Home Away from Home” Building Fund Drive and help to create a new seniors’ drop-in and community outreach centre for the community. Special thanks are extended to Midori Seo who again played the lead role in bringing the concert together, all of our raffle prize donors and to the St. Matthias & St. Luke Anglican Church for allowing us to use their beautiful facilities. See everyone again next year. Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year.