British Columbia

All-woman, cross-cultural concert will support Downtown Eastside music therapy program

The sounds of Vietnam, Iran and Mexico will be among many showcased during a special concert being held March 2 to support the Downtown Eastside's WISH Drop-in Centre program.

Multi-genre show on March 2 will celebrate Music Therapy Month and International Women's Day

Las Estrellas de Vancouver will be one group performing during the all-woman concert in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. (Las Estrellas de Vancouver)

An eclectic concert with an all-woman lineup will aim to keep a unique music therapy program going strong in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

The WISH Drop-in Centre, which works to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of women in Vancouver's sex trade, began offering the program a year ago in a bid to help the women who use its services.

The therapy program was founded by the all-female Allegra Chamber Orchestra in partnership with the organization Music Heals.

From Vietnam to Iran and Mexico

On Friday, March 2, in celebration of Music Therapy Month and International Women's Day, a multi-genre music concert and fundraiser will take place at Notional Space on Pender Street, with all proceeds going toward the continued support of the WISH program.

Not only will Allegra perform, but a host of diverse female musicians will also showcase their talents using instruments from a variety of cultures.

Musician Hoang Bic will perform using a dan bau, a traditional Vietnamese one-stringed zither. Iranian musician Saina Khaledi will be playing the santur, a Middle Eastern stringed instrument.

Spoken word artist Christine Bissonnette will be premiering poetry written for the occasion.

The concert will close with a performance by the mariachi band Las Estrellas de Vancouver.

"I'm very excited about it and very honoured to be part of this event," said Michelle Cormier, creator and director of Las Estrellas de Vancouver. 

"It will be a spectacular event."

With files by North by Northwest