Ann Vriend's powerful new song for social justice

Hear the story behind "It's Happening," Ann Vriend's powerful collaboration with the Sifton Elementary School Choir in Edmonton. Plus, hear Calgary band Crystal Eyes perform at the National Music Centre and sample new tracks by Darren Crone, High Parade, Allison Lynch and more.

Edmonton soul singer teams up with Sifton Elementary School Choir for inspiring new song and video

Ann Vriend performed with an Edmonton school choir for 'It's Happening.' (Ann Vriend/YouTube)

Sometimes when you go looking for something you get a lot more than you expect.

It happened to Ann Vriend, when the Edmonton soul singer and songwriter went looking for a choir.

She was going to perform at an Edmonton Public Schools fundraising event, so she decided to find a school choir to join her on stage.

The song is about social change: the gap between rich and poor, the haves and have-nots, and how you might try to change all that.

Sifton Elementary has at least 20 different languages represented. Many of the students come from war-torn areas of the world.

Ann Vriend sent the music and lyrics to Sifton's music teacher. The first time Ann sat down to sing with them, she says they absolutely blew her away. The same thing happened when they performed at the fundraiser.

Someone in the audience was so inspired by that performance, they donated the money so that Ann and the choir could record the song and make a video. Each of the students was paid a professional fee for their work.

Here's the video. I think you'll find it inspiring and touching.

About the Author

Katherine Duncan

Key of A Host

A classically trained musician, Katherine hosts CBC Music (formerly Radio 2) programs Choral Concert and Centre Stage, highlights original music by Alberta artists on CBC Radio 1's Key of A, and serves as Jury Foreperson of the Polaris Music Prize.