Video from Hamilton artists on COVID-19 anniversary celebrates life, remembers loved ones lost
Compilation video celebrates life, remembers those who have died and spreads hope
This will most likely leave you teary-eyed.
Members of Hamilton Theatre Inc have created a compilation video to celebrate life, remember those who have died after contracting COVID-19, and spread hope for the days still to come.
Bree McLean-Roberts, an HTI board member, came up with the idea for the tribute as the first anniversary of COVID-19 pandemic was approaching.
McLean-Roberts also served as the creative director for the compilation video.
"It was really a true community effort," Dustin Jodway, first vice chair and studio manager at HTI, told CBC News.
"We really pulled our membership together — some of our older members from years ago to some of the newest of members that we have now — because we wanted to do something to commemorate the one-year anniversary of COVID."
Four musicians pre-recorded recorded the tracks to Seasons of Love from the Musical RENT, which were then sent to the 40 singers who then sang to it individually.
It was then over to Grade 12 student Jax Knight who took care of sound mixing and video editing.
The comments left on social media are a testament to what is truly a very touching tribute.
"A wonderful heartfelt tribute that was beautifully sung; loved it!" Barbara McSkimming commented.
Claire Wilkinson said: "I absolutely loved this! It warmed my heart to see all of your smiling faces in one place again. Thank you for making my day!"
For Kayt Moore it was, "Goosebumps and tears. Such a lovely video."
'It's been a crazy, crazy year'
While recording their contribution to the video, members who lost a family member held up a photo of their loved one as they sang.
"It's been a crazy, crazy year and we wanted to remember those who some of us have lost during COVID — my father being one of them," Jodway said.
"We wanted to make sure that we were doing it at a good time when we felt that people needed it the most, and after a year of COVID we figured that it was time.
"It really came together with the help of the amazing theatre community that is Hamilton," Jodway said.
Community has been supportive
Jodway said HTI was at a good standing with funds before COVID-19, and was able to upgrade their lighting system.
With funds dwindling because of the pandemic, he said the community has been supportive.
"The donations that we've been getting from our community has been tremendous. We want them to know that we're still here and we have every intention of reopening our doors," Jodway said.
"Paying our bills, two closed buildings, it's really tough … and we are beyond thrilled with the amount of donations that we've received. People can still make donations to the theatre to help keep our doors open when it's safe."