Bring Your Own Drums hopes to build bridges through music

The heartbeat of the community will become a musical beat during a new gathering in Winnipeg.

Everyone invited to new weekly gathering at Central Park

A new weekly gathering in Winnipeg is inviting people to Central Park to join in drumming. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The heartbeat of the community will become a musical beat during a new gathering in Winnipeg.

Bring Your Own Drums (BYOD) hopes to fill Central Park with the sounds of drumming every Sunday afternoon.

"It's the heartbeat of Mother Earth," said Jenna Wirch, also known as Jenna Licious.

"We all have a heartbeat, all of us inside of us. Every single human being has a heartbeat, every single living thing has a heartbeat, that's what makes it special."

Wirch is the youth engagement co-ordinator with Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO) and organized BYOD.

She said she was inspired by the Tam-Tams free festival in Montreal where thousands of drum players and dancers gather together each week.

"There was no one rhythm there, was just all different rhythms, but it sounded so in sync," she said.

She was interested and didn't know how to move forward, but after talking about it in ceremony a few weeks ago she was encouraged to go ahead.

"While in ceremony they were like you can't wait for government funding, you can't wait, you just have to do it, go and do it," Wirch said.

Jenna Wirch said drumming is a way to build bridges in the community.

It's not just members of the Indigenous community that will come together with the beat; Wirch said it's open to everyone.

"I think it's important to all of us as a city because we need to start bridging those gaps between newcomer and Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in order to fight what we call the racism problem, to break down those barriers, to gain better relationships with each other," she said.

Chris Clacio, a volunteer with Aboriginal Youth Opportunities and member of Winnipeg's Filipino community, said he thinks every community has a lot in common, even if they don't recognize it.

"One thing I've noticed working with Indigenous communities in the urban setting is the similarities that Indigenous communities and Filipino communities have and that's the concept of family," he said.

"At the end of the day it takes a whole group of family members to take care of the place we call the village within the Indigenous community in the city."

Clacio said they are also collecting 100 soccer balls at the event to hand out to kids in the inner city.

The event runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.