In 2009 a group of women on various life or career paths, most grandmothers, but not all, discussed the possibility of doing something unusual to raise a lot of money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
They were all members of the Grammas to Ambuyas ‘grandmother’ group in Ottawa, one of over 240 grandmothers to grandmothers groups across Canada. The group supports grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa at the grass roots level. African grandmothers are facing the task of raising and caring for grandchildren orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Not content with baking cookies, holding garage sales, or other tried and true methods of fundraising, they decided to take on something bigger - something much bigger than they had ever done before. And so began the adventure of making a children’s CD.
Two years and hundreds of e-mails later the Grammas to Ambuyas finally rounded the huge learning curve on the road that lead them to making “Dancing Kites”, a compilation CD of Canadian children’s music.
Seventeen well known Canadian children’s artists, including some talented newcomers were approached, and they all donated their songs royalty free to help the Grammas to Ambuyas make the CD...“This was an amazing show of generosity that we are all tremendously grateful for...", said Glynis Doorbar the CD Coordinator.
Even use of the CDs cover artwork was donated by a well known Yukon artist, Ted Harrison.
Many hours were spent listening to over 25 CDs sent from the various artists. Members in the group are well experienced on what kind of music children might like. There are teachers, school principles, mothers and grandmothers, musicians, actors and homemakers. Finally, back in September 2010, during an after work pizza supper, the Grammas to Ambuyas picked out a good balance between fun and familiar, active and lively, and quiet reflective songs.
Performing Artists on the CD are: Marnie Grey; Razzmatazz; Chris McKhool; Jack Grunsky; The Funky Mamas; Judy & David; JC Sulzenko; Charlotte Diamond; Chris Patterson; Raffi; Norman Foote; Maggie ‘G’; Valdy; The Kerplunks; Splash ‘N Boots; H’Sao and Suzanne Campagne; and Connie Kaldor.
The Dancing Kites CD is available by mail or download until November 2011.
In Ottawa, you can purchase the CD by contacting Ian Boyd at Compact Music in the Glebe.
Proceeds from the CD go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation which helps out with food,housing, education/schooling, medicines and grief counselling.