Sarah McLachlan introducing a performance by Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Corey Hart at the Juno Awards in London, Ont. in March 2019. (Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Sarah McLachlan in Saanich to play a concert at the Power To Be Nature Gala on July 12

‘It just feels really good to be able to give back,’ said the Canadian singer

Sarah McLachlan spends a lot of her time doing philanthropic work and on Friday, performed at the Power To Be Nature Gala in Victoria. The event seeks to raise $550,000 in funds for the programs that help people get in touch with nature.

Power To Be is an organization that helps people ages seven to seventy with a variety of abilities access nature. Whether it’s hiking, camping or surfing, there are no barriers to outdoor fun and everyone belongs in nature, says Ashley Dueck, Power To Be marketing and communications manger.

Last year, the gala donations netted $555,000, she says.

READ ALSO: Victoria Hospitals Foundation Visions gala raises record-breaking cash

On July 12, McLachlan took an afternoon tour of Power To Be’s Prospect Lake property. The 78 acre site was once an expansive golf course, but, thanks to a partnership with the Steele family, Power To Be was able to secure a 25-year lease on the property.

McLachlan paused her tour of the property to explore the recently constructed Roundhouse — an accessible cedar-beam structure with a sod roof and a fire pit. She sat and chatted with staff about the work they do and about her music school in Vancouver.

Like Power To Be, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music sees people of all different backgrounds and skill levels.

“It’s about just figuring out how to reach each kid individually and engaging them and keeping them engaged,” she says.

McLachlan is happy to participate in events like the Nature Gala. She appreciates the work that Power To Be does when it comes to making nature accessible for all and creating community.

READ ALSO: ADRIAN CHALIFOUR: Opening up his solo heart

“There’s a bunch of amazing services that are provided for the participants and their families,” says McLachlan. “I think anything these days to create a community and to create awareness of the important connection we all have with nature is incredibly valuable.”

She is grateful for all of the opportunities she has had and continues to have to work with charities and wishes people weren’t so afraid to ask artists to lend a hand. “Paying it forward” is important to her.

“I’m very grateful for the life I’ve been given,” she says. “It feels really wonderful to be able to be part of something like this that is going to raise money, create great programs for people and help them.”

She got involved with Power To Be through her connection to Tim Cormode, the organization’s creator.

“We’ve been talking a lot about synergies between the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and what they do [at Power To Be],” she says. She and Cormode have been talking about possible future collaborations between their organizations.

READ ALSO: ‘It feels very natural’: Arcade Fire’s Win Butler gets Canadian citizenship

McLachlan and her family are spending the summer in Tofino, so her commute to Saanich involved a short plane ride. She’s done the drive plenty of times, but she didn’t want to leave her kids and their friends for too long.

She enjoys being near the ocean because she’s always writing music in her head and prefers the sound of waves to other distractions.

McLachlan sang at the Nature Gala in a private home in Greater Victoria on Friday evening. The event included a silent auction and five world-class chefs were flown in to cook for the guests.

To learn more about Power To Be, visit their website at https://powertobe.ca/.


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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