While I may have come to know about the Kamloops Music Collective late in the game, I am so grateful for the organization's presence in my life now!
My stepdaughter had been attending the Set the Stage! Spring Break Performing Arts program and one of the one week summer musical camps for a couple of years. Given that the emails went to her Dad and not myself, I had a vague idea of what went on and who organized it, but that was about the extent of it. When those one week programs would pop up I tell you, we jumped into high-gear for costume making and prop assembling in our home! We could see the passion in the performer in our family, and we put our best foot forward to help make her dreams/vision come to life, in conjunction with the work of the Kamloops Music Collective.
For the first time in 2023, my stepdaughter tried the full 3 week program in the summer, called the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music (KISSM). Now KISSM was a far greater commitment, but we knew she wanted this opportunity to connect with her friends who attended different schools than she did. While we had no idea where this journey would lead, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the journey she underwent in this program.
What a game changer the Kamloops Music Collective and KISSM have been; advocating and supporting kids along the way, while providing a safe environment where all students can be their most creative selves in a student body of like minded individuals!
What I can genuinely say with prior experience before working here, and since becoming an employee, is that The Kamloops Music Collective finds ways to support Kamloops families as a whole [through financial aid, technical support, musical support, and emotional support], and most importantly, through the students in their programs as individuals. There is a respect for the participant that is unparalleled in other Summer camp programs that I have seen and been part of. An engagement with the child of all grades that one hopes we would see everywhere, but unfortunately is not always the case. We see that dedication and commitment at every level of the Kamloops Music Collective staff and we applaud their work with the youth in our community!
So as we head into the holiday season, it is with a grateful heart that I thank everyone who supports the work of this organization, and makes the work that they do possible within our community. I will be forever grateful to the community around the Kamloops Music Collective that enriches the life of my stepdaughter and likewise the impact it has on so many other students and performers like them. I will be endlessly thankful for the dedicated and passionate staff that return each year with enthusiasm to instruct and share their love of music with children. Many having been KISSM students themselves at one point or another.
Supporting young musicians in our community only helps to create a more well rounded and strong music community that will continue through the generations, and I am so grateful for all who are involved with that!