When Charles Dickens visited northern England in 1843, he was so struck by the poverty he saw he had to write about it. A Christmas Carol, said to be his favourite work, was the result. He loved the story so much that he created a shorter version which he read aloud to audiences across the country. In keeping with the message of the story, proceeds from his readings were used to address poverty.
After reading A Christmas Carol to her children in 1989 (and noting that her husband was popping in from his dishwashing to hear the story), CBC Radio’s Judy Maddren was inspired to continue Dickens’ tradition. She and a few CBC friends hosted a public reading of the story in a church in Toronto never imagining the impact it would have. The event was so successful that it has become a legacy of its own. CBC Radio personalities now travel to communities all across Canada to join local readers in presenting A Christmas Carol. As in the 1800s, the proceeds always support community projects such as food banks, literacy, and education.
This year Russell Bowers, from CBC’s Daybreak North, will be joined by two community casts to present dramatic readings of A Christmas Carol on December 1 in Port Clements and December 2 in Skidegate. The Gwaii Singers, the Old Massett Spirit Dancers, and the Skidegate Haida Song and Dance Group will bring local music to the productions which are sure to be a highlight of the season. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to hear a story as meaningful today as it was in 1843.
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