Summerland soprano Tracy Fehr and studio singers will present a benefit concert in Summerland this weekend.
The concert, Voices in Song: A Song For Hope, will be held Sunday, May 17 beginning at 7 p.m. at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 5505 Butler Ave.
In March, Fehr visited and performed in Tunisia, just days after the terrorist attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis.
The attack left 21 tourists killed and many injured.
This was Fehr’s fourth visit to Tunisia with A Song For Hope benefit tours.
The tours raise funds for disadvantaged women. “Everywhere I went Tunisians thanked me for coming in spite of the tragic events,” Fehr said. “It showed Tunisians that Canadians care — that I care deeply for the women of that country.”
Fehr’s main benefit concert was held at the palatial British ambassador’s residence overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It was co-hosted by the British and Canadian ambassadors.
She was joined by the Tunisian concert pianist Mehdi Trabelsi as well as the popular our player, Riadh Fehri, who composed a piece in the traditional Arabic style, Sidi Bou Said, for the concert.
Bishop Bill Musk performed on the flute for several Mozart selections.
A second concert was hosted by the International Women’s Group at the Tunisian restaurant, Fondouk El Attarine within the Tunis Medina.
The IWG president said this event represented “solidarity between women, especially those in need.”
Traveling to the mountainous town of El Kef near the Algerian border, Fehr offered two more concerts sponsored by the Minister of Women, Madame Rajit. The first concert in a local theatre drew a mixed crowd of officials, students from the university, children, single moms and women who are victims of violence.
Because of the potential risk to foreigners in this region there was heightened security with police guarding the gates as well as at the theatre doors.
Fehr’s final concert was at the El Kef prison for the women inmates who sang and danced to show their appreciation after the concert.
The Association for Cooperation in Tunisia, a Swedish Christian development organization, is working with the Ministry of Women and the prison staff in Tunisia to teach these women, often victims of violence and poverty, livelihood skills such as sewing, embroidery, and jewelry making.
Funds from this tour were raised for ACT’s livelihood project to assist single moms and women at risk receive training and funds to set up small home-based businesses.
This particular initiative was co-founded by Fehr and ACT in 2008, and has helped many Tunisian women make positive life changes and regain respect within their communities.
In addition to tours in North Africa and the United Kingdom, Fehr fundraises for ACT by hosting annual Voices in Song benefit concerts in Penticton.