This past weekend, the Kamloops Symphony kicked off their first event with their brand new initiative: the KSO Wellness Lab. This is a new project by the KSO, led by Dina Gilbert, the Music Director of the Kamloops Symphony.
“The KSO Wellness Lab is a new experiment I would say that will be more flexible and will help us to actually do some artistry this year, even with the pandemic,” Gilbert said. “The Kamloops Symphony Wellness Lab was at first a tool for social change. We are convinced that music can really help maintain good health or be used to calm our minds or breaking loneliness and all these things.”
There were many pop-up events happening all over Kamloops, in places that generally do not have live music in them. This past weekend, the KSO Wellness Lab went all around Kamloops to Aberdeen Mall, the Kamloops Airport and some retirement residences.
Gilbert said that this first pop-up event was to help support B.C. Culture Days. For this activity, they announced where they would be 30 minutes before the event in each new location as they cannot have more than 50 people gathering.
The other event this past weekend was an amateur jam session with many musicians in the Kamloops area, and some who may normally be employed with the KSO. The Kamloops Symphony had to downsize the number of musicians due to regulations around COVID-19, but many came to volunteer with the jam session.
Regarding audiences, Gilbert said, “We thought, let’s go to different kind of audience types in our community and let’s have a little moment of freshness in these days where everything needs to be so regulated and programmed because of COVID and it’s important and we are following all these things carefully.”
She added that this would add “a little bit of lightness in the days for those performances,” and the KSO Wellness Lab will also allow them to reach even more people. The great thing for audience members though is that these activities are free to the public.
This new initiative is very important to the Kamloops Symphony, as it will be one of their first events since the start of the pandemic, but also because it will be soothing and will also connect the musicians with other pieces.
“Our mission is to contribute to our community by showing creativity, art history, connection and caring,” She said. “We also wanted to create a deep sense of connection between the musicians and the audience … these experiences will be more like a small group of people who can actually listen to live music.”
As they have just completed their first ‘experiment’ in their wellness lab, it is important for those interested to keep their eyes open for what might come next. Their website and Facebook page will be able to give people insight and more information about the Wellness Lab project.
Anyone interested in their website can find it here.