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VIDEO: Maple Ridge seniors put Canadian spin on Christmas concert

Variety Plus performed A Canadian Christmas at the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society

A group of Maple Ridge seniors put their own Canadian spin on Christmas this holiday season as they performed their holiday variety show for two nights at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre.

Run by members of Variety Plus, this musical was filled with both classic and lesser-known holiday songs, and managed to draw in crowds of more than 100 people for both the Dec. 1 and 2 shows.

Malcolm Cooper, one of the directors for Variety Plus, explained that the group is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and its shows are able to raise a significant amount of money for the seniors society.

“Our ticket sales raise over $8,000 annually,” said Cooper.

“We put on two shows a year, and for each show, there are two performances. Each season we start from scratch first by selecting a theme for the show. Then the ensemble song titles are chosen and individual acts are developed.”

Cooper gave a special shoutout to Marilynn Hemsley, Rhoda Reedman, Ann Kearney, John Barnes, Al Van Ryssel, and Daniel Rolf, who she said all had a huge part in creating and running the A Canadian Christmas shows.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge Chorus celebrates My Favourite Things for Christmas

Maria Perretta, executive director of the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society, said that through these annual shows, the Variety Plus group is able to benefit not only the entertainers but also the community.

“The participants benefit from having a creative outlet, boosting self-esteem and confidence while showcasing their talents and inspiring others to do the same,” said Perretta. “These shows allow them to give back to the community and provide a sense of purpose and a way to make a positive impact on others.”

“Every year I look forward to what kind of creative program they have dreamed up.”

The Variety Plus group currently consists of 24 members who range from 64 to 85 years old. However, they are always interested in adding new members, especially male singers, explained Cooper.

“They must be a member of the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society, but occasionally we invite guest performers. As a member, you must be 55 or older, but if a member is over 55, then a younger spouse may also join the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society.”

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge senior wins award from SFU for leadership and community volunteerism

Variety Plus meets Wednesdays at 1 p.m., and anyone interested in joining can contact RMSS activity coordinator Carmen Tischer at

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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