Christmas Bell a celebration of community spirit

Christmas Bell an online celebration of community spirit

THE town Christmas tree will sparkle, stunning gratitude murals honouring the region's bushfire efforts will be unveiled and special messages of thanks and resilience shared.

Port Macquarie-Hastings residents are invited to bring their families together on Saturday night, December 5, for the online community celebration Christmas Bell - A Moment for Us All.

The event replaces the annual street parade and countdown to Christmas festivities on Port Macquarie's Town Green. There will be no community fireworks.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has invested $60,000 in producing Saturday night's online production, made possible through Commonwealth Bushfire Disaster Recovery funding. Council has partnered with Got Ya Back Productions.

Council's acting group manager for economic and cultural development, Amanda Hatton, said the online celebration will be a vibrant and beautiful gesture of thanks and gratitude after a tough and challenging year.

"While it has been a challenging year, the thing that has shone through is community spirit. This is a time to reflect on what we're grateful for coming out of this 12 month period," she said.

Local singer/songwriter and performer, Rose Wilson said The Christmas Bell is a beautiful and unique project.

"It showcases wonderful local talent and a unifying and uplifting vision of celebrating and enjoying the places and stories which connect us all," Ms Wilson said.

"It offers some of the most genuine and heartfelt Christmas magic I've ever encountered, and I am delighted to be involved, and can't wait for this glorious and collaborative work to be shared with our community."

Local pianist and performer Fiona Hawkins says music is a gift communicating to inspire and give hope.

"Music is a universal language that connects us without prejudice and speaks to us all equally," Ms Hawkins said.

"It's an honour to be asked to be a part of this wonderful project at a time when family, friends and community matter most - Christmas time."

Talented local artist, David Brooker created The Christmas Bell image and artwork for the event, which is based on an original photograph taken by a local Rural Fire Service volunteer after the 2019 bushfires around Lake Cathie.

The photograph was then beautifully drawn by David and created into artwork.

The program will include professional performances by local artists including Fiona Hawkins a Kendall based pianist, composer and singer. Her song Grace featured on a Grammy award-winning album in 2014.

Phil Jamieson, front man, lead singer and guitarist of ARIA award-winning rock band, Grinspoon; and Blake O'Connor, 2019 Toyota Star Maker and Golden Guitar winner will also perform during the online community event.

The event will include a lighting of the Christmas tree and unveiling of gratitude murals recently painted by local artists.

The Christmas Bell will be streamed live on council's Facebook page and YouTube channel youtube.com/pmhcouncil on Saturday, December 5 from 7pm-8pm.

If you're unable to tune in on the night, the production will be available on council's website until January 11, 2021.

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This story Christmas Bell an online celebration of community spirit first appeared on Port Macquarie News.