Twenty years ago, in 1997, the Shining Lights Choir grew out of conversations with participants at MNPHA’s Housing Support Centre. Staff members had just returned from a Montreal conference on homelessness where they were introduced to a street choir. Centre participants enthusiastically embraced the idea of singing in a choir as they fondly remembered singing in church choirs or camps in their youth. David McDow, a tenant of MNPHA and the choir’s first director, wrote several songs addressing issues of addictions, poverty and homelessness in HRM. All these years later, the choir has performed at hundreds of venues including the annual Homelessness Memorial, dozens of churches, special events, celebrations and memorials. The choir has been featured on ATV’s Live at Five, CBC-TV’s The National, CBC Radio and The Chronicle Herald. Last year, the choir produced its fourth CD as well as visited Antigonish, performing at a Parish church as well as for the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Martha.
In the fall of 2017, the Shining Lights Choir is officially celebrating their 20th anniversary. Each year the choir requires funding to perform at numerous venues.