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Connecting communities through rhythm

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Nov 22, 2023

Free drum circle event on December 3 at the art gallery in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Crowsnest Canine Center.

A passionate drummer is on a mission to spread the healing power of drumming. With a focus on addressing mental health challenges, Jody Clark is organizing a free drum circle event on December 3 at the local art gallery in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Crowsnest Canine Center. Clark shared the inspiration behind her journey into drumming and her vision for using it as a tool for community building.

“I stumbled upon drumming, and it worked effectively for me,” said Clark, reflecting on the personal healing she found through drumming. Inspired by the positive impact on her life, Clark decided to delve deeper into drumming and enrolled in the certification course at Circles of Rhythm in Calgary in 2017.

“The focus is on the medical benefits rather than the mystical,” emphasized Clark.

She shared the organization’s work at Foothills Hospital with cancer patients, addicts, and individuals dealing with mental health challenges. She highlighted the goal of addressing high depression and anxiety levels in rural areas of Alberta, breaking down barriers that hinder people from seeking support.

“All the instruments are provided,” shared Clark, “It’s a fun, inclusive, empowering activity.”

She emphasized the accessibility of drumming and sees it as a powerful and inclusive activity, available to everyone without any prior experience. Clark said it is important to launch the initiative as winter approaches to help combat the winter blues.

“The Crowsnest Canine Center is tied to this because I’m getting out of the whole industry. I’m not grooming anymore. I’m drumming instead,” Clark declared, expressing her excitement about transitioning into her retirement career. 

Reflecting on past collaborations with various businesses and organizations, she is optimistic about the future. 

“I’m following my passion of music and playing, getting together with people because I love people,” said Clark.

The upcoming free drum circle on December 3 is intended as an introduction to drumming for the community. 

“The hope is that we’re going to clear up any misconceptions about the drum circle,” she added.

Clark explained how she sponsored the event herself, emphasizing the importance of making the drum circle accessible to the entire community. Clark also shared her efforts to collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce for special drumming events with business owners, aiming to foster unity in the community.

“This winter I will be focusing on establishing monthly circles in the neighbouring communities with a special event at the ski hills during the season. Watch for the announcements that I am coming to your community to take part in this fun project,” said Clark.

Clark recognized the need for community support, and the need for volunteers to help with setting up and tearing down equipment. If the drum circles gain momentum, Clark hopes to collaborate with other clubs for concession facilities during events.

The Free Family Fun Community Drum Circle will be on December 3 at 3 p.m. at the Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery. For details, to volunteer, donate or let her know you are attending contact Jody Clark at 403-563-5295.

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