Accepting applause and posing for photos after the show

Accepting applause and posing for photos after the show

Group does justice to Dickens masterpiece

Pews packed at Castlegar United Church on Friday night

Among the more time-honoured festive season favourites, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a highlight whenever, and in whatever format, it is enjoyed.

CBC Radio orchestrated a dramatic reading at Castlegar United Church on Dec. 7 – a condensed version of the 1840s novel performed by a quintet of gifted presenters including (in order of performance) Castlegar Community Foundation vice president Robert Jackson; Selkirk College student and Rotary Interact club member Chelan Padmoroff; broadcasting veteran Glenn Hicks of Mountain FM/The Bridge; Hicks’ wife, the equally well-qualified Jane Sinclair; and CBC Radio “Daybreak” host Chris Walker.

The spoken presentation was interspersed with musical offerings from local vocalist Christina Amelio as well as the Twin Rivers Chorale.

This was a most enjoyable evening, with the pleasing acoustic qualifies of the United Church sanctuary enhancing the experience.

It quite nice having that many people (pretty close to a full house) being as quietly attentive as they were. There was hardly a cough or a hiccup noticed, although laughs came in droves at certain points of the delivery, especially when the grandstanding Hicks had the spotlight.

Chris Walker is no stranger to the festive classic, having crisscrossed the province in previous years to take part in performances.

“We like to go where we’re invited,” he said. “This year it was Castlegar. I’ve done them in Vanderhoof, Quesnel… Tumbler Ridge…Victoria… and it’s always so much fun.”

Over the years the radio host has had a chance to do all of the reading parts except the first, done Friday by Robert Jackson.

In a post performance chat, Glenn Hicks mentioned that the show on Merry Creek Road had been a fundraising event for the Castlegar Friends of the Library. He indicated that the group’s organizer has a way of making compelling suggestions.

“When Darlene (Kalawsky) comes knocking on the door you don’t say no,” the media man concluded with a chuckle.

“Darlene did the recruiting,” he outlined, “and Bob Jackson, they are very much the organizers of the Castlegar one.”

Hicks and Sinclair are also set for another go at the Carol this coming Sunday at the Nelson United Church.