It’s been a notable year for local musician Debbie Bergeron.
Some of the highlights so far include television features, headlining her very own gospel show for the first time, and continuing to develop her partnership with the BC SPCA.
In 2008, she gave them the right to use her original song It’s Christmas Time Again for their campaigns. Working with the animal welfare group has allowed Bergeron to give back through her music to a cause that is close to her heart – and the partnership has blossomed.
Now, one of her songs will be used to help promote another worthy cause, Walk for Justice.
“They asked me if they could use my song Please Don’t Forget Me on their cross country walk to Ottawa,” she says. “I’m very proud of that.”
Walk 4 Justice is a non-profit organization that hopes to raise awareness and demand justice, closure, equality and accountability for missing and murdered women and their families across Canada.
Earlier this summer, the group was in Hope as they set out for Ottawa, a trip that is expected to end September 19.
“The total of missing women and children to date is 4,000,” she says. “It makes me so mad. It actually makes me sick.”
Lending the use of her song is her way of helping shed light on violence against women and children. She’s also partnered up with the Purple Light Nights Campaign, another campaign focused on ending domestic violence.
During the month of October, businesses and residents are encouraged to replace their outside lights with purple bulbs to “shine a light” on the problem. The bulbs are available at local retailers each year.
In Hope, Debbie says she’s been asked to sing at a special ceremony the District is planning to commemorate the awareness program.
She jumped at the chance to promote awareness, yet again.
“If you’re blessed enough to have a talent given to you, use it,” she says.
As a woman often traveling alone, she has learned many ways to protect herself from harm.
“When I go to Nashville, I’m always alone,” she says. “I have been one to talk about safety rules for quite a long time now, and I really try hard to practice those safety rules. I try to practice what I preach.”
Her main tip is to always be aware of the situation around you, and examine if you’re safe in each situation. Sitting in your car in a parking lot alone, with the doors unlocked, is probably not the best situation, for example.
But it’s not all seriousness for Bergeron, who laughs often during an interview with The Observer.
One of the most fun she’s had recently was writing a song for the Canada’s Hockey Anthem Challenge.
While she’s not a hockey fan, she knew enough about it to write a little song that was well received by online voters. She’ll be singing that in her upcoming concert at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack, Thursday, September 15.
The show will include songs and stories spanning Bergeron’s many years as an entertainer.
And this weekend, she’s been invited to perform in Prais’n Him Southern Style, a Southern Gospel Weekend at the Mountainview Conference Centre at Camp Hope.
She’s among a line up of gospel singers from around North America, including Denise Kellerman, Rayann, Garry Jesperson, Keepers of the Faith and Bassiano.
“I went last year as an audience member, and this year I was asked to join,” she says.
All weekend, she’ll be rubbing elbows with other like-minded musicians, and the big concert is on Saturday, September 10.
For more information on this weekend’s gospel weekend, phone 604-869-2615.
For more information on the concert at Bozzini’s, phone 604-792-0744.