PWRDF ‘One Voice’ CD features eclectic mix of contemporary and choral music

Published August 14, 2009

One Voice: In Faith, Join Hands, Inspire Hope, a double CD with an eclectic mix of music, will raise money for PWRDF and will be available at Anglican churches across the country in September.

What do you get when you mix the music of top Canadian musicians with a passion for social justice? You get One Voice, a double CD set created to raise money and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF).

Featuring big-name stars such as Jully Black, Bruce Cockburn, Blue Rodeo, Loreena McKennitt and Oscar Peterson, all of whom donated a song to the cause, the CDs will be available in Anglican churches across the country by early September.

Debra Pickfield, who was part of the PWRDF working group guiding the project, said PWRDF wanted to create something that would be enjoyed by Anglicans and others across the country. Both CDs are eclectic compilations of music donated by the artists. One, called “Celebration” features contemporary music, while the other CD, “Inspiration” features choral and classical music mixed with songs from jazz artists.

“Every song we looked at we felt had some link to what we do,” she said. When Bruce Cockburn donated his song “Waiting for a Miracle,” the song seemed especially appropriate for the refugee families that PWRDF helps.

Ms. Pickfield said the working group had to make some tough choices when selecting the music, particularly about whether to include a song from hip hop artist Shad that is about the genocide in Rwanda. “It’s really disturbing imagery and we were concerned about children,” she said. One clergy member they consulted, however, reassured the group that young children probably wouldn’t listen to the CD, but said ‘my 13-year-old needs to understand what life is like for people in some countries….’ It’s tough, but that’s what our work is about,” Ms. Pickfield said.

PWRDF enlisted the help of Sheila Stanley, an Anglican with experience as a music magazine editor, to help contact artists and agents on the working group’s wish list. “We were really pleased with the number of artists who came on board,” said Ms. Stanley. “It was great to see such good response to what PWRDF is doing, and from so many of our top Canadian artists too.”

The idea for the project evolved out of a visit Ms. Pickfield made to St. John’s Anglican Church in Ancaster, Ont. After making a presentation about PWRDF, she spoke with Canon David Pickett who said he was “tired of people saying that God isn’t relevant and the PWRDF is a great example of how God is relevant in all of our lives,” she recalls. That led into talk of Mr. Pickett’s part in The Three Cantors, a musical trio of priests who have produced four vocal CDs, the proceeds of which are all contributed to PWRDF.

The Three Cantors have contributed a song to the One Voice CD. Mr. Pickett, who was also part of PWRDF’s working group for the project, said the “marvelous diversity of music from across cultures and regions, even languages” reflects diversity within the church.

One of Mr. Pickett’s parishioners also made a valuable contribution to the project. Ariel Rogers, the widow of folk icon Stan Rogers, donated one of her late husband’s songs. “It was amazing how quickly the list developed and how generous these artists, and in some cases their estates, have been. It’s just been terrific,” Mr. Pickett said.

Although the CDS won’t be available until early September, Carolyn Vanderlip, facilitator for PWRDF’s 50th anniversary celebrations, said parishes across Canada have already ordered about 650 CDs. Sets of 10 can be ordered on PWRDF’s Web site. In order to reduce shipping costs, PWRDF recommends people who want to buy individual copies contact an Anglican parish in their area.


  • Leigh Anne Williams

    Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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