36th annual Community Christmas Celebration fills the pews

Getting ready for the Silent Night Candlelight Procession

Photos by Lucie Roy

Residents in the hundreds filled St. Jean Baptiste Church Dec. 18 for the 36th Annual Community Christmas Celebration, an evening of song and fellowship that drew local church and school choirs as well as soloists and singing groups to ring out the sounds of the season.

Former Morinville teacher, school board trustee, and Citizen of the Year John Unsworth started the annual celebration in the late 1970s. In its inaugural year, staff and students of École Georges P. Vanier School invited parents and the general public to a traditional Christmas concert in the school’s gymnasium. The response was so positive Unger organized the first full Community Christmas Celebration the following year at St. Jean Baptiste Church, inviting other Morinville churches to participate in the event. Over the next eight years the event evolved into what organizers say was the community’s most anticipated annual event. Unsworth moved to British Columbia in 1988, at which time the annual celebration was taken over by a small group of dedicated volunteers who wanted to see the event continue. It has done so for more than three decades.

The evening’s celebration included 19 performances of Christmas song, including a half dozen the congregation joined in on. Below are some photos from the evening.

Emcee Rene Chevalier
Emcee Rene Chevalier
The Morinville Minstrels
The Morinville Minstrels
St. Jean Baptiste's Little Angels
St. Jean Baptiste’s Little Angels
Paul Smith returns to the stage during a performance of Carol of the Bells.
Paul Smith returns to the stage during a performance of Carol of the Bells.
Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools Superintendent David Keohane
Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools Superintendent David Keohane
Father's House Pastor Luke Inberg does a reading.
Father’s House Pastor Luke Inberg does a reading.
Getting ready for the Silent Night Candlelight Procession
Getting ready for the Silent Night Candlelight Procession
Ecole Notre Dame Choir performs Little Drummer Boy
Ecole Notre Dame Choir performs Little Drummer Boy
The Father's House perform Hey, Moon.
The Father’s House perform Hey, Moon.
Morinville Public School performing I wish Every Day Could Be Just Like Christmas.
Morinville Public School performing I wish Every Day Could Be Just Like Christmas.
Councillor Brennan Fitzgerald does a reading.
Councillor Brennan Fitzgerald does a reading.
Morinville Christian School perform.
Morinville Christian School perform.
2015 saw a slightly smaller congregation than in recent years.
2014 saw a slightly smaller congregation than in recent years.
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2 Comments

  1. Lucie: Thank you so much for being our “eyes” in Morinville. I look forward to your photos every week and love seeing you out and about keeping us all “in the picture”
    Betty Welsby

  2. I agree Lucie ,you are indeed our eyes and capture so many beautiful moments in your pictures and articles, thank you for bringing us such wonderful memories.

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