The beat is on

Invermere community drum circle is back By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The beat is on: the Invermere Community Drum Circle is back at Pynelogs Cultural Centre on the first Wednesday of every month until June 7, 2023. Patrick Carrick founded Columbia Valley Drumming in 2017 and pre-COVID, ran regular drumming sessions in Invermere, Golden, and Kimberly.

“The pandemic had a huge effect on the program and rather try to keep up with ever-changing restrictions, I changed the focus in my life,” said Carrick. “The arrival of my son in April 2020 made that change quite simple. The larger challenge has been trying to find time and balance to bring the program back. With support from volunteers and CV Arts, we have cracked the code and the community drum circle returns on the first Wednesday of every month at Pynelogs from 7 to 9 p.m.”

Carrick has facilitated drumming events of all occasions across the valley, which include weddings, team-building and professional development events, school, and community tentpoles, and wellness retreats. Carrick has always preferred Pynelogs when hosting his events in Invermere.

“It’s a wonderful space, full of culture and CV Arts should always be connected and acknowledged with getting this program off the ground,” said Carrick. “There has been a lot of enthusiasm to have the regular events return and the seasons pass has sold very well leading up to the first session but there may be more available. If ticket sales continue to do well this will only leave a few spaces for people to drop in. I highly recommend that people email us to register before attending.”

Before Carrick explored the thought of running group sessions, he had already been offering private lessons for several years.

“I took some drum circle facilitation training with ‘Circles of Rhythm’ in Calgary and quickly learned that it’s not about how you play the drum but how you feel when you drum,” said Carrick. “This was the life-changing experience that drove me to bring the philosophy of integrative community drumming to the valley.”

Carrick trained the Circles of Rhythm trainees earlier this November in Calgary. Over the years he has also had the honour to work with many Indigenous Communities and hopes to only strengthen those relationships going forward.

Our local Indigenous communities, and Indigenous communities across North America, have a strong relationship with drumming and song. Their songs and the significance of their drums is as varied as the communities themselves,” said Carrick. “I am always looking to further my knowledge and welcome anyone from those communities to join us and share their stories, love and relationship with the drum.”

Carrick’s integrative approach when helping those find the beat is to remind participants that rhythm and drumming belong to everyone.

“The ancient tool of the drum is connected to us all. I like to use instruments from every one of earth’s continents to reinforce this idea,” said Carrick. “I feel it’s important to empower people and remind them that they do in fact have rhythm and they don’t need to be a drummer to drum in the circle. Some people come and don’t drum at all. The sessions are designed to be inclusive and inviting. People enter the circle with all the stresses of life and leave feeling lighter.”

All are welcome to make the first hump day of each month until June a drum day and laugh and heal with the next one happening on Dec. 7. Drop-in rates are $20 per person or $15 for Columbia Valley Arts Members and are accepted at the door but spots are limited. To become a member visit www.columbiavalleyarts.com/…/membership-overview. To pre-book or for more information on sessions email. columbiavalleydrumming@gmail.com.

Chadd Cawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer