Canadians from Comox Valley and far beyond have collaborated, social distancing intact, to create a video urging their fellow Canucks to abide by the recommendations of public health officials.
The video, created by local artist and musician Sue Pyper, and played to the music of Big Little Lions song, Big Mistake, was posted Sunday, March 23.
“This is what happens when you ask Canadians who are self-isolating to contribute to a video LOL,” Pyper posted on her Facebook page. “Please share to get the message out!”
When contacted by The Record, Pyper said her main inspiration was a friend who lives in the Lombardy region of Italy.
“They are hurting so much over there right now. When I Facetime with her it almost brings me to tears. It frustrated me that people here aren’t taking it very seriously. For three weeks I tried to do the serious thing, with messages of staying home and doing the right thing, and people weren’t really doing that. So I thought maybe the way to get the message across would be to do something fun.
“I asked a few people from the music [community] if they wanted to help out, and Helen [Austin] stepped up with a great song, and then it sort of snowballed from there.”
What started as a video from Tin Town (a business neighbourhood in Courtenay, B.C.,) quickly blossomed into a video featuring Canadians from all over the country.
“I told them they could send whatever they wanted, whatever they felt like doing. Obviously some of them are pretty bored from being in quarantine, and I think they just saw it as a way to get creative, to lighten their load. It certainly lightened my load, because I was getting pretty depressed.”
It took Pyper two days to put the video together.
“Some of the video was shot right here in the Valley, and some of it was shot 1,000 miles away. That’s social distancing at its best.”
Pyper said she did not want to trivialize the severity of the situation, but she reiterated that her serious messages were not grabbing as much attention as she had hoped.
“The video kind of went in its own direction,” she said. “When I told people to do whatever they wanted, I started getting all these really fun video clips from people all over Canada. The video was more fun than I had originally anticipated, but I realize that this way, people are more likely to watch it, more likely to share it, and more likely to pay attention.
“It’s fun to watch, but the underlying message is that we need to do something about this, or we will be in for a very bad time.”
Pyper pointed out that the majority of those who took part in this video are musicians, artists, or small business owners “that probably have had their entire income completely wiped out.
“These are not entitled people. These are not wealthy people. These are not people who really have anything to be happy about right now, and yet they shared their talents, shared their skills, and shared their joy for life in this video and I feel very, very humbled by that.”
Pyper has set up a link on her website to every musician who took part in the video. She urges anyone who enjoyed what they saw to go the extra step and check out those links, hear their music, and help them out if possible.
Check it out at www.suepyper.ca/
Pyper said there is another group she is grateful for: the frontline workers battling the crisis.
“I can’t express how humbled I am for the medical professionals that have such a daunting job ahead of them looking after our well being. My friends are nurses and doctors and they deserve our thanks and appreciation for their selfless work.”
She ended her Facebook post with a shout out to everyone who contributed to the making of the video.
“Thank you to the following people for making this project possible and for their enthusiasm and fun attitude in time or hardship. Brodie Lee Dawson Helen Austin Trish McPhail Roberta Meilleur Nancy Morrison Shauna Drayson Kunkel Amie Webster Kaya Lila Jillian Gathright Scott Lyle Maureen and Pete Edwards, Lisa Joan, Emily Poi-Peng Mark, Jenn Forsland, Naomi TeWinkel, AS Jones, Megan Trumble, Andrea Koziol, Julie Poolie Matthews, Autumn Rock, Nina LeBlanc, Marla S Limousin, Pamela Gross, Pete Gray Helen Utsal and Maisie Daisy.”