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Calgary seniors bring joy with online music during COVID-19 pandemic

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Calgary musician Bob Chartier had a special audience as he played one of his original compositions Monday in an Inglewood park.

“Well here it is, ‘The Granddaughters’ Waltz,’ singing to my granddaughters here,” Chartier said.

Chartier was playing the song at the start of Seniors’ Week in Alberta — although he’d really rather not refer to the occasion in that fashion.

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“I don’t like the term. I don’t like ‘old age, seniors.’ I like ‘elder,'” Chartier said, “and so I decided I was going to call this project ‘Eldersong.'”

“Eldersong” is an online musical presentation Chartier has organized in part to boost people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m looking for music to bring joy to me, joy to my family,” Chartier said.

He’s teaming up with other musicians of a similar vintage for the event.

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“I started looking around Calgary, and there are literally hundreds of elders who play,” Chartier said. “I’ve picked seven elders, and they tell their story about what music means to them right now — a celebration of elders making music.”

Along with playing songs, Chartier is also the host of the presentation.

Weeks in the making, it’s a project that’s making his granddaughters proud.

“He’s just a young soul, and he pushes himself to pursue things for others and also give inspiration to his community,” granddaughter Emma Neal said, “so I think it’s awesome what he’s doing.”