On Saturday, audiences in Youbou were treated to the Pilkey Sisters’ snappy harmonies during two separate concerts, one noontime show at Cassy’s Coffee House and another that evening at the Youbou Community Church.
Harmony Strauss (née Pilkey), Destiny Jacobson (née Pilkey) and Britteny Pilkey have been performing together for more than 13 years. Their specialty: southern gospel, jazz, oldies and even the occasional pop song but with that colourful Pilkey twist for which they are quickly gaining recognition.
The singers were the perfect fit for Littletown Gospel Singers, a new enterprise based in the Cowichan Lake district, which aims to line up gospel singers with venues in small towns.
Gary Dyck founded the organization last year.
“This all started with a vision of creating venues for upcoming singing artists on Vancouver Island because many of the churches or coffee houses can’t afford the big-name singers,” he said. “We’re growing, and like I said, our vision is to go up and down the island to places where artists can sing and share their gifts with the communities.”
Littletown Gospel Singers first brought Maureen Haworth to Youbou and Lake Cowichan last summer for a total of three shows, one of which was sponsored by the Youbou Community of Peace at the church there. Littletown then brought Billy Chernoff to the Lake for a similar tour.
“To me it’s community. It’s bringing people together and enjoying great music,” said Dyck.
The midday concert at Cassy’s Coffee House, which had more than 30 people in attendance, was a ticketed performance but the show that evening at the Youbou Community Church was free and open to the public.
Dyck said as much as he would like to continue offering free shows, he is going to have to start selling tickets to all performances in order to, at the very least, cover all the costs associated with bringing in the artists and scoping out new venues on the Island.
“But we’re going to keep the prices down low so that anybody can come,” said Dyck, adding that if any businesses or community groups are interested in coming on as sponsors he would be happy to meet with them.
The Pilkey Sisters, who are based in Abbotsford, posted a message to their Facebook page Saturday evening thanking everyone who came out to watch them in Youbou.
“We felt so warmly welcomed and truly blessed by the locals. Hopefully we can come again in the near future!”