Family of musicians using talents to give back

(L to R) Colin, Declan, Graeme, Jolissa, Janice and Janaya Trudel. (the Trudel Family/Facebook)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

“That’s the beauty in small communities—when they come together, they’re pretty powerful, just like their own little nucleus of what is good in the world.” – Janice Trudel

The Trudel Family is using their soft country sound to spread the gift of giving this Christmas.

They’re accepting non-perishable food items as admission to their concert on Dec. 22 at St. James’ Parish in Albertville.

The items go to St. Vincent de Paul charity, which will create food hampers to distribute to the most vulnerable.

They’ll also pass around a basket for cash donations for the Prince Albert YWCA’s Rendalyn Home, which is a space for youth ages 16 to 21 with children or expecting a child.

The family lives in Honeymoon, which is just northeast of Prince Albert.

For the mother, Janice, donating is about self-sacrifice.

“Christmas is supposed to be the season of giving and I think we do get caught up in the gifts,” she said. “You can’t see the outcome and you can’t watch their faces, but you know it’s going to a good place.”

The concert will have Christmas carols, bluegrass and country styles and self-written pieces.

The Trudel Family consists of Janice (bass guitar) and Colin (guitar) and their four kids Declan (drums), Graeme (electric guitar), Jolissa (ukulele) and Janaya (guitar and fiddle).

The couple’s love for music was passed on throughout their family.

When they began having kids, Janice said she didn’t know if they would ever play again.

“You can’t really do some of the same stuff, (but) we just started naturally, like (with) little events,” she said, like taking their kids to sing in care homes or church.

When they started their annual Christmas concert 13 years ago, Graeme and Declan would get up on stage with fake guitars.

Janice estimates they’ve raised a total of $20,000 in donations, both needed items and cash.

The family reached their peak of 700 pounds of food two years ago. This year, their goal is to top it.

“That’s the beauty in small communities—when they come together, they’re pretty powerful, just like their own little nucleus of what is good in the world,” she said.

She hopes music continues to be a learning tool for her kids, not only in the skill itself, but also in team work.

“We’re definitely not all going to agree on some of the stuff, but we all have a say,” she said. “We have to learn to problem solve together.”

“Lots of families are lucky enough to go to the hockey rink together and dance lessons and stuff like that. We’ve done some of those things, but this is one thing where we’re all playing on the same team. We’re all on the ice at the same time,” said Janice.

Her two daughters have a band called Jay & Jo.

Their album, Grounded and Light, was nominated for the Saskatchewan Country Music Association’s Roots Album of the Year in 2017.