WINNIPEG — It’s rehearsal day for JD and the Sunshine Band; a day that has a unique meaning to each member.
“Everything drops away, and you can just get into the music,” Shirly Ross, band member said. “You don’t have to be yourself, you can pretend you’re someone else.”
Getting lost in the music helps the members, who are living on the streets, escape from some of their challenges.
“I love coming here, it’s like a family to me,” Kirby Boucher, another band member said.
This isn’t your typical group of musicians. The band was created two years ago at The Sunshine House– a drop in centre for people living on the streets. These friends came together through the centre’s creative programming. Since then, they’ve made a music video, played shows across Winnipeg and released an album.
“There have been bigger and bigger successes since then, we’ve had no real reason to stop going,” JD Ormond said. Ormond sings in the group and plays the keyboard. He is also the project coordinator at The Sunshine House.
The band’s second album is now in progress, despite their limited resources. JD and the Sunshine Band started an online fundraiser to get some help with the production, hoping to continue bringing people of all walks of life together through their music.
“The stories are very rich, and unique to our city and unique to the people who live here,” Ormond said.
Their stories will be told even if they don’t reach their financial goal. The band says they’re determined to create their second album with whatever resources they have.