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Welcome to IHS 2016!


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Nikki Attwell & Anne Hill
Co-Chairs, IHS2016

Two years ago, when the promotional literature for the 17th International Handbell Symposium (IHS) was first being distributed to the member guilds of the International Handbell Committee (IHC), and further afield as well, in speaking about the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada, we ended by saying, “Haven’t you just been waiting for an invitation to come here?” Well, let us just say to all those who were present last month at Soundings: Music of Our Lands and Our Lives: “We’re so glad you accepted our invitation!” It was a thrill and an honour to welcome you, and it was a joy to see the vision statement of the IHC manifested in real time: ‘…to promote communication between nations, handbells as a musical art, world peace through the spirit of music.’

And now that it is behind us, our wish for you is that the ‘SOUNDINGS’ you experienced during the IHS2016 event spoke to you in meaningful ways. We hope the ideas and concepts that we tried to incorporate into the theme of this Symposium, through the choices of music, through the spoken word, with the introduction to the culture and history of the First Peoples of Canada and their close links to the natural world, through reflection on your own countries’ history and cultures, have allowed you to “SOUND” out new meanings for building community within and through your future musical endeavours.

We have profound gratitude for the huge number of people and organizations who had a hand in creating this successful event. As indicated in The Ten Rules of the Canoe, the teachings of the Elders of the Quilete canoe contingent for the Northwest Experiential Education Conference (1990), the following is so true of planning for and executing an IHS event: Being part of the journey takes great preparation; being done with the journey requires great awareness; being on the journey, we are much more than ourselves. Thank you for being in the canoe with us.

And we have such thankfulness for all the delegates that attended, worked and played hard together, demonstrated new and previous learnings, and shared your cultures with each other. Thank you for being on the journey with us.

To the many people who were documenting the whole week in photos: we strongly encourage you to upload your photos to our Flickr group so that all delegates can enjoy them. https://www.flickr.com/groups/ihs2016vancouver/ You will need a (free) Flickr account in order to post any of your pictures.

And finally, relive the glorious Final Massed Performance here: CLICK HERE!!

Bravo, all!

The journey is what we enjoy. until we meet again!