People from all over have sent in videos of them singing into their cameras, all in an effort to stay connected through music and the spirit of fun. The Facebook page was started by a man in Chilliwack.

People from all over have sent in videos of them singing into their cameras, all in an effort to stay connected through music and the spirit of fun. The Facebook page was started by a man in Chilliwack.

‘Coronaoke’ hits high note among self-isolating crowd thanks to B.C. man

People sharing fun videos on social media to combat social isolation during coronavirus pandemic

Music can heal the soul, and this is a time when that is needed the most.

But with bars, music festivals and concerts all nixed due to COVID-19, there are virtually no venues for performances.

To fill in that gap, Chilliwack’s Bradley Gionet took a leap of faith and created a Facebook page dedicated to in-home karaoke performances. Within days, the group has grown to include about 2,000 people. And not just from Chilliwack. Members of group span from here to the UK, and all points in between.

READ MORE: B.C.’s top doctor bans dine-in guests at restaurants across province

They’re singing and sending in videos from all over, so far mostly from B.C. and the Pacific Northwest in general. There are fun videos, professional ones, sweet ones, and songs created by whole families.

It was a video that went viral from Italy that spurred on the Facebook group, says Gionet.

“I was watching these beautiful singers in Italy,” he says. “As I watched my friends, colleagues, and family enter into isolation, I realized we needed a pick-me-up.”

Gionet loves to sing, and has shared videos of himself singing in the past. He also was working with several Chilliwack businesses on a true karaoke contest that was supposed to start in April. Like all other events, it has been cancelled to follow the provincial orders to socially isolate.

But the music didn’t need to stop, he thought. So the posts began.

He says they are “totally raw and unedited, just for some joyful moments.”

“There were so well received, I decided to start the group Coronaoke,” he says, a mix of corona and karaoke.

“Within 48 hours we have around 2,000 members,” he says. “I am shocked by how far reaching they have gone, and how quickly people have responded and posted their own videos. The biggest happy surprise for me is that I have yet to have to remove a single negative comment. Everyone is having a blast!”

To join the group, make your own video, or just enjoy the ones others have posted, check out “Coronaoke” on Facebook.

READ MORE: City of Chilliwack shuts down playgrounds to stop COVID-19


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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