Sheila and John Richards recorded the music video with their son Dean on the front porch of their Ladysmith Home (Dean Richards photo)

Family near Nanaimo makes video showing appreciation for community in face of COVID-19

Sheila Richards, 77 is the star of new music video celebrating community kindness in Ladysmith

With a little help from her family and friends, Ladysmith resident, Sheila Richards, 77, has created an original song celebrating community efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I was in isolation and had lots of time on my hands,” Richards said. “I was brought up singing – I’ve got a voice only a mother would love, but I enjoy singing – I thought I’d sit down and write a song about all the great people in Ladysmith.”

Richards wanted to celebrate the townspeople and the Ladysmith first responders to show how much she appreciates their efforts. She also wants people in the region to appreciate the kindness of the community at large.

Once the song was written, she sent an audio snippet of herself singing the song to her son, Dean Richards, who is the CEO of MyLadysmith.com. He has years of experience in community-based film making and instantly thought of an idea for a music video for the song.

“I gave my mom a microphone, then I took that to my friend Daniel Ross who writes music for film and TV because he plays everything. He did a version of You Are My Sunshine, then sent it back to me and I mixed it all together,” Dean said.

Ross composed a blue-grass style rendition of You Are My Sunshine, which features John Richards, on the snare drum.

With the song finished, Dean hit the streets of Ladysmith to film the community’s efforts at social distancing. Residents, town councillors, and local business owners can be seen waving and smiling throughout the video as they practice social distancing.

Dean said they plan to send the video to the Ladysmith and District Historical Society to show what life was like in Ladysmith during the COVID-19 pandemic to future generations. Ultimately, Dean, Sheila, and John just made the song for fun.

“It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it,” Sheila said.

Sheila said she may make more songs in the future if she feels inspired.

“I haven’t thought about it. Maybe I will, who knows?”

The video can be viewed online at MyLadysmith.com

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