Concert is in support of Cambodia

Pianist Arne Sahlen presents concert in Vernon to bring awareness to Cambodia Support Group.

  • Dec. 2, 2011 11:00 a.m.

A local pianist and music teacher continues his work in helping people in the former war-torn country of Cambodia, and is holding two concerts Sunday in Vernon to continue aid efforts.

Arne Sahlen, who will perform along with other local musicians, is about to embark on his 20th anniversary trip to the East Asian nation Dec. 11 with the B.C.-based charity he helped establish in 1983.

The all-volunteer Cambodia Support Group has helped 204 Cambodian refugees settle in Canada, he said.

“One family, the Ouch family who own the Rice Box take-out restaurant, arrived in 1989 and are a splendid success story,” said Sahlen.

The CSG have since turned to development aid, helping disabled children and women, as well as people involved in the fine arts.

“Three million dollars in support has been generated so far,” said Sahlen.

The group has sponsored two young Cambodian musicians, Piseth Soun in 1998, and more recently Chanthavouth Hy, who came to Canada and performed with the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, including at a concert in Vernon, last year.

Sunday’s concerts will feature Sahlen on piano, as well as afternoon guests, soprano Heather Harker and pianist Joseph Dansereau, playing a family program of romantic, ragtime and Canadian music.

They take place at the Centre Stage in the Okanagan Centre for Spiritual Living, 2913-29th Ave., at 2:30 and 7 p.m.

Admission is by donation to the Cambodia Support Group. More information on the CSG is available at www.cambodiacsg.org, or call 250-540-4242.