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Lean on Me — Remembering Victoria Best through musical celebration

Family and friends of the late Victoria Best have planned a concert in her memory.
Family and friends of the late Victoria Best have planned a concert in her memory. - Contributed

Family and friends of the late Victoria Best are inviting the community to come together for a musical celebration of her life.

Taking place at the Memorial United Church in Clarenville, the event has been titled, Lean on Me: A night to collectively remember Victoria.

Almost a year has passed since the music teacher and long-time mental health advocate lost her own battle with mental illness.

The 27-year-old took her life on Dec. 11, 2017. This was just two days after writing a Facebook post encouraging people to reach out to those who struggle with mental illness during the Christmas season.

That supportive shoulder is much like the theme of this memorial concert.

“My goal is just to create a really relaxed environment and a safe place for everyone to share their music and share their connections with Victoria,” says Emily Best, her younger sister.  

Best is a vocalist and will be among other family members, friends and former students performing.
“I know for myself, at first it was hard to sing because it reminded me of her, but then I found healing in it. That’s why I really felt I needed to get up and perform,” she explained. “It’s a way of healing for me and I know a lot of other people were ready to do that as well.

“I called the concert Lean on Me because we’re actually all going to come together.”

Much like a hymn, Best hopes the audience and performers will get to sing the 1972 Bill Withers tune, as one.

“You know, we’re all grieving and remembering her in different ways, but this night is meant for us to do it together,” Best concluded. “At the end, we’re hoping to bring the audience in for a song, so that everyone is connected through the music.”

Admission to the concert is by donation. Funds raised will go towards a memorial fund for Victoria Best, which may be used to create a scholarship in her name. Portions of the fund may also be contributed to causes she was passionate about, such as the S.P.C.A. and mental health associations.

Concert details

Lean on Me: A night to collectively remember Victoria

When: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

Concert is taking place at the Memorial United Church, Clarenville. Refreshments to follow. Admission is by donation to establish a Victoria Best Memorial Fund.

Organizers: Michelle Barron, Tyler Baker, Sara Pelley-Ivany and Mikayla Little

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