VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community are treated to a courtyard concert so they can enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Bob Nelson, who goes by the stage name Robert K, has decided to play courtyard concerts for a Langford retirement community so residents can stay socially distant and still listen to music from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community are treated to a courtyard concert so they can enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community were treated to a courtyard concert so they could enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. Some residents event went down to the courtyard to enjoy the music from a distance. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community were treated to a courtyard concert so they could enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community were treated to a courtyard concert so they could enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community were treated to a courtyard concert so they could enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Staff at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community had a reprieve in their day to listen to a courtyard concert put on by Bob Nelson. The concert was so residents could still enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Staff at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community had a reprieve in their day to listen to a courtyard concert put on by Bob Nelson. The concert was so residents could still enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community were treated to a courtyard concert so they could enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. Some residents event went down to the courtyard to enjoy the music from a distance. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Staff at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community had a reprieve in their day to listen to a courtyard concert put on by Bob Nelson. The concert was so residents could still enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Residents at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community were treated to a courtyard concert so they could enjoy music while social distancing from their balconies. Some residents event went down to the courtyard to enjoy the music from a distance. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

A rainy afternoon did not get in the way of a local musician’s performance in a Langford retirement home’s courtyard.

Bob Nelson, who goes by the stage name Robert K, has been performing at the Cherish at Central Park retirement community for months. He has become an anticipated guest at the community’s monthly birthday teas and said he’s gotten to know the residents as well.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing his indoor shows couldn’t go on. Instead, he set up in the courtyard which is surrounded by five storeys of balconies from each unit inside the building.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: With a crash and a bang, B.C. residents applaud health care workers

“I was sort of sad when all my gigs inside got cancelled but now I’ll just be outside,” Nelson said. “It’s one of the few places where you can keep your distance … and still put something on so I was really tickled when they called and said are you interested in playing.”

Nelson played and sang favourite tunes such as “You Raise Me Up,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Hallelujah” as residents sat by their balcony doors and windows to listen. Some residents and staff members even ventured into the courtyard to dance and sing along.

Now retired, Nelson used to own Nelson’s Music in Victoria and continues to spend time doing what he loves – playing music. While gigs at retirement homes don’t make him a lot of money, he still enjoys going because of “the feeling.”

“It’s just so much fun to play and get to know the people,” Nelson said. “You become friends.”

Taking inspiration from other Canadian musicians, Nelson has begun playing live shows on his Facebook page as well and hopes to continue to share music online and at the retirement home.

“I just thought [playing outside] was a great idea,” Nelson said. “I’ll miss the hugs from the residents, but other than that it’ll be fun to play.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: New directory connects Victorians with open businesses

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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