They call themselves The Perfect Match, and hearing their perfect harmonies at community events around the community most would agree.
LeRae Haynes and Cindy Nadeau both come from different parts of “out west” but share a common love for writing, singing and performing music.
Haynes moved to the lakecity from Bella Coola 10 years ago.
A longtime Chilcotin resident Nadeau moved to Williams Lake five years ago from Kleena Kleene.
“We connected in Williams Lake when Cindy’s daughter, Danielle, joined my kids’ singing group Borderline, and the two of us started playing music together about three years ago, “ says Haynes who is also a freelance journalist, and co-ordinator for the Success by 6 program.
The duo has played for dances at the Legion, for the Stampede Street Party, at Canada Day, Performances in the Park, the Harvest Fair, Cowboy Christmas, the Lions Club 400, Relay for Life, Robbie Burns, the Celtic Ceilidh, Remembrance Day and a wide range of fundraising events.
“We play country, rock, pop, celtic, 1940s tunes,” Haynes says. “We play music that makes people want to dance and sing along.”
Haynes says they joke that between the two of them they have about 150 years singing experience. Cindy got her start playing old-time favourites on pub stages as a young teen in Vancouver and LeRae came from a gospel music background, singing on stage for the first time with her dad when she was three years old. They each played with a range of bands over the years.
Nadeau toured and recorded with the Cycles, including a stage stint in Scandinavia.
Haynes directed a kids’ music group, Borderline, for more than 20 years.
Playing and singing together as Perfect Match, Nadeau is the lead singer and plays guitar while Haynes plays keyboards and sings harmony.
“We were dubbed ‘Perfect Match’ almost immediately because of our close vocal blend and how much fun we have on stage,” Haynes says. “We often play with Mark Lees on bass guitar and vocal harmonies, and have also played as a five-piece band with Randy Pokeda on steel and lead guitar and Jim Holloway on drums.
Now the duo has teamed up with their musical friends to create a CD called Stop on the Bridge.
“Our debut CD includes Randy and Mark, with Danielle Schultz on cowbell and spoons, John Sykes on tuba, Glenn Robson on trumpet and Geoff Patenaude on banjo, featured on individual tunes,” Haynes says. “The original songs that Cindy and I brought to this project are Wake Me in the Morning, Frog, Cariboo Pant Leg Polka, Galahad, She Doesn’t Know, Plastic Pink Corvette and Stop on the Bridge.”
Haynes and Nadeau got together a couple of times this fall at Nadeau’s cabin in the Chilcotin wilderness for songwriting retreats.
“They were really just an excuse to go off-grid for a couple of days: canoeing, quad-ding, hiking, log chinking and woodpecker roof proofing,” Haynes says. “I loved it. And that’s where we polished off Stop on the Bridge and wrote She Doesn’t Know.”
The Perfect Match and friends will launch their CD this Friday at a special dinner, slide show, silent auction and dance and auction taking place at Thompson Rivers University this Friday, Nov. 30 to raise funds for longtime Chilcotin residents who are now volunteering in Peru.
“DESEA Peru is a project put into place by Chilcotin residents Sandy Hart and Sandra McGirr,” Haynes says. “Sandra went to Peru as a volunteer registered nurse and worked to develop a rural nursing program. Sandy, with a background in hydrology and geology, went to help engineer and install household water filter systems.”
Along with their two children, Niall and Tarn, Sandy and Sandra have spent the past four-and-a-half years in Peru.
Haynes says that Sandra, who is coming home for the fundraiser, tells her that almost everyone in Peru lives in poverty.
The average family has six to eight children and lives on an average of $2 a day. The area has the second-highest rate of mother and infant mortality in South America caused by bacteria and parasites in the water, and people also suffer from severe malnutrition.
There are no phones or transportation; there is minimal health care, no running water, very little electricity, no bathrooms, and before DESEA Peru, there was no potable drinking water.
Nadeau says the DESEA project hits close to home for her.
“We take basic things like water, food and health for granted, and for a family to uproot and immerse themselves in making a difference like this takes dedication and selfless determination,” Nadeau says.
“It shows true Cariboo Chilcotin grit and ingenuity. Putting on this event to coincide with our CD release made perfect sense to me.”
Dance for DESEA will feature a buffet meal, a great silent auction, a presentation by Sandra McGirr about their work in the Andes, live music by Perfect Match and friends, plus entertainment by local dancers.
Tickets and more information are available at Hobbit House and Dandelion Living.
According to their web site DESEA Perú is a registered Peruvian association based in the village of Lamay in the Sacred Valley of the Incas near Cusco. In indigenous communities in the adjacent mountains, DESEA Perú has undertaken a comprehensive program of household water treatment and community healthcare.
The community health program involves operation of bi-weekly clinics in each community by a Canadian expanded-practice nurse and a Peruvian community nurse; engagement of two trained community health workers in each community to assist with family education and community health needs; and on-going education for families, community groups, and schools in water filter operation, hygiene and sanitation practices, nutrition, and community health.
Workshops for construction of bio-sand water filters are operated by trained local residents with the volunteer assistance of community members who are to receive filters. In this way, small-scale enterprises are established and families and schools contribute to their own water treatment systems.
Tickets to the fundraiser Friday evening are $20 for adults and $10 for children and students. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the slideshow presentation is at 6 p.m.