The Justice Singers choir of injured workers and advocates is the dream child of Beryl Brown as a way of inspiring other injured workers, and raising public awareness of the injustice of Ontario’s workers’ compensation system and myths and mistruths spread by the WSIB.
“We create new songs together, as well as singing old favourites such as “Feel the Power“, written and performed by Heather Cherron von Atzigen. Our group now includes 5 singers from the Chinese Injured Workers group, and we sing Canadian favourite “Red River Valley” in both languages.
On June 1, 2013, the Justice Singers were launched at Queen’s Park, singing “O Canada” and a stirring rendition of Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer”. We next premiered Beryl Brown’s beautiful ballad “Living On An Island” at the annual Health and Safety Appreciation Awards dinner, to great acclaim, as well as “You and Me”, a song in English and Mandarin, showcasing Ming Xie’s amazing operatic soprano.
On June 1 2014, the Justice Singers featured Heather’s song “Lip Service” and we were joined and enriched all through the following season by musician Wally Brooker, who created a catchy reggae tune for Beryl’s new song” Blindsided by You”, a crowd-pleaser at the June 1 rally and march to the Ministry of Labour 2015 [and the December rally].
Singing for change
The Justice Singers have played at Hirut Restaurant twice, for the community legal clinics’ fight against closures in 2014, and for the Joe Hill tribute in 2015, and have toured to Hamilton, sponsored by the Hamilton & District Injured Workers’ Group. In the fall of 2015, Heather Cherron Von Atzigen wrote a new anthem of hope, “We Will Rise”, which the Justice Singers have performed outdoors for a labour history walk, at the Min Sook Lee Awards dinner and for the Annual Day for the Elimination of Racism. On May 31st the Justice Singers support the Women of Inspiration Vigil at Queen’s Park and, as they do every year, the Injured Workers’ Day events.” (Kate Lushington, choir director)
For additional information on the Justice Singers, contact IWC at (416) 461-2411.