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Local teacher among residents uploading videos for The PATH’s Social Distancing Talent Show

Tyler Waugh

On any given weekday Iain Langley would ordinarily be teaching Grade 3 at St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School.

But in this COVID-19 era, he found a little time to enter the Social Distancing Talent Show being organized online by The PATH.

Langley, who moved to Hinton from Edmonton a little less than three years ago, has been jamming alone at home and virtually with friends during the break.

“I figured I would put myself out there in the community a bit. I know Wendy (organizer Wendy Laurila) and she’s one of the people I jam with, and I thought it sounded like a fun idea,” said Langley via Facetime.

Laurila said she got the idea for the talent show while watching videos of celebrities performing mini-concerts on Facebook. She thought that Hinton has such amazing talent that it could work on a local level.

“Who wouldn’t want to see a neighbour, friend, co-worker perform on Facebook?” she said.

“The thing I am hoping to achieve through this … community, unity, spreading joy and happiness in a time of fear, connecting while we socially distance ourselves. If our Social Distancing Talent Show could brighten just one person’s day it is completely worth it ”

 Langley plays the ukulele and the guitar and has sung in church choirs since he was a boy growing up in Halifax. He’s also a member of HUG – the Hinton Ukulele Group – that met regularly at BRIDGES prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

He is a fan of folk-rock icons like Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan – the classics – but also has some appreciation for more contemporary artists. With that said, he chose to perform (Something Inside) So Strong, a late 1980s recording by British songwriter Labi Siffre.

“It just seemed appropriate to our situation,” Langley said. 

“There’s a lot of stress going around right now.”

Laurila said she has a few submissions that will be posted to The PATH page. She is hoping to post submissions two or three times a week, depending on the number of entries.

She said the performances have received the most likes of any of the posts The PATH have made on its page. Anybody looking to enter the show can email when their video is set to go and Laurila will them an upload link and a waiver form they need to complete.

“I am hoping to continue doing this until we  open our doors again,” Laurila said.

“We have such an amazing town! Knowing Hinton we will come out of this so much closer, all while we were far apart.”

For Langley, he’s going to continue to jam during the days, along with taking some time outdoors on the Beaver Boardwalk and nearby trails.

He’s also keeping in touch with some students and looking forward to finishing off the school year in one way or another.

“In some capacity, anyway. It was tough the way the school  year ended. Tough to not even be able to say goodbye to the students,” he said, adding that he hopes they are doing well  and making the most of this time at home.

“Just hang tough, it’ll all be over at some point. Remember to have fun with your family right now.”