Throughout the holiday season, Brantford musician Monique Hunsley has been bringing the spirit of Christmas to residents at local nursing homes, with her Country Christmas shows.
“It’s just such a great feeling bringing music to retirement communities,” Hunsley said. “I find playing shows in nursing homes to be the most fulfilling. I have played at a number of bars and venues and they don’t compare. You can see their faces or their eyes light up when you play a song, they often sing along or tap their toes along with you. It’s so rewarding to get to do these shows.”
Hunsley performs at local nursing and long-term care facilities year-round, but said that her Christmas show is a way to bring extra joy to everyone living in those homes during the holiday season.
“This year, I am doing 15 shows at retirement homes from Simcoe to Ancaster and everywhere in between,” the musician said. “The show is a mixture of traditional Christmas carols, Country Christmas songs, and then I like to throw in some classic country, the favorites that they love all year round. I really try to put on a show.”
In addition to her mini, holiday tour, Hunsley has also been running a virtual toy drive and gift card fundraiser in support of Nova Vita.
“Every little bit helps, especially during the holiday season,” she said. “I’ve been doing the 12 days of Christmas, posting videos on social media and encouraging followers to give. I also have a show at the Dog-Eared Cafe in Paris on December 17th to celebrate the end of the 12 days. All are welcome to come out to enjoy some music and drop off an unwrapped toy or gift card for the campaign.”
The singer-songwriter has been performing locally for a number of years after finding her love of guitar.
“I was always surrounded by country music growing up,” she said. “I can remember being a little girl and making pretend stages and singing through a mic, but I never thought it was something that would ever become a reality.”
Hunsley played her first show in a nursing home and has continued to share her music with them throughout the years. She has released a five song EP titled “Whisky Time” and continues to work on more original music.
“I put all my courage in my cowboy boots and I hit the stage.”