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I Just Want to be Free is the third song on the CD of the musical, Pier 21, produced in 2019, by St. David (Delta) parishioner Allen Desnoyers. It reminded audiences across Canada of the refugees (many from the Ukraine) who fled the horrors of the Soviet Union during WWII. Tragically, on February 24, 2022, history repeated itself.

Seldom has a song written with so poignant intent on an earlier era, suddenly become the cry of today’s people under siege in their Black Sea homeland. 

To help support a fundraiser created by Allen, a $25 online streaming video of Pier 21 is available for purchase at: Adding further to this appeal for relief funding, donations will be matched by a supporter whose father set foot in Canada at the eastern seaboard receiving station known as Pier 21. 

Music director, composer and playwright Allen Desnoyers recently presented his Pier 21 Musical to a Lower Mainland audience consisting of descendants of Ukrainian refugees who entered Canada through gateway Pier 21, Halifax, between 1928 and 1971 (when the immigration shed was closed). Proceeds from the February event went to help current Ukraine relief efforts -- an endeavour that strives to further support a dire need through purchase of a streaming video that portrays how Canadians responded with compassion and personal sacrifice during those dark days of the World War II.   

The musical drama, focussed on the now memorialized Halifax dock, was performed at Tsawwassen Arts Centre in November 2019 following a successful across-Canada tour that summer. Itinerary included performances at the International Metropolis Conference in Ottawa, and during a 10-day celebration in Halifax marking the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Canadian Museum of Immigration.

Photo: Courtesy Allen Desnoyers