My daughter Maddie inspires me to use my gifts to build a community that includes all. In 2007 I attended the Canadian Down Syndrome Society annual conference. One of the sessions was about a choir in Saskatchewan that included children with various disabilities. I loved the concept of putting ourselves out there and performing, but wanted to also capture the message of inclusion. In September 2007 my Buddy Choir was born. The choir is sponsored by the Waterloo Regional Down Syndrome Society. We are an inclusive company who invite anyone to join. The only requirement is that you love to perform. We present productions numbers to the public to show that everyone can shine and when we all shine together it is magic! Our hope is that life will imitate art where all are included regardless of skin, intellect, talent or years. We are the change we want to see in the world. Our youngest member is 5 and our oldest is about 55. Participants are people with Down syndrome, family, friends and anyone else who wants to join. Our first performance was at our Buddy Walk® in November 2008. Since then we have performed at every Buddy Walk® since and we lead Christmas carols at our annual Christmas party. We have also performed at fundraisers, church functions and conferences. Over the past three years our choir has grown into a truly diverse and wonderful collection of people who all want to share the message of inclusion by sharing our gift of performing. We are thirty strong and growing by leaps and bounds. This past year I attended another Canadian Down Syndrome Society Conference where I was introduced to an inclusive high school band. The Best Buddies Blues Band. Talk about another inspiration! This year our Buddy Choir will be performing some great songs Don't Stop Believin; We're All in this Together; Edelweiss; Shed a Little Light and True Colours. We look forward to sharing our message within these songs. It gets pretty cold in Waterloo Region in the winter and some nights the only reason that I am not tucked in my house on rehearsal nights is that I lead this choir. Within five minutes of getting to rehearsal I am warm inside and filling with energy. The energy that The Buddy Choir gives me cannot be replaced. It is a free, safe space that brings all people together who have a common passion.