John Hollywood is the creator and manager of the band Inclusion, which is well known for performances that have raised funds for community groups and brought light into people’s lives through music.
It’s part of Hollywood’s commitment to a more inclusive world for people with disabilities.
“I was finding that people often aren’t included in things that are going on, and sometimes wind up segregated,” he said. “I wanted to see if there was a way to change that.”
He worked professionally in empowerment for people with disabilities in Ontario. Years later, at a community singalong in Campbell River, Hollywood met a young musician with a developmental disability who played an instrument called a Qchord.
Hollywood knew about another musician in the community who played the keyboard, and decided to see what would happen if they sat down together to make music. They played their first gig in May 2005.
Since then, the band has grown to include between eight and nine members. As the name Inclusion suggests, the band isn’t restricted to people with disabilities or to any particular group.
The band has raised funds for individuals and wide array of groups including the Campbell River Foster Parents Association and the Campbell River Syrian Refugee Support Committee.
“The goal of the band is to give back,” Hollywood said.
A lot of people who don’t “fit the mold” have special gifts, he added. It’s important to find ways for them to realize their potential and thrive.
“That’s a real need,” he said.