Twenty-one performers showed off their musical and spoken word talents at the annual Canada Music Week Recital at the Evangelical Free Church on Nov. 25.
Ginny-Lou Alexander, organizer and master of ceremonies of the event, said this year’s event was the best one yet, featuring 17 Canadian pieces out of 42 performances from the young group of performers ranging from five – 18 years of age.
The recital is part of the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts, planned and organized by a committee composed by volunteers with the goal of establishing confidence and positive influences in the young charges they are tasked with showcasing during the recital.
“If we see they are struggling we do what we can to help them,” said Alexander, recalling an episode where one of the performers, Lydia Kinasewich, now a senior in high school, froze during her first performance when she was five. “She went stiff as a board and her mother came and picked her up off the stage.”
Kinasewich, who performed the poem Vancouver Lights by Canadian Earle Birney and American David Sedaris’ short-story The Squirrel and the Chipmunk, didn’t let her first performance deter her from expressing herself on stage. She also capped off the night singing Lascia Ch’io Piana and Vergebliches Ständchen.
The young performer won the Ian Graham Memorial Scholarship for most outstanding performer in the Speech Arts Division during the British Columbian Performance Arts Festival in Kamloops, earlier this year in June. She was also awarded runner-up for the Shakespeare award. In 2014, she was awarded a gold medal from the Toronto-based Royal Conservatory of Music, after she was marked for 88 per cent, the highest in the province, for the dramatic readings category by an examiner.
Alexander noted the recital isn’t just a showcase for entertainment business hopefuls but also an event for the family. She said often the children of students she taught often end up performing during the event.