“IT TAKES TWO: A Celebration of Dynamic Duos” was the theme of this year's Variety Night. Some members of the Youth and Young Adult Leadership teams, along with the group of World Youth Day pilgrims, came together this May to raise funds for the diocesan contingency that is traveling to Poland for WYD this year. They come from around the diocese, with some even preparing their act from afar and then just joining us the weekend of the show. The quality of the performances that these young people are able to bring to the stage, never ceases to amaze me.And while the show celebrated duos/duets of all kinds, it perhaps could have been more aptly named .... “It Takes SEVENTY TWO”, as this was the number of young people involved in the cast and crew.
The show featured music, dance, comedy and dramas that paid tribute to a diverse group of iconic duos such Donny and Marie, Statler and Waldorf, Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley, Beauty and the Beast and many more! The show ran for 4 nights, with approx. 200- 250 attending each night. It is always our prayer that the audience not only enjoy a very entertaining evening which showcases a 12 piece orchestra, an amazing tech/kitchen crew and many, many talented young people, but that they also feel a part of our extended church/community family.
Variety Night happens every spring and is always used as a fundraiser for a different worthy cause each year. It is such a blessing to watch young adults, many of whom started in the show as high school students themselves, come back, now as university students or young professionals of all kinds. They not only continue to share their gifts, but also do a great job of encouraging the gifts of the high school students and showing them the same support they were given. Together as a community we hope to create this safe space in which young people feel perfectly comfortable doing things, that they may have never dreamed they would/could do. As was overheard at one practice, a young man commented “I don't sing actually....” The response from the young adult running the practice was “Well you do now!” And he did. And did it well!
While we work hard to put on a great show for a great cause each year, it is also a great community builder! We hope to provide a place of belonging and encouragement that always welcomes new people. We remember to pray together. It provides an environment and setting that allows us to invite young people to continue as part of our community AFTER the show and further explore activities related to their faith. One young man, who came to the show a number of years ago, as a young adult volunteer in the band, summed up his experience by saying “You work with Variety Night, then they talk you into going to Leadership Camp, then you have a conversion experience, then you go into youth ministry.” While that is obviously not everyone's experience, it is not rare.
A big thank-you to Resurrection Parish, who welcomes us there each May and graciously allows us to pretty much take over their hall for a week and to the staff of the Diocesan center, who kindly put up with all kinds of intrusions in their space, in the month or so leading up to the show. We are so grateful to the parents, families and church/community members, who faithfully attend and support our fundraising causes each year. We look forward to seeing you all next year for our 10th anniversary show entitled “Our Favourite Things” which will celebrate our favourite acts from each of the past 9 years.