Ten years of talent was showcased last week as some members of the Archdiocesan Youth and Young Adult Leadership Teams celebrated their “Favourite Things.” This Variety Night show, celebrating its 10th year... was a three hour extravaganza showcasing some of the favourite music, dance and comedy from Variety Night over the last 10 years.
It all began in 2008 when Michelle Braden and the St. Peters’s youth group needed a way to help raise money to attend World Youth Day. In this year’s Variety Night program it said, “We performed on a stage made out of wooden tables balanced on chairs that were zip-tied together... Yikes! The show was simply called ‘Variety Night’ consisting of 12 acts put together in 3 weeks. There was no theme, no spotlights, no program. We don’t even remember what the acts were but there was a spirit of community and there was a spirit of working together to do something we were proud of. It gave us the opportunity to invite young people to join us and to work together for important causes. All things that continue today.”
In 2011 Michelle Braden accepted the position of Youth Director for the Archdiocese of Regina. She said, “Variety Night is a great community builder and has been an entry point for young people to get involved in a community that then also offers them the opportunity to grow in faith. Two years ago Braden Kuntz joined Michelle in the Youth ministry office. Braden himself initially got involved with the Young Adult Leadership Team through Variety Night in 2011, when they needed a guitar player. Then after Variety Night, was comfortable with the community, so open to invitations for retreats, camps, etc. which eventually led him to a career in youth ministry.
The concept of the Variety show as a team builder and fundraiser has continued over the years. This year’s show was put on in order to raise funds for a number of charities, both local and abroad and was presented by a spirited group of entertainers from the ranks of the Young Adult and High School Leadership teams who live in the Regina area plus a few extra performers when needed. (Members of the Youth and Young Adult teams who live in other parts of the archdiocese, participate in community-building/serving projects in their own areas).
On May 26, 27, 28 and 29 parents, parishioners, friends, young and old cheered for the performances of the amazingly talented and courageous young people. An accomplished orchestra accompanied the performers through a spoof on America’s Got Talent, a tribute to decades past, award winning songs, music/dance from the movies, a musical/comedic road trip to Broadway, New York and Disneyland and a tribute to dynamic duos. There was something for everyone and everyone left with smiles on their face and humming their favourite tune.
Their efforts earned a profit of $13,000, that they will be donating to St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Manilla, King’s House Orphanage in Belize and locally…to the Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers, Marian Center and Visitation House. Hats off for a job well done.