Young Alberni Valley musicians, dancers, vocalists and theatre performers will come together to entertain the community for a Youth Variety Show this month.
The second annual show put on by Funding Alberni Valley Arts Society (FAVAS) will showcase some of the talented youth of Port Alberni, including performances by the music students of Dorianne Miller, Dennis Olsen and Ellen Vanderputten, the ADSS Dance Team, the ADSS Drama Program, Alberni Teens Can Rock, Stage West School of Performing Arts, Elite Dance Academy and MacKenzie School of Dance. The show, slated for Saturday, March 30, will even feature visual art presented by “Art Out of the Box” students.
Organizers are hoping that this will become an annual show, bringing together various disciplines of the performing arts.
Last year’s Variety Show was the first one put on by FAVAS, a non-profit society dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment and continuing evolution of the performing arts in the Alberni Valley. The society promotes the performing arts to Port Alberni youth by providing awards, scholarships, bursaries, workshops, training and performance opportunities.
Director Sara Fox explained that FAVAS was originally started by a group of parents back in 2014, and the Variety Show was an idea from the very beginning.
“We had a vision where different community groups and organizations could come together,” she said. “It’s a good way of celebrating the arts, regardless of discipline. In doing so, we also provide these kids with more opportunity. Some may not be able to because of finances.”
Aside from a few small technical issues, Fox said last year’s show was a success and they received plenty of feedback from the community. “We’re going to move forward in implementing those changes and hope it goes even better,” she said. “We’re a small group. We only hope to see it grow and get better.”
This year will also feature something new—the first recipient of the “Pat Cummings Performing Arts Award,” named after Port Alberni dance teacher Pat Cummings. The award will be given to an artist in Drama and Stage, Visual Arts, Dance or Music and Vocals who shows passion and joy.
“The award has been in discussion almost from the beginning,” said Fox. “[Pat Cummings] was such a huge part of our community for a number of years.”
FAVAS received 13 applications from local artists. Five of these artists were selected to make video submissions, which will be sent to Cummings’ daughter, Alison Cowan, for the final decision. The winner will perform and receive their award on stage at the show on March 30, 7 p.m. at the ADSS Theatre on Roger Street.
All proceeds from Variety Show ticket sales will be put back into the society for the benefit of youth. Otherwise, FAVAS’s main source of income is by donation, sponsorship and proceeds from the operation of Second Position Dance Consignment store for costumes and dance wear. The society has donated funds to a number of local organizations and hopes to provide even more opportunities as it continues to grow.