The high quality of young talent in this area was readily apparent during the Young Entertainer & Artists Show Sunday at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre.
The older folks in attendance, some related to the performers, could only marvel at the singing, dancing and instrument-playing abilities of the boys and girls participating in the second annual event at the centre.
“It was a great variety,” said organizer Lesley Lambert. “It’s just amazing how that happens.
“I hope there’ll be a third (show).”
There’s not reason why that shouldn’t happen, as long as Lambert and the organizing group is willing and there’s enough spectator interest like there was Sunday despite an unseasonably sunny October afternoon.
The folks of all ages who saw the show were awed by a great entertainment package. There were no artists this year, but the entertainment was first rate and can only can get better as these kids mature and develop their skills further.
Any stage fright some may have had quickly disappeared once the performances started and their raw talents took over. Some were back from last year and showed the benefits of previously appearing in front of an audience.
The show started and finished with top-of-the-line entertainers, tap dancer Tim Allen and the Porter Brothers band that did three tunes, including a superb cover of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.
In between was a great selection of dazzling routines and songs from Colton Banks, who sang and played the piano; dancer Jesslyn Lambert; Emily Wong on piano; Cora Haine, singing and playing the ukulele of all things; Irish dancer Keltie Willis; guitarist Noah Marston accompanied by vocalist Nayla Nankya; jazz dancer Cailin Lynes, who showed her versatility after doing ballet last year; singer Rachel Woodruff; Sue Kim on piano; and dancer Rachel Halbot.
Several of the performers are students at Chemainus Elementary School, a sign the arts are an important part of the experience there.
Woodruff, 16, lives in Chemainus and attends Cowichan Secondary School. She has a wealth of experience, having performed in Adage Studio’s production of Annie and the Duncan Has Talent competition twice.
Woodruff sang two selections, Home from Beauty & The Beast and Ed Sheeran’s Photograph.
“I love to be on stage,” said Woodruff.
“That’s why I came here actually – it’s not a contest and it was just to have fun.”
Woodruff has done performances in front of a crowd since the age of four so it‘d old hat to her.
“I prefer singing over dancing,” she said, despite considerable experience in both. “It’s what makes me feel good.”
The two songs showed her versatility.
“I do try to switch it up,” she noted. “I love musical theatre. I love pop as well.”
Country even slips into Woodruff’s repertoire, but not rap.
Allen and the Porter Brothers simply blew the crowd away with their respective energy.
“I teach dance locally, around the Island a couple of places in Nanaimo and Duncan,” explained Allen.
The Porter Brothers appeared three times at the 39 Days Of July in Duncan and play about once a month at the Duncan Garage Showroom.