The annual Mosaic Youth Talent Showcase is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend and the show promises to be better than ever.
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Parksville, the event will show off the musical, dancing and dramatic talents of 16 performers between the ages of seven and 26, all of whom either live or take lessons in the Parkville Qualicum Beach area.
“This is the best of the best,” said the show’s producer Beth Marie Anderson, who said she keeps to a “pretty high standard” when auditioning the youth.
And Anderson isn’t exaggerating the level of talent some of these performers have already achieved.
For example, one of the dancers, Mikaela Kos, spent her Grade 8 year studying with Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto on a full scholarship and will spend this summer at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in their professional division summer program.
Then there is Erik Gow, who has been in the showcase since it started ten years ago and will emcee the event for the sixth time this year.
At 26, Gow has already worked as an actor, musician and director with companies like Studio 58, the Arts Club Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Axis Theatre and Bard to Broadway. He was also a music facilitator at the University of British Columbia.
“I’m very honoured and touched to be invited back (to Mosaic),” said the young performer, who now spends most of his time in Vancouver. “It’s a fun gig.”
Aside from giving young performers an opportunity to show their talents, Anderson said the Mosaic show benefits them in several other ways.
First off, she said the youth get a confidence boost knowing that the community is there to support them.
Gow agreed that this helps, saying he felt lucky to have come from a community where the arts are so valued and supported.
Secondly, all proceeds from the event go directly into scholarships for the performers.
Over the past nine years, Anderson said Mosaic has distributed over $50,000. Scholarships range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the student’s need and the event’s attendance.
Anderson said the youth can use the scholarships for anything that will help them “continue to pursue and perfect their craft.” When she was involved with Mosaic as a performer between 2005 and 2007, Anderson used her scholarships for vocal lessons and an electric piano to play at gigs.
“That really helped me,” she said, adding that she now spends a lot of time in Nashville working on her country music career.
“It does a lot of good,” said Gow, who’s scholarships went into workshops. “It’s very hard to find support for the arts right now.”
Other examples could include costumes, dance shoes, festival fees, instruments or room and board while at performance schools.
Aside from ticket sales, the scholarships gain their funds through a silent auction hosted on the night of the showcase. This year, Anderson said items up for bid include restaurant and resort certificates, home decor and more.
But of course, these things don’t sell themselves.
“We really need people to come,” said Anderson. “We can’t give kids money if people don’t come to the show.”
The 10th annual Mosaic youth talent showcase will take place on May 2 at Knox United Church in Parksville. Doors will open for the silent auction at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m.
There will be an intermission featuring coffee and desserts, which are included in the ticket price.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with valid ID and free for children 12 and under. They can be purchased in advance at the Parksville Visitor Centre, Pacific Brimm cafe in Parksville and Smithfords in Qualicum Beach.