Teens’ turn in The City of the Arts
Tri-City teens are proud of their creative skills and, this weekend, they’ll be showcasing their talents before a live audience.
On Friday and Saturday nights, 23 youth will sing, dance, roll film and exhibit their visual work at Port Moody city hall as part of the third annual Youth ArtsFest.
Last week, The Tri-City News surveyed four of the performers to talk about their upcoming acts at the event, which is presented by the Port Moody Arts Centre Society with support from the city.
Bluesmoke musicians have been in every Youth ArtsFest since it started in Port Moody.
And, like their previous gigs, they’ll be entertaining the crowd on Saturday with a 20-minute set of original R&B-inspired songs.
“Being part of the festival gives us a chance to achieve more exposure while honing our craft in a live setting,” Theo Story said.
Made up of Heritage Woods secondary students, Story and his brother Isaac, Ian Weverink, Adam Kyle and Jacob Schwartz expect to continue with their music after grad.
Kristen Kwong, 16, was in the YouthArts festival last year with a band to sing a few original tunes.
This year, however, the Grade 12 Centennial secondary student is going at it alone.
“I applied because I love to share my enthusiasm for musical theatre with others and entertain them with what I can do,” she said.
For her act on Friday, Kwong will sing two songs from her favourite shows: On My Own from Les Miserables and 16 Going On 17 from The Sound of Music.
“I think the audience will feel the emotions that I am trying to portray as the character,” she said.
Kwong has big plans this summer to further her career: Next month, she’ll be in the three-week musical theatre intensive with The Arts Club Theatre Company on Granville lsland and, come September, she’ll be a finalist in the BC Youth Talent Search.
Jessica Lando will partner with fellow Grade 11 students from Archbishop Carney regional secondary in Port Coquitlam to perform Some Things Never Change on Saturday. (There's also Stardum on Friday.)
It’s their first appearance at the Port Moody Youth ArtsFest — and they’re excited to act out their one-act play, which they wrote in drama class.
“Being a part of this festival means we will be able to showcase our talents to entertain other people while doing what we enjoy,” Lando said, adding, “We think the audience will gain a new appreciation for friendships as this is something our play explores.
“We also hope that the audience gains a few laughs,” Lando said.
Jiaming Li will be in the Youth ArtsFest for the second time to display her artwork.
“It’s a great honour to be a part of this festival because I feel like the YAF is a great place for not only the people participating but also any budding artists in the community to get inspiration and further their own art,” she said. “I love seeing the diverse kinds of talent that are within such close vicinity.”
This summer, the 16-year-old will be preparing her portfolio for post-secondary work and hopes to gain ideas at the festival for her catalogue.
A Grade 12 student at Port Moody secondary, Li wants to get into a visual arts school in the U.S. next year “but only if I get a scholarship because international fees are expensive,” she said.
• Visit pomoarts.ca to RSVP a seat. Admission is by donation.
THE LINE UP
• Friday: Deanna’s Lovers, Pistolfish, Tiana Jung, Amanda Lau, Alison Kim, Stardum, Kristen Kwong, Ivy Pomerantz, Sabrina Campbell and Roy Marshall, Mink Borowornsenee, The Stairwell.• Saturday: Cut Losses, Bluesmoke, Jennifer Chen and Kristyn Chan, Amanda Spinosoa and Ki-eun Peck, Auschwitz (film), Jacob Gebrewold, Some Things Never Change, Hans Lee, Mikahalva, Edward Qiu, Caufield School of Dance.