Back for its 18th year, Lilith is coming to Centre 64 March 1, 2 & 3, 2018. A show created by women, for women, where all of the proceeds are donated back to the community.
The 19+ show runs from 6:30p.m. to 10p.m. all three nights, and tickets are now sold out.
The Bulletin spoke with Emily Gilmar of the Lady’s Leg Dancers, as they gear up for the highly anticipated event.
Gilmar says that every year, the show features local talent consisting of different acts.
“It is meant to be a variety show showcasing and celebrating women’s talents, with a mix of professional and amateur performers,” said Gilmar. “It’s always an all female cast and always includes a few surprises. I won’t give too much away, but this year you’ll see dancing, singing, photography and a few new talents we’ve never seen before on the Lilith stage.”
All of the proceeds from the event go back into the community, and last year the event raised over $7000. Gilmar says that every year the organization that they donate to is different. They also collect donations for the food bank at the door every year.
In 2016 the group raised over $4,000, from which they created their annual Lady’s Leg Scholarship of $1,000, which went to a Selkirk grad. They also donated $2,640 to the Food Bank, and $500 to Centre 64.
In 2017, they were able to increase their scholarship to $1500, and gave $2834 to Centre 64, and $2,834 to the Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group.
This year, they plan to do the scholarship again, and the local causes they are supporting will be announced after the show.
Although the event has been around for 18 years, the Lady’s Leg Dancers group only recently took over, stepping in for the Steppin’ Out Dancers.
“We performed in Lilith in 2015, a show that the Steppin’ Out Dancers organized,” explained Gilmar. “They announced at that show that after 15 years they would be retiring from putting this event on. They asked us backstage if we would consider taking it over, and after a few glasses of wine, we accepted the challenge.
“I don’t think any of us knew how much work they put into it, or what it would be like to get a group of us to put on event like this, but with their support we put together our first Lilith in 2016 and each year we learn more. In the end we are a group of ladies who have a passion for our community so getting together to plan Lilith is our way of giving back to this town that we all love. It’s an added bonus that we get to do so alongside our friends and have fun in the process.”
The Lady’s Leg Dancers first formed in 2012 out of a desire to spend more time together. Half of the group includes the Kimberley Dance Academy and the other half are new to dance. They named themselves after the famous strip of snow on Mount Bill Nye that takes until late spring to melt, but is always in the shape of an ever shrinking lady’s leg, says Gilmar.
“We are a group of women in our late twenties and early thirties, and we are all proud residents of Kimberley,” said Gilmar.
The group is made up of: Kylee Ablett, Lauren Rokosh, Emily Gilmar, Corissa Pasiechynk, Kelsey Fabro, Jill Schacher, Hayley Simkins, Alex Ablett, Kylie Newton, Tessa Rokosh, Elli Bamsey, Danielle Roe, Megan Strachan-Garrels and Taylor White.
In terms of preparation for the event, the group starts in late August every year.
“Our dance group, the Lady’s Leg Dancers, works on recruiting talent, volunteers, market vendors and sponsors. We perform two or three acts in the show each year so we also get together to rehearse every week from September right up to the show,” said Gilmar. “Our planning meetings are usually separate and occur throughout the months leading up to the show, typically we’ll have 8 to 10 meetings throughout the year and then each of us has our own responsibilities to bring the show together.”
The entire cast gets together for a technical rehearsal two weeks before the shows, and Gilmar says that is their opportunity to work out the sound and lighting kinks, giving everyone a chance to practice on stage.
“The weeks leading up to the show are usually filled with late night meetings, to do lists, finishing up costumes, dance practices and of course our normal lives of working, raising babies and enjoying the powder on our favourite ski hill,” Gilmar said.
Gilmar says that there are “many amazing” things about the event, but the group’s top three highlights are, “bringing many different women together for a fun night in a safe and empowering environment, feeling the positivity that is created when women come together and support each other, and seeing people’s hidden talents and creativity.”
The show is 100 per cent run by volunteers, and Gilmar says it would not be possible without them.
“We could not put on the show or raise as much money as we do without the support of our local sponsors,” she said. “A huge thank you to this year’s Lilith sponsors: Paper & Cup, Creekside Physiotherapy, Kootenay Life Cycle, Columbia Basin Trust, Overtime Beer Works, Western Financial Group, Meadowsweet Wellness, Wine Works, Zen Mountain Float and Wellness, Ki-Flo, Rachel Langlois (Sunlife Financial).”