This weekend, I had the honour and privilege of judging this year’s Rupert’s Got Talent competition.
Alongside Heather McRae and Ben Cornwall, I had a front row seat to see what this city’s young performers could do when given a stage to showcase their abilities.
We were all thoroughly impressed by the range and quality of the acts that night, which included acoustic duets, dancing and comedy. It was extremely difficult to choose between the performances that night, and while there could only be one winner, everyone who attended got to see how much potential there is in Prince Rupert.
The night was also a reminder of how important the Lester Centre stage is to the development of that young potential.
Having covered the competition 2017, I was amazed at how much the same students who performed previously had grown (both literally and figuratively).
Having a venue where young people can develop their musicianship or stage craft in both a realistic and safe environment is rare, and the Lester Centre provides both.
More importantly, young Rupertites with a passion for music and the arts have a platform they can use to springboard potential careers, and we’ve already seen it with the scholarships and competition opportunities given to some of the city’s dancers.
After the competition, Lester Centre manager Michael Gurney made the point that the journeys started by these young artists could take them to places they didn’t even know was possible.
That vibrancy and sense of possibility in Prince Rupert’s arts community is one of its most attractive qualities.
The Lester Centre is at the heart of that, and I hope we’ll get to see much more developing talent in the years to come.