Lights, Camera, Action!

2015-2016 Issue 2

This fall the spotlight once again shone on the talented international students and graduates of the School’s Certificate of Proficiency – Language and Culture programs in both English and French. Over 20 individuals participated in the annual McGill’s Got Talent, which highlights the students’ abilities and passions.

“It’s been a tremendous success from the beginning,” says Kevin Callahan, a faculty lecturer and senior program coordinator for the School’s Certificate of Proficiency in English – Language and Culture program. “It just gets bigger every year.”

The event is the brainchild of instructor Devaki Groulx, who has taught at the School for over 30 years, and now serves as the master of ceremonies for each event.

Talent1

“We were constantly meeting students who had very special talents, and Devaki thought it would be great to showcase this,” says Callahan. “Past highlights include performances by an incredible opera singer from Ukraine, a jazz musician from Japan, dancers from Africa, and a young woman from the Philippines who performed with Bryan Adams at Place des Arts. One performer, a magician from China, is no longer a student, but he continues to perform at all our events because he’s so popular.”

Planning for the most recent show began in the summer semester. Organizers held auditions, recruited volunteers, created stage backdrops, and designed promotional pamphlets and brochures. Those selected to perform did so in English, French, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese. “It’s a big production, and all the work is done by students, staff and volunteers. It’s a bonding experience.”

The event is also a showcase for the School’s multiculturalism, and was especially timely this year. The red curtain went up at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain on November 20, only a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris. As a result, the group was eager to put on “an optimistic show. It was an opportunity to make a positive statement that people of different cultures can live together in harmony,” says Callahan.

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