From its beginnings, the goal of Vancouver’s MISCELLANEOUS Productions has been to give young people a chance to take part in high-quality theatre. Established in 2000 by Elaine Carol and Jules Rochielle, the company has mounted numerous productions involving youth from diverse cultural and social backgrounds, many from impoverished circumstances.
CLICK has contributed financial support for two of the company’s productions, most recently Haunted House, a play that asks audience members to look at their fears and draw power from facing them and Monsters, an anti-bullying play made by youth for children very loosely based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Elaine Carol points out that youth sign on to the program for at least a year – a long-term commitment that allows them to develop strong skills in areas such as writing, acting, singing and dancing. To achieve the high-quality performances it is recognized for, MISCELLANEOUS Productions recruits professionals to provide expert instruction in every aspect of theatre production.
“We teach the youth how to express their emotional lives in a healthy, creative way that is productive; it’s a cathartic experience,” says Elaine.
In addition to her work on the Vancouver productions, Elaine tours the province conducting eight-hour workshops for a wide range of young people, including Indigenous, immigrant, refugee and incarcerated youth. During workshops, participants watch a MISCELLANEOUS Production documentary film, take part in improv games, dance and participate in a youth-only, youth-led discussion about issues that affect them.
Through these workshops youth can stay connected to MISCELLANEOUS Productions and may choose to audition for upcoming projects. To further spread the word about upcoming productions, Elaine connects with school counsellors, social workers and youth organizations. It’s through this wide reach that a diverse company comes together.
As well as the skills and lessons learned through taking part in a production, the youth come away with another skill that Elaine views as essential: time management. Learning to meet deadlines and being accountable to a group is an important skill that they can transfer to future work and life situations.
It’s not unusual for youth who have taken part in MISCELLANEOUS Productions to become performing arts professionals —and to date, 16 alumni have been hired by MISCELLANEOUS Productions to continue the company’s valuable work.
“We have seven young adults who are currently working for the company as professionals who first came to us around age 14 and are now 10 years later working for us,” says Elaine.
For Elaine, to have youth find success in the arts, and then give back to other youth in their community, is MISCELLANEOUS Production’s greatest achievement.
Coaching duo brings value of sport to inner city kids
Kristine Chambers speaks passionately about what sport can do for all kids, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. Coaches like Kristine and her husband Kris Hildebrand can see the potential of a kid living in poverty, and train and inspire that young person to not only compete but believe in themselves.
“Sport takes away from what you own, what you have and what kind of house you live in,” says Kristine.
Kristine and Kris run K&K Coaching, juggling that with bringing up their three young children. In addition to teaching coaching and leadership courses, they have coached young people in a range of sports and currently coach budding triathletes.
Kristine and Kris are monthly donors to CLICK because, having coached in Vancouver’s inner city neighborhoods, they know children and youth living in poverty need support year-round.
“We love programs that support kids playing sport and we believe strongly that every kid should get a chance to play. Organizations like CLICK really help with this,” says Kristine.
For Kristine and Kris, how they coach sports is about much more than just being able to swim lengths or run a 10k in record time. Being in sport gives a young person a feeling of control, gives them the confidence of being competent at something and provides much-needed social support.
For kids facing the disadvantages and sometimes the chaos of growing up in poverty, playing a sport can make a big difference. “It can help some kids get through school,” says Kristine.
There is no doubt in my mind as to how we reached this milestone – thousands of hours of hard work by passionate board members who never, ever forget who we’re working for: the kids in this city who go to school without breakfast and don’t have a lunch; the kids who need a safe place to go after school; and the kids who will never get a chance to play a sport or go to camp without some help.
Our board is a wonderful and highly effective mix of long-time community activists, inner city educators, lawyers, bankers and business people. This is a board that never gives up – because they deeply believe every kid counts.
So as CLICK drives past the half a million mark, my hope is that you’ll keep supporting us – because we can’t bring stability, possibilities and joy to kids in need in our city without you.
Second Annual Dinner to Make a Difference!
CLICK’s Dinner to Make a Difference was held on October 19 at Café Medina. The highly enjoyable event, which raised $20,000 for inner city programs supported by CLICK, was hosted by CLICK Honorary Champion Fred Lee.
Thanks to our generous partners!
A new way to donate to CLICK….
You are now able to donate securities or mutual funds to CLICK simply by clicking ‘Donate Securities‘ on our CanadaHelps donation button below. This method of donating is becoming very popular in Canada because when you donate your securities directly through CanadaHelps, your capital gains aren’t subject to tax. Have questions? Get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org