University of Calgary

Take in the Lead

UToday HomeNovember 20, 2012

By Casey Blais

LEADFEST fundraiser features talented campus entertainers for two great causes.Third-year engineering student Brayden Kooistra is organizing the performances for this week's two-night LEADFEST fundraiser.More than 40 talented performers will take to the stage at the Boris Roubakine Recital Hall during LEADFEST this week to help raise money for two important charities.

Organized by senior students in the Leadership and Student Engagement office, LEADFEST is an annual holiday concert sure to entertain.

This year’s lineup includes singers, musicians, dancers, magic acts and even stand-up comedy. Also taking part in the event are UC Idol competition finalists and, as an added bonus, the University of Calgary Operetta Company will perform a sneak peak of their upcoming January production of Children of Eden.

All proceeds will go to the Students’ Union Adopt-A-Student Family program and the Calgary Seniors Resource Society Adopt-A-Grandparent program. Both charities provide assistance and support to those in need during the holiday season.

“Last year, I met an elderly fellow who was at a difficult stage in his life. A lot of his family and friends, his support system, had passed away and he was alone,” said Jamie Everett, a third-year biological science student and leadership ambassador speaking about his experience of delivering hampers through the Adopt-A-Grandparent program last year.

“I was able to get to know him and spend time with him and see the transition his life had taken. It was a strong feeling for me to be able to know that I had affected his holiday season. That was motivating, and it made me want to do more for my community.”

Everett’s experience last year made it easy for him to get involved again, although this time around he is helping to organize volunteers to deliver the hampers.

Like Everett, third-year engineering student Brayden Kooistra was happy to be part of the event again. For a second year in a row, the musician has taken on the role of organizing the performances for each night. It is an experience that has helped lift his student experience far beyond the typical.

“It has definitely challenged my personal leadership abilities,” said Kooistra. “When you’re dealing with this many performers, it’s always a good organizational challenge. But beyond that, when you’re involved in an event like this, and you’re interacting with other musicians and talented individuals, you learn so much from them."

Many of the performances at LEADFEST come from keen students who are part of the Emerging Leaders Program, a program for first-year students, and the Sophomore Leadership Program. These programs teach the fundamentals of leadership and provide opportunities for students to put those skills into practice.

LEADFEST takes place Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23 at the Boris Roubakine Recital Hall (Craigie Hall, C105) at 8 p.m. Each night will feature an entirely different program.

Tickets are $10 each, and can be purchased online, at the Campus Ticket Centre (MacEwan Student Centre 290), or at the theatre one hour before the start of the show.