Montreal students shine bright at annual variety show

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Montreal students shine bright at annual variety show
WATCH: Montreal students shine bright at annual variety show – Mar 23, 2024

The spotlight was on students and staff who took part in John Rennie High School’s annual Black and Gold variety show.

From singers and dancers to stand-up poetry, electrifying bands and talented musicians, Black and Gold is a showcase for the next generation of talent.

Taking place annually since the school was created in the 1950s, the talent show shines a light on students who have the courage to step on stage and share their passion.

The dozens of students and staff who help put the show together say it takes almost a full year to plan.

“This group (of students) came up with a PowerPoint presentation of all of the things they thought were right with the last show and wrong and they put it together in April,” said Huntley Addie, John Rennie High School teacher and show director. “Then we meet pretty much once a week from September to February and then it becomes a bit more intense until show time.”

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The variety show takes place in the school’s auditorium every March.

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This year’s show had three performances, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and students put their hearts and souls into their acts.

On top of that, most of the production and crew that work behind the scenes to help make the show happen, are also students.

“I think it’s an opportunity,” said Addie. “One of the big things about the Black and Gold show – I’m sure it’s true about most schools, most variety shows – is that the kids own it. But they really get to own it here because it’s our style. We let them run it – everything you see up there is their decision and I just go, ‘Oh, OK, that sounds good.'”

Addie says another thing that makes the show so unique is that it is always changing and evolving, based on which students step up to run it. The talent and acts vary from year to year, and Addie, who has been helping run the show for 14 years, says Black and Gold is a staple of the school.

“We have the drama department, the music department and the people in the variety show – all the arts link together – and altogether we try to put this on, for the kids,” he said.

John Rennie, part of the Lester B Pearson School Board (LBPSB), highlighted the performance as part of the board’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

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LBPSB director general, Cindy Finn, and honorary co-chairs of the 25th celebrations: Global Montreal’s Felicia Parrillo and Rennie alumni and co-founder of All Access Life Bradley Heaven, were in attendance at Friday night’s show.

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