Festive tunes and voices full of holiday spirit filled the cafeteria as students and staff filed in to attend the Christmas Show on 21 December 2018, ready to relax and have fun after the last class of 2018. Organized by MGCI’s Student Activity Council (SAC), the annual Christmas Show is meant to be a final spirit event for the students of Garneau before Winter Break.

A lot of effort, including organizing auditions and rehearsals, decorating, and selling tickets, was put into planning the show. Posters and announcements were put up to encourage students to audition and have a chance to display their festive performances. Rehearsals were mandatory for all performers to better prepare for the show. 

Tickets were sold throughout the week for three dollars each, with two dollars per ticket going towards Red Nose Day, a charity that helps children in need. There was initially a lack of ticket sales which meant the show would have to be cancelled, but in the end, the show continued after one hundred eighty-four tickets were successfully sold.

The Teacher Band performs a song. Image: Jessica Xiong.

At 1:00 pm, the emcees commenced the show, starting off with the warmly-welcomed Teacher Band playing Shawn Mendes’ “Lost in Japan” and “Flip Flop and Fly” by the Downchild Blues Band, which were also performed at Arts Night the previous week. The Choir Club followed by singing “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. A student duo then performed a traditional Indian dance, representing the ethnic diversity of the school. Also performing an act from Arts Night, K-Pop Club danced to BLACKPINK’s “Ddu-ddu-ddu,” which received loud cheers from the audience. Other acts included a rap by two students, songs sung by the vocals class, and an exciting dance by Grade 12 student and Special Events Convenor Zimman Yousuf to conclude the afternoon show.  

The vocals class sings a song. Image: Jessica Xiong

Apart from the student performances, emcees told dad jokes to engage the audience and there was a lighthearted sing-along. Candy canes were given out to daring students during a game of Finish that Carol, where students would have to guess the next line of lyrics in a song.

As with every successful MGCI event, there were several challenges that SAC encountered. SAC’s Assistant Spirit Convenor and co-organizer of the Christmas Show, Ryan Chang, discussed some time-related and organizational difficulties: “We were only given three weeks to organize it, unlike previous years where we had a month and a half. One thing to improve would be constant communication between me, Nithya, and the rest of the student council to make sure we’re all together and coordinated by show time.” 

Another issue was a lack of ticket sales, especially in the first few days, which could be influenced by the fact that many students at MGCI don’t celebrate Christmas. Ryan said, “We considered changing the name to Holiday Show to make it more diverse and inclusive to students of Garneau who have religious restrictions for celebrating Christmas. However, we were short on time so we were concerned that if we sprang the new name, Holiday Show, it would confuse the students and affect ticket sales.”  

The performers and audience members touched upon the rehearsal process and some improvements that could be made to the show. Vivi Phan, a member of the Choir Club and Vocals Class said, “The tech and sound crew had some trouble coordinating the microphones. Rehearsals sometimes dragged on because some people weren’t that ready or organized, but in the end, we got it all sorted out!” Audience member Ahmed Marghani didn’t want the show to end. “More action, more movement! Maybe more [performances], solo singers, and more variety, I wish it could’ve been longer,” he said. Another audience member, Angela Anh Hyunh, enjoyed the amount of holiday spirit that was demonstrated, saying, “The songs being played and the performers were all very festive and fun to hear and watch. It was fun to play the Finish the Carol game as an audience because everyone got a chance to participate and be involved. I love Christmas and it’s just really fun to be able to experience the festive joy of the holidays with your friends!”

Audience member enjoying the show. Image: Jessica Xiong

Overall, the Christmas Show was filled with festive cheer, singing, and dancing. The audience greatly enjoyed the joy of experiencing the holiday thrill with their friends and were all thankful for the amount of hard work that the performers and organizers put in to make the Christmas Show a wonderful conclusion to 2018.