On 26 April 2018, Marc Garneau’s annual International Show commenced at 6:30 pm and included a wide range of cultural and ethnic performances. It was held in the cafeteria, which was decorated with paper lanterns, garlands, and filled with attendees dressed in their best cultural clothing.

A performer in International Show. Photo: Gracelyn Shi

SAC began ticket sales on 18 April for $8 in the SAC office. The show sold out with four hundred tickets in two days.

Auditions started around the first week of April and lasted one week. There were seventeen acts included in the final show. According to Special Events Coordinator Rafay Ahmed, the main organizer of the show, there was “a huge amount of diversity,” which was a target for this year’s show.

The show kicked off with an introductory video featuring clips from previous International Shows and a performance by Shahir Lalajan on the tabla, an Indian drum, which the audience greeted with loud cheers. Then, SAC performed their highly anticipated, self-choreographed dance. It was followed by the flag parade, a long-standing tradition of the International Show.

After much anticipation, the main performances of the night began. There were a wide variety of acts from Tamil, Syrian, Afghan, Ethiopian, and Korean cultures, among many others. Some memorable ones were an Indian song performed by MGCI teacher Mr. George, a Mandarin song by Jennifer Huang, and several pop songs performed by Fareeha Anjum. Performer and SAC member Lakisikaa Rajaratnam said, “All the performers did such a good job, and you can see the hard work and dedication to all the parts of the show. ”

When asked what performance she enjoyed the most, audience member Iman Aulakh said, “I liked God’s Plan the best; it was so funny.” The act was well-received by other audience members as well, who sang along and erupted into cheers after the performer dropped his mic. The performer was also carried off on the shoulders of some audience members.

The audience was cheering and shouting after every performance and were asked to quiet down regularly. Audience member Chris Orbello adds, “The show was amazing, the crowd was amazing, and everyone was really hyped and into it.”

The show ended with the fashion show where models walked down the aisle showcasing vibrant outfits from their respective cultures. Towards the end of the fashion show, the fire alarm went off and the show was cut short.

After the show, food was served by SAC members and was as diverse as the performances and the outfits. There were dishes from all over the world, including sushi, samosas, sesame balls, and kulfis (milk flavored popsicles).

Rafay said, “Honestly, I think the night went pretty well. We had a couple of firsts, like the different organization of the flag parade. Everything was really enjoyable until the fire alarm, but we handled it really well. Overall, we had a good time!”

When asked why they think International Show is so popular, Grade 9 Representative Ryan Chang, said, “International Show celebrates the cultures our students come from. It also brings us together to celebrate the diversity in our school.”

SAC President Lisa Wang added, “ International Show is always the most anticipated event of the year! It sells out every year, but this year, we had unprecedentedly high demand even with increased price. I think it’s because of people’s experience in past years not being able to get tickets so they didn’t want to miss out.”

Despite the uncontrollable mishap, it is agreed among organizers and audience members that this year’s International Show was a success.