YouthNet kids show off their talents

St. Georges YouthNet kids launch the Moving Images Project to show the power of imagination and artistic talent.

By Paul Robinson

There are many kids across Halifax with untapped imaginations and abilities. Last week, St. Georges YouthNet let those talents shine.

A live performance at the Bus Stop Theatre set the stage for St. Georges YouthNet to launch a new interactive map of their community that blends together visual and performance arts.

The parkour element of the YouthNet performance. (Paul Robinson photo)

“They’re great kids but they never have the opportunity to show their talents,” says director Janet Neish.

The Moving Images project encourages kids to use both their imaginations and artistic talents.

“YouthNet bases our programs on the ideas of the kids but opens them up to new opportunities,” Neish says. She’s a former University of King’s College student and has been involved with YouthNet for several years.

YouthNet provides after-school and summer programs for inner city Halifax kids to learn and have fun in a safe environment.

Stage fright and enthusiasm in the kids

“I didn’t want to be part of it at first and then I did,” said performer Rylee Sellers.

The performance gave the kids the opportunity to show their hard work to an audience that included their parents, community members and the volunteers that helped out along the way.

“When we were backstage I thought it was scary. Then when I got on stage it was great,” says ten-year-old performer Kendra Sneddon.

Natasha Condé-Jahnel thanks everyone who was involved at the end of the performance. (Paul Robinson photo)

“For a lot of them that was their first time on a stage, other than the stage that we have at YouthNet, so even just the experience of it being dark and having the light on them and having an audience other than their parents, I think that was a big thing for them,” says Program coordinator Natasha Condé-Jahnel.

Related Audio

Natasha Condé-Jahnel Interview.
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Some of Natasha Condé-Jahnel’s feelings on Moving Images.

The website and performance came together in the end but Neish says there were some ups and downs along the way and that at times she was concerned they wouldn’t make it to the end.

Stage fright in the first-time performers was one of her concerns as they got closer to the show. But once they had to step on stage, their excitement overpowered their nerves.

“A lot of the kids really surprised us with their enthusiasm in the end,” says Neish after a successful show.

The show is over but the kids’ work is available for everyone to see on the Moving Images site.