Any artist could host a concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to perform a good show. But only Me to We can host a show that gives its audience the encouragement and passion to change the world. The fifth annual We Day Toronto was a show to remember and members of the Crestwood community were there to witness the magic.
When looking around the venue, we saw thousands of other people with the same passion for global change that we have. Although it seemed like a sea of people, the intimacy and connection that was created by the cast and performers was unmistakeable. “Attending We Day for the first time was an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve never seen so much energy in the Air Canada Centre, and I worked there for eleven years as a security officer,” says Peter Tanev, Crestwood teacher. “Wow, We Day. What an extraordinary day in which teens from all over Canada come together to support a cause that they believe in: children helping children. The emotion and positive energy in the ACC throughout the whole was absolutely breath taking,” adds Duncan Gilfillan, Grade 10.
Along with the 20,000 enthusiastic students, celebrity fans were also in attendance. The show was hosted by Nina Dobrev and Joe Jonas who were joined by acts, such as Nikki Yanofsky, the cast of Degrassi, City and Colour, Nelly Furtado, and more. And inspiring words with effective meaning were expressed by personalities such as Robin Wiszowaty, Michel Chikwanine, Spencer West, and, of course, the visionaries behind Free the Children and the Me to We movement, Marc and Craig Kielburger. “I remember the video about Michel, the child soldier and small performance about the Vow of Silence”, says SoHee Pyo, Grade 12. “He stood on stage and said nothing. He told his life story about being a child soldier and how he was silenced just by holding up cards with writing. The mood was set. It was so powerful,” adds Rachel Bregman, Grade 11.
The day was also filled with surprises. Even the performers were surprised! “The most memorable moment for me at We Day was when Nelly Furtado announced a one million dollar donation to Free The Children. The Kielburger brothers came on stage to thank her, and surprised her by bringing along Susan, a girl Nelly had really connected with when she went to visit Kenya. You could really see the impact that each of them had made on each other, and it was truly an inspirational moment,” says Katherine Charness, Grade 11.
But even when the day came to a close, the energy kept going and the participants still have smiles on their faces today. “Hearing the speeches at We Day and knowing that all of the people in the crowd want to change the world for the better made me believe that I could do something that would be worthwhile and that I could help these people change the world for the better,” says Lowell Williams, Grade 12.
Adds Kim Williams, Crestwood teacher, “WOW! Overall an amazing experience!”