Waterloo Heights’ Variety Night was a real ‘blast’

Circus performance, which included the ringmaster being fired from a cannon, was a major highlight of this year’s event
12/1/2017  - Deron Hamel
Pictured above, a circus performance was a major highlight of Waterloo Heights’ Variety Night on Nov. 21.  

Waterloo Heights’ annual Variety Night on Nov. 21 was once again a huge blast – literally.

A major highlight from this year’s event, which showcases resident and staff member talent, was a circus-theme performance from the seniors living apartment complex’s drama club that included a resident being shot out of a cannon.

The circus performance also included a strongman, a bearded lady and an animal trainer who got to work with fun co-ordinator Maia Hillen’s dog, Lola. Lola was introduced as a “wild dingo.”

The Variety Night is a talent show Waterloo Heights hosts every year to showcase the creative gifts of residents and staff members. People will take to the stage to play an instrument, sing or tell jokes.

The drama club’s circus act especially stands out this year, Maia says.

Resident Peg Keeler played the part of the circus’s ringmaster, while Peg’s daughter, Shirley Fowley, a makeup artist and set designer, made a cannon, which blew smoke.

Using some technical know-how and showmanship, the pair was able to make it look like Peg had been fired out of the cannon – complete with messy hair, torn clothing and gunpowder smudges on her face, Maia says.

“This was probably our most ambitious skit to date,” Maia says.

A 20-member resident choir, directed by local jazz pianist Tim Louis, was the event’s opening act. Residents and staff members then took turns telling jokes and singing, which went over well for the crowd.

Maia says the Variety Night also builds a strong sense of community in the home each year, and there’s a lot of excitement building up to the big day. She adds that staff members and volunteers put a lot of work into the event to make it successful.

“It was so wonderful because so many staff members and volunteers came in to help, so it created a lot of buzz and excitement leading up to and after the event,” Maia says.

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