Heroes and Villains
On Saturday, February 24, my partner Ken and I attended the Bal de Neige, an annual Oakville event hosted by AMPed for Life, a team of amazing leaders — including the Pace family — who raise funds for children and families at risk. The organization was founded to honour my sister-in-law’s nephew: Alexander Murray Pace (AMP). Since 2010, the Bal has raised almost $600,000 for local and national charities, including: Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children and Kerr Street Mission.
The Bal de Neige is a costume party. Ken and I have been attending since 2014, when the theme was Studio 54. Since then, it’s been Rhinestone Cowboy (2014), Red Carpet (2015), Rock of Ages (2016) and Oh Canada (2017). Over those years, I had two costume successes: in 2014, I worked up the courage to wear a polyester jumpsuit and roller skates; in 2016, I rocked a version of Annie Lennox. We love this event and look forward to it for months in advance. This year, however, we decided to take our planning and presentation to a whole new level. Specifically: we decided to engage the genius of Sheridan’s student population.
The theme for 2018 was Superheroes and Villains. I thought it was particularly fitting because Alex Pace was one of the bravest, most enlightened, generous kids I’ve ever known. In a powerful and emotional blog post, Alex’s Dad – our friend Len Pace — talked about Alex’s love of Rescue Heroes and, specifically, Billy Blazes. Len wrote: “Alex is our superhero.” The villain that took him in 2009 was osteosarcoma.
With help from Ann Callaghan (Program Coordinator, Advanced Special Effects, Make-up, Prosthetics and Props) and three outstanding students: Kaitlyn (Kat from Kats Klaws Makeup), Alyssa (AJ Kane from AJ Kane Artistry), and Lauren, my partner Ken and I were transformed. Simply put: we slayed the theme. Check out the photos below that document our morphing into Darth Maul (retired!), and ‘Coral Reef’ (an original female superhero).
Further to my February post, working with Kaitlyn, Alyssa and Lauren was a privilege. I want to thank them for spending time with me, speaking honestly about their lived experiences at Sheridan, and teaching me about their craft and profession. They fueled my learning; the entire experience was … super.