For the sixth year, SidFest has been an opportunity for talented high schoolers to shine on a professional stage, all for a good cause. This year’s concert, held on June 1, raised $1,500 for the Saanich Peninsula Youth Health Clinic, a cause near and dear to many Parkland students.
Students said it was an easy decision to choose the Youth Clinic as the beneficiary, since many Parkland students are heavily involved with them.
Grade 12 student Sara Kjernisted played ukelele and sang, but also played piano and drums with her band, Mango Parade. Besides her musical talents, she and other Parkland students promote the clinic and give clinic staff a view into what youth actually want and need from such a service.
“It’s a really big part of my life,” said Kjernisted, “and it feels really good for myself in general because music is such a big part of my life and the clinic is [too].
Nelson Bankes, who played with his band The Bankes Brothers, said their counsellor, Roger Young, handled much of the logistics, but students were in charge of booking the talent. Young is also the music director and also performed with his own band that night, though he was quick to downplay it.
“All along, there’s been so much youth involved,” said Young, “so it’s particularly poignant that a significant amount of money has been raised by the youth for their own clinic.”
Parkland students were not the only ones featured.
“They’re very good,” Bankes said of Madrona Drive, a local band with ties to Stelly’s.
“We had them this year and that was pretty darn cool,” said Bankes.
The Mary Winspear Centre donates the Charlie White theatre each year for SidFest, and the students decide which cause they’d like to support. Additional sponsorship from the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and the Sidney Community Music School provided funding for professional sound equipment and staff.
Kjernisted said she approached family and friends, put up posters and and thinks she sold about 50 tickets in the process. Even if some people couldn’t go for scheduling reasons, Kjernisted said they bought tickets anyway to support the cause.
“It’s a chance to play a great venue like the Mary Winspear, right? Overall it’s a good experience,” said Bankes.
Star Moraff, a Parkland student and frequent volunteer with the clinic, said their staff and volunteers would meet soon to decide what to do with the $1,500 raised.