Hello everyone, it’s good to be back on here! Due to a broken laptop that had all my pictures on it, I was forced to take a two month hiatus. Now that I’m back on here, I’m looking forward to blogging again. Finally, I’m happy to share my We Day experience with you!
On October 30th, I had the pleasure of attending We Day Winnipeg 2012! It was an amazing experience, and one that I will not forget for years to come. Having attended We Day last year as a Crowd Pumper, this time I enjoyed being the one getting pumped up, sitting back, and enjoying the show.
What Is We Day?
Before I get into how phenomenal my day was, I thought it’d be best to educate those who aren’t familiar with We Day on what it is. We Day is the call that brings a generation together. We Day is the movement of our time, inspiring a generation to act. Fuelled by the desire for change, and the hope that the world can be a better place, We Day is inspiring. Having only begun in 2007 with one province, over the past five years We Day has snowballed into a nationwide event for elementary, primary and secondary students of all ages. This October 30th, over 18 000 teachers and students gathered in the MTS Centre to mark the second anniversary of Winnipeg We Day. This day was full of inspiring speakers and performers such as Spencer West, Molly Burke, All-Star Weekend, Mikhail Goborachev, Victoria Duffield, Massai Warriors, Lights, Hannah Taylor, Shawn Desmond Robb Nash and of course, Mark and Craig Kielburger who are founders of Free The Children, as well as We Day.
The day started with me getting up at the crack of dawn, in order to get ready for the show. As I’ve been so busy with school, this was the first appearance I had done since the begining of September! One of the perks of being a titleholder is that you get special treatment at almost any event you attend. Since the other Manitoban delegates and I all raised money for Free The Children as requirements for the National pageant, we were treated with Honoured Guest seating in a suite close to the stage! There, we received gift bags, a catered lunch and the opportunity to bump into a few of the speakers after the show.
My Favorite Speaker
Although hard to choose, my favorite speaker of the day was Molly Burke. As she began her speech, you realized it was going to be good. With her powerful voice there was no way you could not listen. As she walked around the stage, she told a story of how she was once bullied to a horrible extent. She had broken her ankle weeks before, and was still on crutches. One day, the “popular kids” asked if she wanted to go on a walk with them. Giddy with excitement, Molly agreed. Once they reached the top of a hill, someone pushed Molly. She tumbled down the hill and lost her crutches. As she lay in the bushes below, the kids laughed. One girl even thought it’d be funny to break her crutches and throw them away! Molly was found later, feeling miserable and abandoned. At this point in her story, Molly stopped. She said, “Imagine feeling all the emotion, pain, (etc..) that I did. Now imagine if on top of that, you were blind”. I was shocked. By the way she walked around the stage and connected with the audience, I never would’ve guessed that Molly was blind! You heard everyone in the audience gasp at this revelation. She continued to tell her story, and spoke of how in the end the experience only made her stronger. She’s an amazing person, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to hear her speak.
My Favorite Performance
My favorite performance of the day was by All-Star Weekend. Previous to them coming on stage, a We Day Coordinator came up to our suite and asked us if we’d like to come sit front row for the final performance. Of course, we said yes! After bringing us down through a maze of people. we were able to get seats right by the stage. The most magical moment occured when Zach the lead singer, stepped down from the stage and proceeded to walk through the audience. I reached out my hand, and he took it! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. After singing there for about five seconds he (regretfully I know), let go of my hand. He jumped up onto a large box that was directly to my left, and sang there for more than a minute! Me and the other girls were almost in tears… Although I didn’t want to be a creep, he was so close that I could touch him if I wanted to! Needless to say, All-Star Weekend’s performance capped off a great end to an already amazing show.
The End of We Day?
Before leaving, one of the We Day attendants informed us that we had been invited to the After Party! This exclusive, invite-only event was one that definitely could not be missed. On our way out the door, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “Thank you so much for coming today”! Thinking it was one of the volunteers, I turned around to thank them for helping put on such an inspiring show. To my most utter surprise, it was Craig Kielburger himself! I was so starstruck, I could barely speak. He went on to thank the delegates, saying he heard how much we helped out Free the Children. Even though there were so many other awesome times during that day, meeting Craig (and Mark who came up soon afterwards) was definitely my favorite. Inside I was laughing, amused at the fact that someone as important and influential as them were thanking us. Needless to say, I was honored. On our way out of the building, we also bumped into Wilson and Jackson, the two Massai Warriors who spoke earlier in the day. After chatting for a while and asking them to autograph their book The Last Massai Warriors for us, we were off.
The After Party!
The After Party took place at The Keg on Garry. In order to escape masses of fans, someone had told the crowd it was occurring at the Moxie’s attached to the MTS Centre. I found that hilarious, as we were situated only two blocks down the road! Courtney, Gabriella, her parents and I were the one of the first groups to arrive. As only the speakers, performers and sponsors were there, I have to admit I felt awkward at first! I was in the room with people who many only dream of meeting. Whether they were T.V sensations, performers or influential role models, these people were of importance. At first I was worried they wouldn’t want to talk to someone less significant than themselves. As I became more comfortable with my environment however, I began speaking with those present. Until you experience it first-hand, it’s hard to believe that these figureheads are as regular as anyone else! As servers walked around serving sliders, kabobs, bruschetta, cocktails and chilled shrimp on cucumbers (That last one didn’t sit well with me), I was able to mingle with those in attendance at We Day. I truly enjoyed talking to Maya, who played the bass for Robb Nash’s band. After dealing with tumultuous times in her life, Maya ended up in a group home. Robb happened to perform there one time, and Maya had the opportunity to meet with him. After she performed for Robb a piece she had written, Maya was asked to come on tour with him. Although only a year older that me, she seemed wise in her years. I truly enjoyed talking with her at the after party. Craig and Mark Kielburger were extremely easy to talk to as well, speaking about everything from my favorite TV show, to pageants, to what we wanted to do to change the world. I felt so inspired after speaking with them for ten short minutes, and I’m extremely grateful to have had that opportunity.
Like every day from July 14th-22nd, October 30th, 2012 will be a day I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. I had an amazing time, and can only dream that I get to experience something like this again.