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Category: Creativity!


Byng Arts Gala 2015

Written by Rosalyn Thom

On March 25, all Byng Arts students gathered at the Roundhouse community centre for the annual Byng Arts gala.  This year’s gala was fantasy-themed, and (most) students eagerly dressed up in imaginative costumes.  The evening featured a costume contest, live performances, and of course, delicious food!

Walking into the Roundhouse, you could see the industrious efforts of the student council’s gala decorations committee. Gigantic fairy-tale themed paintings surrounded the tables, while table-centre pieces depicted a diverse range of fantasies from Harry Potter to Spirited Away.  An imaginative photo booth was also set up near the performance stage.

In keeping with the gala’s culinary traditions, each seat had a bottle of Jone’s soda placed beside it.  While being entertained by the performers, people enjoyed an appetizer of veggies and munchies.  After the performances were finished, the main course arrived.  The main course consisted of meat and vegetable pizzas, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available. New this year was the delectable dessert of hand-baked cake pops.  Accompanied by plates of one-bite brownies and assorted fruits, this year’s desserts were certainly not-to-be missed.

Following the meal, a costume contest was held.  This year’s contest was divided into several categories, including the best group costume, the best inanimate object, and the best overall costume.  There were so many fantastic costumes, the teacher judges had a hard time deciding the winners through the stiff competition.  Prizes for the winners included gift cards to various stores such as Chapters.

Finally, the evening culminated in a dance.  Although some people left early, there were still many left for the dance.  Overall, this year’s gala was a blast.  If you missed this year’s gala, be sure to come out next year for it!






Review: West Side Story – Alex Derian

In 1957, the musical West Side Story debuted. That year, it was nominated for six Tony Awards, including best musical. Since then, the show has been performed countless times, in both professional and amateur productions, and has had a largely successful movie based on the original show.
Naturally, as a fan of the 1961 movie starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, I was thrilled when I purchased my tickets for the National Tour of West Side Story, which ran at the Queen Elizabeth Theater from February 4 – 9, 2014.
After months of waiting, I finally saw the show on February 7. I found it to be entertaining, but by far, not the best show I’ve seen at the Queen Elizabeth.
While I was captivated by Michelle Alves’ portrayal of Anita, and Michael Spencer Smith’s Bernardo, I felt let down by the male lead; Jarrad Biron Green who played Tony, had a lovely singing voice, and was clearly a talented actor, but I found that he wasn’t believable as the co-founder, and leader of the Jets, even if Tony is partially reformed.
Furthermore, I was dissatisfied by the direction taken by David Saint, in this production of West Side Story. Saint made a bold decision by making the show grittier, and more modern. I liked this aspect of his show, as it made the characters more relate-able than the watered-down version of gangs and gangsters in the original 1957 version. Unfortunately this was overshadowed by the more noticeable direction. Saint decided to use the updated book in which much of the dialogue was translated in to Spanish. While it certainly made the show more believable regarding the Sharks, I found it difficult to understand. However, even the Spanish dialogue was easier to understand than the atrocious accents, which made the lines nearly impossible to hear.
My biggest complaint was the lack of professionalism. While watching the show, I wanted to be swept into the world that the actors were creating. I found this incredibly hard to allow myself to do, when all I could focus on was watching the actors standing in the wings, the technicians walking around backstage, and the stagehands preparing the next set to go on stage, all because someone forgot to pull across the curtain so the audience couldn’t see in to the wings, or backstage. This professionalism was not up to the standards that I am used to seeing at the Queen Elizabeth, and I can only hope that the next show I see through Broadway Across Canada, will live up to my expectations.
However, through all my complaints, I found the choreography well done, especially in the Prologue, and Dance at the Gym. It was while watching the musical numbers that I found myself finally enjoying the show.
While not spectacular, or overly captivating, West Side Story at the Queen Elizabeth theater was a fairly enjoyable night out, and a decent alternative to the typical Friday night.

Romeo’s Memoirs – Yi Wei

Step by step I slowly and miserably

pace to my beloved’s coffin.

One says the most pleasurable thing in

the world is to watch their bride

walking to them while recalling

their enchanting romance.

Here I am, contrarily looking at my

Juliet- who is still such a charming

beauty, except her stillness shows the

inexorable fact that she has passed away.

Regardless of the disagreement of our families,

we come together because of our love.

In spite of how many hardships we have

overcome, as long as we are together,

the world is blissful and ideal.

But why? Why Juliet? Why would you

leave me here alone when you know

you are my whole world?

God! Oh God! Why is sorrow always

in my portion?


Remembering the first time I saw her,

I was delighted that I had gone to the

Capulet’s family party.

Meeting her, the virgin angel on

Earth, I immediately and unconsciously

sank into her azure eyes.

When our eyes met, our world began.

Meeting her was our fate, kissing her

expressed a love that I had not yet


My eagerness to see her again was the beginning

of our bitterly sweet romance.



Involuntarily, I followed the shadow of

the lovely maiden I have just kissed.

Shocked by the news that she was the only

daughter of my family’s enemy- Capulet.

How could my only love sprung from

my only hate?

Stunned by her love to me, for I felt the

same way.

Nothing can stop us now to be

star-crossed lovers.

The moon and stars witnessed our vows

of love.

Blessedness was filling both of us as

we lay our soulful hearts upon each other.

To wish the time would pause forever

at this moment, that was my greedy desire.


The feuds between our families could not

stop our full-hearted love.

When the church bells rang, we had

our secret and holy wedding.

Our happiness was only momentary.

Anger take over my soberness when

I impetuously pulled out my sword to

duel and slay my family’s enemy and

my hidden cousin.

How could I? How could I destroy our love

completely by such foolishness?

Oh Juliet, dear Juliet! How am I going

to live after this, as our love can be only

achieved in our imaginary paradise?

To flee from this situation and prepare

for our reunion was the only choice I was

left with.

See you, my darling Juliet, with the promise

to meet you again.




But, how can you, leave our world

behind, as you solely pace in heaven

by yourself?

This unendurable feeling irritates my


One says the worst way to miss

someone is to be sitting right beside

them knowing they are not with you.

Now here I am, wholeheartedly feeling

this impression upon myself, as I see

you with my sad eyes.

All right, if you are leaving, I will have

no reason to stay, for anywhere you go,

I want to be with you, forever.

Heaven or hell, I do not care if we

are together.

If I had to decide whether to breathe

or to love you, I would use my last

breath to tell you… Je t’aime.

I would not cry because it is over,

but smile because I will be with you.


See you, Juliet, in the afterlife.

I will meet you again,

I will love you again,

We will be in love again,

Our romance will last forever.


Those Fallen Stars- By Jonathan Wang

The desensitization to violence in today’s culture has led to the development of a generation who cannot comprehend nor tolerate the brutal truth of war: that no-one comes back unscathed. The average citizen nowadays cares next to nothing for soldiers except for heroic exploits or when one veteran commits a heinous crime. Veterans are not to be used as pawns in political games, but neither are they to be idolized on a pedestal, their sufferings forgotten.

Those Fallen Stars

Do you recall that cold night when we watched the stars fight in the skies?

We listened to the rumbles of thunder that were not thunder and cringed at the flashes of lightning that were not lightning.

I remember you looking up, entranced by the streams of gold and the flashes of silver tinged with deep red. I looked at your delighted face and could not bear to say that each flash meant young men, only a bit older than you, were being torn apart and thrown into the emptiness.

You remembered the startling flares of color. You remembered the excitement as intrepid pilots performed daring maneuvers. You remembered the victorious pilots as they stood in formation at the ceremonies, heads held proudly high, as mighty and untouchable as the angels of heaven.

You remembered that cold night, I’m sure. But did you remember the stars that fell from the sky? Did you remember the meteor showers that were escape pods launched incorrectly, escape pods that were now nothing more than crematoriums for those inside?

There were celebrations afterwards as people rejoiced that the invaders had been driven off. I watched you revel, not knowing the reasons behind them, not knowing that victory had been bought at the cost of thousands of souls. All you were told was that the Empire had been preserved yet again.

And I could not bear to tell you the truth.

I watched, waited, and hoped.

But the war dragged on, year after year.

I remember the day speakers came to the schools and called together the cream of our planet’s society. I listened to their speeches that expounded on the importance of striking a blow in the name of the mighty Ascanian Empire. All the stars, waving as they always did towards the stars above, once led to the Empire and must do so again. Glory and adventure among the stars were waiting for those brave enough to join.

The crowds cheered and I shuddered at the familiarity of it all.

I tried to tell you of the horrors of the War, of the bloodshed, of the cruelties. That you had not yet looked into the scared eyes of someone as old as yourself and then pulled the trigger because their survival would mean your death. That you had not yet shot a childhood friend to spare him a slow, painful death because no medics were left. That you had not yet watched a beloved captain slowly bleed to death while you stood by, on his orders, because you both knew that one life did not balance the lives of two hundred.

All you could see was adventure and glory.

I tried to tell you again. You listened but did not hear.

The war dragged on, year after year, and one day the recruiters came.

You were one of the first to sign up for preliminary training, the first among the one thousand students that formed the newly-created 200th Battalion. I watched behind the links of electrified fencing, listened to the barks of instructors, watched you students gradually turn from fresh-faced recruits who knew nothing of war to fresh-faced soldiers who could properly salute and knew nothing of war.

I listened to the old men ruminate; how they would go to war if only they were young and fit again.  I watched them observe the preliminary trainings with good-natured jealously, but I did not join them. Those that I had gone to war with had not returned; these men knew naught of war.

Then the day arrived, and so did the transport shuttles. The ceremonies with pompous officials and the lines of recruits marching in strict formation with a trained grimness made one think that the war was over and you were as victors, not departing as eager recruits to long years of strange, hostile worlds and lonesome bitterness.

We celebrated at the victories of the 200th and wept at its defeats. We comforted those whose loved ones would not be coming back. We heard of massive casualties sustained on Temphi and the 200th’s disappearance and feared for you youths of our home. We were filled with relief upon hearing of the battalion’s reappearance at Keljiro, evacuating tens of thousands of civilians from the terrible aftereffects of bioweaponary. We prayed that the war would never come home.

The war dragged on, year after year.

The recruiters came again and left with a few more recruits.

The war dragged on, year after year.

The recruiters came again and left empty-handed; no one was left that could be recruited.

But the war dragged on, year after year.

The calls for reinforcements were almost daily now.

I prayed for an end. I prayed for your return.

Then there was the surrender of the enemy, his navies smoldering, his moons shattered, his armies annihilated and his planets devastated.

The Ascanian Empire had emerged victorious once again.

Once again, all stars led to the Empire and to glory.

I remember that cold night when the transport shuttles returned. I watched them open their doors and watched the sixteen stumble wearily out into the frigid air, you among them.

Where were the celebrations, the ceremonies, the pompous officials?

Where were the recruits that once trained here? Where was the innocence, the happiness?

Where was the promised adventure and glory?

You had changed. Where was the carefree youth I remembered, the one who was an endless fountain of laughter?

I think you now remembered the stars that fell from the skies on that cold night so long ago.

Some nights, you would curl up in bed and scream and scream. You would insist that it was just nightmares and we would all sympathize, listening but not hearing, not understanding. What happened? we asked. What did you do? we asked, ready to listen to tales of dangerous but heroic exploits.

You did not answer.

I noticed how those shadows that once haunted me were now on your face. I noticed the emptiness in your eyes, recalling and seeing things no one could imagine nor would have wanted to know. We asked, listened, and did not understand.

I’m fine, you insisted.

I’m fine, one of the survivors of my time had insisted. Really, I am he had said. But I guess he was never really fine until the day he walked into the meadow and put a bullet through his head.

I removed the triggers from all the guns that we had.


Sixteen remnants of the one thousand that left so long ago, fighting and dying on worlds lifetimes from home.

All for the intoxicating promises of adventure and glory among the stars. And the Ascanian Empire, of course.

You left behind classmates as you withdrew in defeat, leaving their bodies to glow in dark nights on rocky hills and blasted fields.

You left behind the infected, the sobbing and screaming of parents separated from their children, of couples torn apart from each other, echoing in your ears as you utter “Uninfected only.”

What else did you leave behind, in those ruined glades and sickened cities?

I don’t think anyone would care to know, would they?

Was it worth it?

Everyone asks and eagerly await your responses, always listening but never comprehending.

There is no real answer, is there? you had replied.

Maybe there isn’t one.

Midnight- By Alex Dines


A time when fairytales come alive like the shattering of glass

Or so they say

Midnight is the little girl who waits at her window

Waiting for the star that will change her life

Midnight cackles like the devil as another soul goes to sleep

Disappointed and forgotten for one last night

By Alex Dines