By Michelle Poirier

First Act Youth Company (FAYC), a professional musical theatre training school for kids and teens, started their first term this September and are opening their doors for Jinglefest.

Jinglefest is an open house and fundraiser welcoming everyone at Udora Community Hall (24 Victoria Road, Udora) on Saturday, December 2 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“What we’re raising funds for specifically is our scholarship fund,” Nicole Strawbridge, Artistic Director of FAYC, said. 

“Now that we’re into classes, we see that there are families and students who would really benefit from financial assistance.”

They are taking this opportunity to fundraise and have an open house to introduce themselves to the community. 

Strawbridge said there will be a market with local vendors, raffle prizes and hot drinks.

Company members will be also performing every hour on the hour

Plus there will be face painting, crafts and games for kids.

And, of course, Santa will be there, with a visit from Anna and Elsa from Frozen.

“You can get your Santa photos printed on site, so instead of going to the mall, do it there and support local, support kids in our community,” Strawbridge said. 

Strawbridge and Colin Frotten, Executive Director of FAYC, said they made Jinglefest free admission to make the event accessible to everyone, with funds raised through things like face painting and Santa photos.  

The event is being sponsored by Premiere North Windows and Doors, and FAYC encourages people to bring a new or used toy for the Optimist Club of Keswick toy drive.  

“We’re really trying to focus on supporting youth in our community,” Frotten said. 

In August, FAYC held their 36-hour musical boot camp with 15 kids involved and they had an audience of over 100 attend the performance. 

Frotten said they have a cabaret night coming up on December 15. This will be an evening of solos, duets and trios, and tickets will be available. The money from tickets will go toward the production of their year-end performance in June.

“There’s no registration for Jinglefest, no admission or anything like that; bring a toy and have fun. Bring your cash,” Frotten said. 

“Wear your ugly Christmas sweater,” Strawbridge added. 

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