This week I attended East Three Theatre’s impressively astute dinner theatre production, Boxes.

The play was a coming-of-age story about the hopes, dreams and expectations placed in high school student Holly’s (played by Katelynn Crocker) metaphorical box.

Some of the expectations in her “box” were things she wanted to pursue, while others were not what she wanted at all.

Not only was the play well done, but it carried an important and relevant message: only say “yes” to the things that you actually want to do in life, and remember that you can say “no” to the expectations that other people and society may place on you.

Beyond the play’s relevance and quality, it was awesome to see a youth-driven event so well attended – it was nearly a full house both nights it ran.

Not only were all of the actors students, but the ticket selling and audio-visual aspects to the play were also managed by youth, as was the dinner portion, thanks to students in the Art Travel Club.

The production could not have gone on without the tremendous efforts of the teachers involved like Dierdre Dagar, Abe Drennan, Denise Lipscombe and Kenzie McDonald, just to name a few. Their support for the youth involved is immeasurable and sets an example for how we should all aim to support youth as much as possible.

The importance of supporting youth-driven events like this can not be understated.

I can only imagine that looking out to the audience and seeing a full house is a major confidence-builder as it validates all of the hard work the youth put into the play.

These are the kinds of things we should all be supporting in order to build community, healthier youth and more opportunities to positively contribute for young people.

Praise is due also to the Inuvik Native Band’s (INB) youth committee, which has started hosting a soup kitchen at the INB office every Sunday afternoon.

If you look around, there are many local youth initiatives and events that we all should take notice of, participate in and support where we can – they will be our future leaders, after all.

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