All day Friday, the Northern Spirits showcase is asking for help to save its program for young people in the arts.

Its organizers and its youth are working with our province-wide radio network to raise money for Northern Spirits. Now heading into its ninth year, the event gives a spotlight to young northern talent.

Organizer Sheryl Kimbley says northern youth really need artistic outlets like this. It helps people come out of their shells and share their skills with a wide audience.

“It means so much to these kids and they’re so smart, they’re so talented and they have a voice and they need to be heard. And they need to find ways to express themselves. We know we can’t save the world but my gosh, if we can save a couple,” she said.

Kimbley says it’s impossible to know how much the event helps kids until you see for yourself.

“Unless you’re there, unless you can see the difference in these kids from the time they walk in the door until the time they leave you can’t possibly know the power that it has of letting these kids speak out in the arts rather than in other ways that might not be so good,” Kimbley said.

Kimbley looked back at Northern Spirit’s roots, saying it was a wish of the voices of the north’s founder – who died of cancer years ago.

The annual Northern Spirits showcase has been facing a funding shortage heading into this year’s workshops, but those who love Northern Spirits have banded together to make sure it keeps going.

She points out that the push to save the showcase has come from the youths themselves, who have posted to Facebook and suggested fundraisers. People like Cierra Charles, Kaitlyn Charles, And Chantelle Charles are giving their time on Friday to help out.

Kimbley said it’s a pity that funding has been a struggle, and said she hopes it doesn’t continue.

“To me that’s unfortunate, it really is unfortunate because it won’t be too long before these kids we’re working with are going to be out in the work force. We’re not trying to raise Nashville stars but we do want them to go out with self-esteem and know that they contributed to something bigger than what they are and that’s what Northern Spirits is,” she said.

There are a number of ways to support the cause:

  • Donate in person at MBC’s Prince Albert office at 27-11th Street West all day Friday
  • Attend the $8 soup and bannock lunch at the nearby Anavets building, at 25-11th Street West between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday
  • Donate by phone by calling the toll-free number 1-844-968-8412 all day Friday
  • Listen in to the Radio-a-thon between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday across the MBC Radio Network