This year I was lucky enough to attend WE Day 2016 in Toronto.
Now for those who may not be familiar with WE Day it is a youth empowerment event in the style of a concert that is put on by Me to We and Free the Children. It features many speakers and musical artists who all use their stories and talents to inspire 20,000 or so youth in the Air Canada Centre. With musical performances from the likes of Jason Derulo and Gord Downie as well as speeches of empowerment and awareness of Canada’s history and future, it was a concert like no other.
Here’s a video that will help describe a little more about the event:
Like the video said, you can’t buy a ticket to WE Day. It is earned through your school and the work you do to support Me to We and Free the Children.
This was not my first time attending WE Day. Back in 2010 I was fortunate enough to attended for the first time in Vancouver. I found myself so inspired and it gave me a love and connection to the organization and the work that they do. So when I was faced with the offer to go again this year, I was ecstatic. I remember being so moved the first time, that the idea of going again and getting to hear more speeches and be influenced to think about some more important topics that I hadn’t thought about before was fantastic.
On the subject of important topics I hadn’t really thought about before, there was one that really touched me deeply that made me think hard about it and continue to. There was a section of the performance that they really focused on Canadian history and the upcoming 150th anniversary of Canada, and during that part, one of the main points was about reconciliation. The section started and was led by Gord Downie and the project that he was working on called “The Secret Path.” They told us about the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young native boy who died while trying to get back to his family from the reformation school that he was being kept at. Gord did this through song, speech and video as well as bringing along Chanie’s sister Pearl Wenjack. Pearl also did a short speech before singing a song in her native language. The atmosphere at this moment was intense. The whole stadium felt moved. It definitely left an impact as it is the thing I have been telling people about since.
This is an experience that will stay with me forever. It was a life changing event that has inspired me to help change the world and I am so grateful for being able to attend. If you ever get to go I would say: take the chance to be inspired. For we all can be the change.
My name is Julia and I am 17 years old.
A few fun facts about me would be that first off I LOVE music, especially the Beatles and David Bowie. They are the soundtracks to my teenage life. And I would consider David Bowie and Paul McCartney to be a few of my role models.
Another important role model would be my mom as I look up to her in every way. She rocks!
I’m currently attending the 12th grade and some of my favourite subjects would have to be Drama, English and History. Therefore I am a dramatic history nerd who likes to write. I do have to say that I enjoy school. I mean yes there are things they could improve on like the budgets for the arts programs and such, but all in all I feel so lucky to be going to school where I do.
A couple other things I like to do is blog and chat with my friends and send them funny pictures of things I find on my travels through the Internet. I’m also a big documentary watcher as that’s where I find a lot of my internet usage goes to. My favourite ones would have to be about history, but mainly music history.
More by Julia:
- Julia is Hoping For a Snow Day
- Julia is Enchanted by ‘La La Land’
- Julia is Ready to Make a Change: WE Day 2016
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