Cordova Bay United Church will host a A Night on Broadway featuring tunes from West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, and the Lion King as part of a fundraiser for projects in Africa. Photo submitted

Saanich church will ring with the tunes of Broadway

Cordova Bay United Church will host a A Night on Broadway March 10

Cordova Bay United Church will turn into the Great White Way on March 10 for an evening, when it hosts a fundraiser to benefit children in Africa.

For the Love for Africa Society is organizing the evening, which features nine local musicians performing various selections from Broadway’s most famed musicals including West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, and the Lion King. All donations will help support funding for various educational and medical projects in Tanzania.

Kate Insley, one of the organizers, said the show builds on a comparable show last year featuring musicians playing George Gershwin tunes.

“Last year was the first year we did [a musical fundraiser with the Gershwin show],” and it was a big success,” she said. “And people said, ‘you know, you will have to do this again.’”

The society behind the fundraiser formed in 2004. Since then, 11 teams have travelled to Tanzania working on seven different projects that help people of all ages. Over the years, the society has financed a health clinic, an orphan’s centre, and a technical trade school, which is still under construction.

“We think it is important to help people,” she said. “We have set up a relationship with everyone we have worked with in Tanzania.”

Locals decide on the nature of the project without any interference from the society, said Insley.

“It is their project,” she said. The society, instead, concerns itself with fund-raising, with the goal of raising $50,000 to $60,000 each year, said Insley.

Insley, a former nurse, has been to Tanzania twice, first in 2004, then again in 2008, and speak first hand to the difference that the society has made.

“We have seen such a difference, since we went in in 2004 to present-day,” she said.

Organizers plan to present these projects and their effects in additional detail on March 10 with displays and other educational elements, with all donations going towards the society’s projects in Africa.

Musicians will receive a “very small honorarium” courtesy of the show’s six sponsors.

As for the show, Insley said it promises to be an elegant, as well as educational evening, as the musicians plan to offer some historical insights into the various Broadway hits that they plan to play.

Insley said organizers chose Broadway tunes because of their accessibility and available variety. This sort of fundraiser also marks a difference from more traditional fundraising efforts. “If they give a donation, they get a tax receipt,” she said. “This way, if they come, they have will an evening’s entertainment [too].”

Tickets are $35, with refreshments and a closed bid auction during Intermission. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

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