Cowichan Bay’s Alora Killam put smiles on the faces and in the hearts of many home-bounds kids in her community on March 30.
Alora, 16, had played Belle, one of the main characters in Walt Disney’s film Beauty and the Beast, two years ago in a play by Duncan’s Adagé Studio, and still had the costume in her closet.
Her mom, Irwin Killam, connects with her community through the Cowichan Bay and Friends Facebook page and she was having a conversation on the page with another mother who was concerned that it was her young daughter’s birthday and none of her friends could come to her home to celebrate because of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Alora and I decided that she would put on her Belle dress and drop by the house to visit, but not go inside,” Irwin said.
“We posted on the Facebook page that we would be on that street at 12:30 p.m. for a visit and we were amazed to find so many little kids on their lawns and looking through windows waiting for Belle (the daughter of an inventor in Beauty and the Beast who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure) to arrive.”
Irwin said Ruby Sim, the young girl on the lawn in the picture, put on her own Belle costume while waiting for Alora to visit.
“Her mother told me that Alora’s visit really made Ruby’s day, and the family watched Beauty and the Beast that night,” she said.
“I think Alora made a lot of kids’ day during that visit. My fear was that some of the kids would come right up and hug her, but all of them kept a minimum of 12 feet away.”
Alora, who won a prestigious Joey Award for the best young actress in a musical for her performance of Belle two years ago, said she loved the idea of playing the character again to lift the spirits of bored kids in the community who aren’t allowed out to play with friends during the health crisis.
Alora attends Frances Kelsey Secondary School while also being home schooled, and spends much of her time these days doing online school courses and practising her dancing with online dance classes.
She said she was delighted with the response from the kids in the neighbourhood.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said.
“I love kids and I love the fact that I was able to put a smile on their faces while they are stuck at home. I might do it again in other neighbourhoods.”