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Pathways kids star in inspirational variety show

Cathy Dobson There’s nothing seven-year-old Abby Wighton likes better than dancing across a stage with her friends, all decked out in sparkly costumes.
Director Holly Wenning, right, goes over stage directions with young actors from Pathways Health Centre for Children during a rehearsal for ‘The Colours of Love,’ a variety show the centre is staging April 23 at the Imperial Theatre. From left seated are performers Sydney Vrolyk, Abigail Wighton and Morgan D’Hooghe. In back are Kira Manchester and Mary Kaye Salari. Glenn Ogilvie

Cathy Dobson

There’s nothing seven-year-old Abby Wighton likes better than dancing across a stage with her friends, all decked out in sparkly costumes.

Pathways Health Centre for Children’s upcoming 40th anniversary show gives Abby that wonderful experience. The Colours of Love also promises to give its audience an equally wonderful experience.

“Pathways kids will inspire you,” says therapeutic recreational specialist Amy Spadafora. “They’ll be showing off their amazing talents and you’ll see they are a part of the community, the same as anyone else.”

The one-hour stage production, created and directed by Holly Wenning and Amy Mayea of Stars of Tomorrow Musical Theatre, is a variety show that highlights the dancing and vocal skills of 17 Pathways clients, parents and support workers, to be held at the Imperial Theatre April 23.

It’s not something the centre tackles often. In fact, it’s been at least 10 years since the last big show, but it’s a fitting way to mark Pathways’ 40th year in the community, says Spadafora.

A casting call went out in the fall and participants have met for the past 20 Tuesdays to rehearse.

“Abby just loves singing and acting,” says her dad Jeremy Wighton. His daughter has physical limitations and is developmentally slow, he says.

“This is really good for her memory, her muscle control and her socialization.”

He’s looking forward to joining her onstage for the father/daughter number.

The show features a number of surprises for the audience that none of the producers will divulge. There will also be a live band onstage during the production, including local sax player Chris Molyneaux, who is a former Pathways client.

Each performer, ages five to 19, will be showcased dancing or singing to popular songs such as It’s Time by Imagine Dragons, When I Grow Up from Matilda: The Musical, and You Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story.

“Everyone gets their time to shine,” says Spadafora.

Pathways Health Centre for Children supports children and youth with physical, developmental and communication needs.

It has been located near the corner of Murphy and Michigan Avenue since 1975 and currently serves 2,400 families.

More than half the tickets to The Colours of Love were sold by press time.


WHAT: The Colours of Love, a one-hour variety show presented by Pathways clients.

WHERE: Imperial Theatre on Christina Street

WHEN: Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. One show only.

TICKETS: Imperial Oil box office. 519-344-7469 or online at  $25 (adults); $12.50 (students).

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