New Tea Party performers celebrate diversity

REACH! among the entertainment filling Willows Park for two days of fun

This year’s Oak Bay Tea Party features a new performance group.

The REACH! Performing Company was started in January to celebrate integration and diversity of ages, cultures and abilities through the performing arts. Half of the 25-member group have a significant disability including cerebral palsy, autism, Down Syndrome, blindness and a number of other developmental challenges.

“The obstacles they overcome to perform are hard for many of us even to imagine” says Anne-Marie Brimacombe, director. “But their energy and enthusiasm are truly amazing. For many, our rehearsals are the highlight of their week.”

Everyone benefits, says Brimacombe. “The other, ‘abled’ performers are telling us that being a part of this group brings a lot of joy and meaning to their lives. Some are professional musicians and two are graduates of the Canadian College of Performing Arts.”

REACH! Performing Company performs Saturday at 5 p.m. at Willows Beach Park.

“Those in the audience are in for a good show,” says Brimacombe. “There’s great music, choreography and a narrative that pulls it altogether.”

The REACH! Performing Company is part West Coast Reach Association, a new, registered non-profit organization. The association also currently provides an early education program through music and movement for children of refugees and new immigrants at the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria. Visit westcoastreach.org/ for more about the group.

Visit oakbayteaparty.com/entertainment for the full entertainment lineup for the Oak Bay Tea Party June 3 and 4.

editor@oakbaynews.com

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