‘Twas the Night steps up to provide entertainment for a good cause

The fourth annual ‘Twas the Night hit Calgary on Thursday, Nov.27 in downtown Calgary.

The chic night out took place at The Core-TD Square Shopping Centre, Calgary’s downtown spot that offers a unique shopping experience from high-end retailers to stylish restaurants.

The event is free, although a $10 donation to the Calgary YMCA was recommended, as all proceeds of the event go directly to the YMCA.

The headliner of this year’s event was Canadian jazz singer Matt Dusk who performed Christmas music — which he says always brings back fond memories — and some of his hit songs.

Dusk said that in addition to performing in support of the YMCA, “I’m also giving away my CD’s for a donation.”

“I love the YMCA. Every time I’ve gone away we usually end up there — they’ve got gyms and they’ve got other stuff,” Dusk said. “When we are always sitting on a bus or a plane it’s the easiest way to get out.”

Carollyne Cheng, communications manager at YMCA Calgary, said the proceeds will directly impact Calgarians in need through the Strong Kids campaign.

Kim Bogner (left) and Carollyne Cheng (right) look forward to the success of this year’s ‘Twas the Night.

Photo by Caroline Fyvie“All of the funds raised tonight will support children, youth, and families at the YMCA, and they will be able to participate in fitness and recreation programs.”

Cheng adds that the funds will allow children to be able to go to summer camps, participate in leadership programs, and parents will also be able to take advantage of childcare programs.

“It’s really just a way for everyone in Calgary to have access to these awesome programs that they can take advantage of.”

The fundraising goal for the YMCA at ‘Twas the Night was $15,000, while the goal for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign for 2014 is $1.5 million, which Cheng says is nearly achieved with the help of ‘Twas the Night.

Cheng says that another way to get involved is by checking out the different campaigns for Strong Kids put on by each YMCA in the city.

“Year-ends we are always looking to get the numbers up so we can reach the goal.”

Canadian jazz musician Matt Dusk plays piano before his performance at ‘Twas the Night, benefitting Calgary YMCA’s.

Photo by Caroline FyvieOn top of helping a local cause, Kim Bogner, marketing director of The Core-TD Square Shopping Centre, says that by moving the event to a Thursday night, retailers have stepped up to provide Black Friday specials a day early.

This year’s event featured a laser light show, a bar serving candy, a red carpet where patrons can get their picture taken with Canadian personality Tanya Kim, as well as other interesting exhibits on all levels of the shopping centre.

The Alberta Ballet preformed “vignettes of the Nutcracker in front of the tree, and they’re doing the tree lighting, so the sugar-plum fairies are going to light the tree,” Bogner said.

Cheng encourages Calgarians to visit their local YMCA’s to get involved in donating to Strong Kids or www.ymcacalgary.org.

sfyvie@cjournal.ca