Sunday 29 May 2011

St. George's School holds grand 80th anniversary bash

St. George’s School of Montreal held its 80th anniversary gala evening at the L’Astral Theatre recently and it was quite the standout affair for the private primary and second institution. More than 300 people were on hand for the benefit, proceeds of which went to the school’s enrichment opportunities and bursary programs. Head of School James Officer announced that this had culminated in a successful year during which more than $500,000 was taken in as part of fundraising endeavors.

Teenage jazz sensation Nikki Yanofsky (right), who now performs around the world, was the star attraction. She has attended St. George’s since Grade 4 and will graduate in June. Ironically this marked the first time she had ever done a show for her own school. “Everyone at St. George’s has been nothing but supportive of me,” the 17 year old beauty, who now has more than 10,000 Twitter followers, told the adoring crowd. “I do not even feel like I was going to school. And they have all been really understanding about my travelling.”

High profile Hollywood film director Shawn Levy (left), the man behind such hits as Night at the Museum, The Pink Panther, Date Night and Cheaper By the Dozen, was the evening’s honouree. Officer announced that the school is establishing the Shawn Levy Junior Filmmaker Award. Levy graduated in 1985 and credit’s the school with giving him the necessary tools to succeed in his chosen profession. “To me this is such an inspiring place,” he remarked. “St. George’s so much respects the value of the individual. The teachers from St. George’s remain galvanizing people in my life.”

The emcee for the evening was Andy Nulman, the head of the popular Just For Laughs Festival. He sent his two sons to St. George’s. He was proud to introduce another alumni, standup comic Ryan Wilner (class of 1995), who brought the house down with his clever routine. Nulman recalled that he first heard about Wilner from his sons, who claimed that there was a really funny camp counselor itching for a spot in the Just For Laughs lineup. As it turned out, Wilner did indeed make it to the big event. Yet another alumni, social trends and pop culture expert, Shira Lazar brought greetings via a taped message on the big screen. Celebrity photographer Heidi Hollinger, also a St. George’s grad, was on hand and volunteered her services to take photos which you see on this blog. She is pictured above with Officer and some of her former teachers.

There were also performances by the St. George’s Glee competition team and the 80th anniversary gala band (below). Parent Colleen Wicha chaired the event and was crowned “Lady Gala,” complete with a Lady Gaga disguise on the big screen display. For more about the school log on to

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