Retro to Electro fundraiser raises money for arts organizations

NANAIMO - Retro to Electro fundraising event raises money for Nanaimo's Crimson Coast Dance Society and Gabriola's Twilight Radio Theatre.

A whimsical act attendees of the Retro to Electro fundraiser event can expect to see is Jazz Babies

A whimsical act attendees of the Retro to Electro fundraiser event can expect to see is Jazz Babies

Nanaimo revellers can step into the swing era and support a good cause during the Retro to Electo: Vintage Swing Retro Revue and Dance Party.

The event is Saturday (Sept. 17) and is a fundraiser for both Crimson Coast Dance Society and Gabriola’s Twilight Radio Theatre.

Holly Bright, artistic director of Crimson Coast Dance Society, said she has been working with Kathy McIntyre, artistic director of Twilight Radio Theatre, to create the fundraiser.

“Kathy and I both have a mutual love of swing, the swing era, the music and everything about it and wanted to work together and thought this would be a fantastic way of doing it,” said Bright.

Retro to Electro is hosted by MC Kat Single-Dain a.k.a. Gloria. She will teach swing dance lessons throughout the night and lead a number of games so attendees can get to know each other.

The evening features a full lineup of entertainment including Dinah D and the Contraband Swing Club, a live performance by Twilight Radio Theatre, LED performances by Vesta Fire and Jazz Babies, a dance group featuring Minny Hed Myrtle and Dewdney Trunk Myrtle.

From 11:30 p.m. onwards DJ Daniel Trump will spin tunes accompanied by Alexander Watt on bass.

Attendees are encouraged to dress up and there will be prizes for the best costume.

“You don’t have to dress up. We just think it will be a lot of fun if you do,” said Bright.

There will also be a swing dance contest. Winners will be announced in an unconventional fashion, they will be surrounded by paparazzi who will photograph them on the dance floor.

People will also be able to send singing telegrams to each other.

Bright said money raised will help Crimson Coast Dance run its Body Talk youth program.

The program aims at helping participants gain life skills such as organization, communication and engagement and productions skills such as creation, design marketing and more.

Twilight Radio Theatre is hoping to raise money to travel and perform across Vancouver Island and expand its audience.

McIntyre said that for years people from Gabriola have attended the group’s shows and the performers have received positive feedback.

McIntyre fell in love with the live radio performances when she was a child.

“I was one of those people who had been listening to reruns when I was a child,” she said. “I was a big fan of all of those radio programs and had the idea of doing them live would be a hoot.”

McIntyre said now on radio the sound effects are digital, but the group recreates all the sound effects onstage in front of the audience.

The Retro to Electro fundraiser runs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre, locate at 46 Nicol St.

Tickets are $35 and are available from Delicados, the south-end location, Catwalk Fashions, Pomme Natural Market, Bocca, or at the door. People can also purchase tickets for $10 at the door after 11:30 p.m. For more info, please go to