Second-year students dance up a storm as part of this year’s virtual Cabaret for a Cure, raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Second-year students dance up a storm as part of this year’s virtual Cabaret for a Cure, raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The show must go on. That’s what they say in show business – and in the Queen’s Law community. Student dancers, models, and their pets came together virtually on March 19 to perform for Cabaret for a Cure. Cabaret, a must-see event for the last 13 years, has been the Queen’s Law Cancer Society’s biggest way to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. 

“Cabaret is a tradition that students really look forward to and we didn’t want to let COVID get in our way,” says Alyssa Johnson, Law’22, QCLS Co-President. “We thought it was important to try to maintain the social aspect even if everyone is studying remotely in different cities or provinces. It took a lot of planning to coordinate a show that somewhat resembled what a live, interactive Cabaret looked like, and the show definitely exceeded our expectations!” 

Performances included “Working for the Weekend” that saw 10 Law’22 women dancing from their individual rooms to three choreographed numbers and “Don’t Stop B3Lieving,” a merged video of 25 Law’21 students each lip-syncing a line or two to Journey’s hit song. 

Photos submitted by students – featuring them in quarantine life and in various fashions, and of course, their dogs and cats – were also shown to the audience of classmates, faculty, staff, and alumni.  

“It was so great to see everyone watch from their bubbles and the feedback has been really positive!” exclaims Cassandra Hébert-Vendramini, Law’21, QCLS Co-President. “In a school year that has been mostly or completely remote, I think students were looking forward to a watching a show but still interacting with their classmates.”

The virtual Cabaret featured other traditional highlights, as well. Local lawyer Hilary Warder, Law’90, spoke about “Cancer Lessons for Covid Times,” offering sage advice, “If you have a friend going through a tough time, just show up.” There were three raffle draws and audience members bid in a live auction for a variety of experiences with professors and gift packages donated by sponsors. 

“Everyone was really interactive during the show; the chat box was blowing up, and people were unmuting and participating during the auction section,” says Johnson. “A lot of the feedback we received mentioned that in such an isolating school year, Cabaret, albeit virtual, was the highlight of their year!” 

Cabaret was once again a highlight for the Canadian Cancer Society, too, raising about $6,500. There was a three-way tie for the auction item receiving the highest bid at $500: a one-on-one experience with Dean Mark Walters; a walk or drink with Professor Nick Bala, and a rare bottle of Taiwanese whiskey delivered by Associate Dean Josh Karton. “We’re really grateful for everyone who supported the show by attending, bidding on items, purchasing raffle tickets, sponsoring parts of the show, or sending us a donation,” says Hébert-Vendramini. “It was definitely a team effort, and we couldn’t have done it without all the hard work from the executive members of QLCS.”

For the QLCS co-presidents, the greatest reward was seeing the Queen’s Law community come together to support Cabaret and the Canadian Cancer Society. “Queen’s Law has a reputation for being a collegial and supportive school and everyone’s attendance and participation at the show really exemplified that,” says Johnson. “Like everyone, the Canadian Cancer Society has been struggling this year, so it was especially great for our club to be able to do our part to support it.” 

By Lisa Graham