The Kiwanis Kids 4 Kids Talent Showcase returns for its second annual performance

(On the evening of April 21, 2023, the Kanata-Stittsville Kiwanis Club held their Kids 4 Kids Talent Showcase. At the end of the performances, the talented kids came back up to the stage to sing “Try a Little Kindness” by Glen Campell. The audience also sang along. Photo: Kaitlyn LeBoutillier. Photos in the article were taken by Kaitlyn LeBoutillier and U-Rock Music School.)

In 2019, the Kanata-Stittsville Kiwanis Club held their first Kids 4 Kids talent show. Four years and one pandemic later, they held their second (what will hopefully now be) annual show. The show is performed by talented youth from around the Stittsville and Kanata area and all the proceeds go back to deserving youth in the community.

This year’s talent show was held on Friday, April 21st at the Stittsville United Pentecostal Church in Stittsville. The church was kind enough to lend their space to Kiwanis and it made for a great location. Parents of performers and members of the community filled the audience and watched different singing, dancing, and instrumental acts perform. 

The show was kicked off by Glynn Kneebone saying a few words about the Kiwanis Club of Kanata-Stittsville and what they do for the youth in the community. As said in their mission statement, Kiwanis “empowers communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children. Kiwanis strives to be a positive influence in communities worldwide — so that one day, all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive.”

Keeping on that theme, the Kids for Kids talent show sees youth ages 18 and under dedicating a large chunk of their time to rehearsing their acts and preparing a show that will help other youth in their own community

After Glynn spoke about Kiwanis itself and thanked the shows sponsors, the very talented Sone family played O’Canada on their violins and keys. The Sone family moved here from Tokyo when their kids were seven and three years old. Sakura Sone is in grade seven and her two younger siblings are in grade four. They might be young but they were absolutely breathtaking at playing their respective instruments. Such a beautiful rendition of O’Canada was a fantastic way to start of the night.


The first act of the show was Marlayah McLeod, a 17-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer, who is from Ottawa but has Jamacian roots.  Marlayah has a number of accomplishments throughout her young music carrer, including one of her latest original creations entitled “Last Night”, being featured on CBC’s top 100 ‘stand-out’ artists for the 2022 Toyota Searchlight competition playlist.

With her already long list of accomplishments, it was no surprise that Miss McLeod was a strong opening act in the show. However, it was her stage presence and energy that brought her performance to the next level. Marlayah sang “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé and through her performance, you could tell she was enjoying her self on stage. Not only were her vocals amazing, but the personality that shone through her performance put a smile on everyone face. 

Marlayah’s performance was followed by one of many U-Rock band performances. U-Rock Music School is located in Stittsville and had five acts in the talent show. The first performance was by ALEMENA SLAY, the youngest band in the show and they sang “Bones” by Imagine Dragons. The second U-Rock band was FREAK-XL, a band of kids age 13-18. They sang “Holiday” by Green Day and “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence. Following the intermission, the U-Rock band DISTROCIOUS performed “Tobacco Road” by David Lee Roth and “Anthem” by Good Charlotte. The final U-Rock band, THE ELECTRIC 7  helped close out the show with their energetic renditions of “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John and “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. All of the U-Rock bands were well rehearsed and brought a fun energy to the stage. You could tell that they all enjoyed what they were doing and were comfortable being on stage together.

The final U-Rock performance wasn’t a band, but two 18-year-old teachers from the school, Carter Freeman and Aakash Muthuraman who performed “Purple Rain” by Prince. Aakash was on keys and Carter was on guitar and vocals. It was Carter’s first time ever singing in front of an audience but you would have never known that from his performance. He hit every note and nailed his guitar solo.


Another group that had a lot of acts in the show was the MDStudio. The studio had six dances in the show and the dancers ranged in age from 6 to 18 years old. The dancers performed a variety of routines, all with their own unique story and style. The youngest dancer Kaixi Zhang was the first to perform and she danced the Cupid Variation dance. Not only did she do a fantastic job, but she was absolutely adorable in her performance. Charlotte Hu was the next dancer and she performed A summer Girl dance, a beautiful and intricate routine. Jocelyne Cui and Kaitlyn Yuan both performed two dances. They had a duet together which was the Chinese Ink dance and each performed a solo. Jocelyne’s solo was The Hmong Girl dance and Kaitlyn’s was the Sword Fan dance. Elsa Dong performed an entertaining and unique East of Eden Contemporary dance. 

The first half of the show also saw Savannah Philpot and Katelyn Forsyth perform singing solos. Savannah sang “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi and did an amazing job matching the musicality of the song and performing to the audience. Katelyn sang “She Used to be Mine” by Sarah Bareilles. Katelyn’s stage presence and the emotion she is able to put in her voice and performance was incredible to watch.


After the intermission, Lia Smith, played her acoustic guitar and sang two songs, but with her stage presence and the jokes she cracked in between sets, it could have been a comedy act. Lia sang “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer and “Turning Tables” by Adele. Her energetic attitude and connection with the audience made for such a fun performance that had the everyone entertained.

(Lia Smith performed two songs – Kiss Me and Turning Tables at the Kiwanis Kids 4 Kids Talent Showcase held on April 21, 2023.)

The Sone twins also made a return, performing Aladdin on the piano and violin. Then Sakura Sone came back to wow the audience with her performance of Concerto no.9 de beriot. There is no doubt that the Sone family is incredibly talented but when you consider their age as well, their performance abilities become even more impressive.

Local singer Liorah Madina was the final act in the show and blew the audience away with her version of “Vienna” by Billy Joel. Liorah has sang O’Canada at 67s, Redblacks and Ottawa Champions (Now Titans) games as well as many other events in Ottawa. Her performance of Vienna was a beautiful way to end the show. However, Glynn Kneebone came up on stage to bring all the performers back up to the stage for one final act in the show.

(Liorah Madina, known for singing the national anthem at sporting events and more, performs Vienna at the Kiwanis Kids 4 Kids Talent Showcase.)

At the end of the night, all the talented kids came back up to the stage to sing “Try a Little Kindness” by Glen Campell. The lyrics were displayed on the screen and the audience was encouraged to sing along. The song itself has a great message and it was a wonderful and inspiring way to end the night, with everyone coming together. That is what the event is all about anyway, coming together and being kind to those in our community. 

To finish off the night, Glynn once again spoke about the amazing work that Kiwanis does and how helpful the Kid 4 Kids Talent Show is. It was awesome to see so many talent kids in our community come out to support their peers and was good to see everyone who came out to cheer them on and donate their time and money to the Kiwanis Club. What a successful night!

The following are photos taken at the Kids 4 Kids Talent Showcase by U-Rock Music School in Stittsville.


2 thoughts on “The Kiwanis Kids 4 Kids Talent Showcase returns for its second annual performance”

  1. That you Kaitlyn for preparing this great article . What a nice tribute to an incredible evening of entertainment


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