Looking Back: Vanier College’s Coffee House

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This year, Vanier College’s annual coffeehouse was held on the evening of November 21st, and, especially as a first timer, I was very excited to go considering I’ve heard many good things from friends who had attended in previous years. I was not only not disappointed, but even had my view on events like these changed completely.

For those unaware, the Vanier College coffeehouse is a social event that features a talent show to raise proceeds for a charitable cause, such as with this year all proceeds going to organizations dedicated to prostate cancer awareness advocacy centers due to it falling on the same month as “Movember”. Although held in and emphasized in connection to Vanier College, as with other college events other students non-affiliated with Vanier were more than welcome to attend, I was happy that I took advantage.

Some performers rehearsed for weeks, while others purposely wanted to do improv, and some, of course, were in the middle. However, one thing common in each performance, from the acoustic renditions of popular tracks this year to even some comedic stories all shared a sense of comfort; everyone looked as if they were performing in front of a few really close friends, which in large part was probably from the crowd that stayed excited throughout the entire nearly three hours of the coffeehouse occurring.

As great as the enthusiasm from both those who performed and the crowd that both chanted and cheered them on every step of the way were, I was just as impressed with the atmosphere in general. Although I know a few on the council and have attended events orchestrated on behalf of the college, as someone who is not a Vanier student I decided it would be better to sit back from the stage and try to take as many mental notes as I could. As soon as I got there, it became clear how close many those sitting in the audience and those setting up upon the soundstage were with one another; the atmosphere was family like. Because my face was relatively unknown to most attending, however, many presumed I was new and albeit shy student looking to be more involved with this college. To my pleasant surprise then, a lot of members made an effort to not only say hello, but introduce themselves and talk with me a bit. It really put me at ease and made me realize why the crowd was so passionate throughout the entire night of different performances.

When I went home later that night I realized how happy I am to be involved in different facets of the York community. I always have been involved with extracurriculars, and I view them not as extra work but an extra way to forget about work, both in the school and job forms. York may be known as a “commuter school”, but that by no means is indicative of a community that is not very well in tune with one another, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Events like the coffee house are a wonderful reminder of that, which is probably why they continue to be popular each year even during this time of final exams, assignments, and holiday prep.