Angel Awards: Warrior kid wows Lake Country audience with stunning performance
When Elise Boisvert stood in front of a nearly sold-out crowd at the Creekside Theatre in Winfield on Saturday night to sing Warrior, the theme song for the fundraiser, the Lake Country teenager felt right at home, despite battling a form of arthritis that has plagued her since early childhood.
The George Elliot student was surrounded by friends and family as she sang the Demi Lovato tune that was originally penned about bullying. Backed by the Seaton Choir, Boisvert belted out the song like never before, bringing many in attendance to tears.
"I felt very, very comfortable," said Boisvert on Tuesday in an interview with the Kelowna Capital News and Lake Country Calendar. "I looked down and saw all these people I knew and they were smiling at me and some of my teachers were there. I turned around and all my friends were on stage. It was so nice, I felt so supported. That song relates so much to what I go through. It's about the people that bullied her but for me, the big bully is this disease."
Boisvert was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the age of four. She suffers from chronic pain, pain that never goes away, except when she is on stage singing. Her mother Louise, a former singer and dancer herself, began the Angel Awards as a talent competition and fundraiser, raising money to battle a disease that her daughter struggles with every day.
Elise says the fact her mom has put on this show for her and continues to fight to find a cure, is something that she holds dear to her heart.
"It means a lot, it's really nice to know that she is there for me, to know she is right there behind me," said Elise as emotions came into her voice. "It's just a really nice feeling to know how much she loves me and how she cares about me and she just wants this to go away."
Close to 200 people attended the event in Lake Country's Creekside Theatre, the first time in the four year history of the event that it was held in Lake Country. In past year's it had been held at the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna but both mother and daughter said having the event in Lake Country made it even more special.
"It was so well-received out here," said Louise. "There were people in tears that came to the show and they saw Elise do Warrior and they came to me after and said they had never been so moved. This was one of the best shows. It was like an afternoon with friends and family."
Final fundraising totals are not yet available as more money will come in from sponsors and supporters but Louise said the event will continue on as she moves forward raising money to fight the disease that Elise suffers from.
"From a mom's perspective of this warrior-kid that deals with chemo every day and nausea…she got up there and belted it out and made the audience connect with her heart. It just broke me," she said. "From a producer's stand-point the show was so tight, it was so high-level. I was so proud of everybody that kept it going. It was really a great experience. As exhausted as I am, I'm already planning next year. This was the fourth year and I'm hoping people start to realize I'm not giving up on this until there is a cure. Elise is my motivation to keep helping her fight."
Next year Boisvert hopes to keep the Angel Awards at the Creekside Theatre and is planning to hold the event a little earlier in the calendar year.