Toronto– What comes to mind when we think of a remarkable person? Many think of someone extraordinary and well-known, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. It’s uncommon to think that it could be as simple as someone in the community or perhaps in our very own social circle. The truth is a remarkable person can be found everywhere, and sometimes it could be found within ourselves.
A few weeks ago, eighteen-year-old Charles Bautista didn’t have the slightest idea that a simple act as singing would make a massive difference in somebody else’s life.
Bautista has been singing for as long as he can remember. It wasn’t until he auditioned for Cardinal Carter Academy For The Arts that he started taking his passion for singing and performing more seriously. “I fell in love with the craft because it has the power to alter my mood, and it also allows me to openly release and express my feelings.”
Bautista spent four years studying musical theatre and classical repertoires and performing at school concerts before applying to Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program.
“Although, I have a passion for singing. I, too, have a passion for visual arts. So, I decided to go into Graphic Communications to potentially pursue a career where I can use my creativity,” says Bautista.
Like many first-year students, Bautista hasn’t fully experienced campus life due to the pandemic, so he decided to sign-up and perform at an acoustic night event organized by Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management Course Union, or commonly known as GCMCU.
“I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and potentially meet new people within the program, especially now that it’s a bit difficult to do so with everything now online,” says Bautista.
Acoustic night has been a part of GCMCU for roughly about eight years, and it’s an annual charity event dedicated to giving back to the community. This year, the course union chose to donate to Eva’s Initiative, an organization that provides shelter and transitional housing to at-risk and homeless youths in the GTA.
The event took two weeks to organize, and according to Patricia Lau, Graphic Communications Management Course Union’s Vice President Of Events, “The most challenging part was making sure that we had enough attendees.” But, to her surprise, eleven performers and more than sixty people showed up.
“It’s mind-blowing. I wasn’t expecting it, and I think I could say the same for the other members,” says Lau.
And, like many social gatherings, the event took place online, but with an admission fee of a pay-what-you-can basis. “We wanted to raise a total amount of $70, so we suggested a fixed price of $3,” says Lau.
The council included three raffle prizes to reach their goal: a small light-up marquee box, pen holder, and whiteboard planner. But, to their surprise, the event ended up raising a total amount of $500, in which all was donated in support of Eva’s Initiative.
“It feels great to be doing what I love, and to make a difference in someone else’s life by doing so is just beyond words,” says Bautista.