A Virtual Walk in COVID Times

By Daniel Huang, Sam Sarabia, Ioana Dobre, Co-chairs, Kingston Walk for Arthritis 2021

In 2017, Queen’s Class of 2018 alumna Molly Dushnicky organized the very first Kingston Walk for Arthritis, led by a group of Qmed students and faculty, community leaders, representatives from the Arthritis Society, and local businesses. The fundraiser was a major success, bringing together the Queen’s and Kingston communities, raising much needed funds for the Arthritis Society, and raising awareness for a disease that affects 1 in 6 Canadians.

The picture shows people of a variety of ages walking on Fort Henry Hill at the annual Walk for Arthritis in 2018. They are wearing Walk for Arthritis shirts.
Participants of the Kingston Walk for Arthritis 2018 at Fort Henry. This year, the walk will be held in a virtual format, with a variety of routes for participants to choose from to participate in a safe, physically-distanced fashion.

Since then, successive Qmed classes have taken up the task of organizing the Walk for Arthritis annually. Unfortunately, the 2020 Walk for Arthritis was cancelled, like many similar community events, due to the restrictions put in place across Ontario during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Given the importance of this cause, and taking inspiration from examples of successful virtual and socially-distanced fundraising events around the world–which have advanced such varied causes as producing PPE for frontline workers, collecting perishable food items for food banks, and hosting online arts and cultural events to support local artists–this year the organizing committee for the Walk for Arthritis endeavoured to transition to a completely virtual walk, to be held from April 23-25th, 2021.

This was a first for many members of our committee. Such basic tasks as finding participants, contacting local businesses, and reaching out to charitable and patient advocacy organizations needed a complete rethink. Like many other event organizers, we struggled with the basic question of how communities can come together in the middle of a pandemic that has uprooted many lives and restricted our ability to gather in person.

In the midst of these new challenges however, the continued resilience of our local community and the support we have had from classmates and the Queen’s faculty have truly been heartwarming. Though many are struggling, the message we received from local Kingston businesses was also loud and clear: they offered whatever they could and promised to stay connected once this pandemic is over. And, the virtual setting has provided new opportunities. Participants can walk from ‘virtually’ anywhere while maintaining a sense of camaraderie by getting involved with the walk’s virtual events, including raffle contests, and sharing photos and stories of loved ones who have faced this debilitating disease. It has truly become a virtual community.

Hopefully in future years we will return to the beautiful Fort Henry and walk together, in-person, like in years past. Until then, we will gather virtually to support our loved ones who suffer from arthritis and celebrate their strength and courage. As in years past, proceeds from our event will be donated to the Arthritis Society, in support of their efforts to sponsor cutting-edge research and patient advocacy programs to achieve better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis.

We look forward to seeing all of you on April 23-25th, 2021. For more information on how to participate, please visit our registration page at:

https://arthritis.ca/moveyourway/KingstonWalkforArthritis

And, follow us on social media for your chance to win 1 of 10 gift cards for floatation therapy provided by our main event sponsor, Rejuve-nation Wellness Experts:

Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/PEnEHvs4

Twitter: @KingstonWFA

Instagram: @KingstonWFA

Posted on

Actors, musicians & dancers?? QMed is gearing up for the 48th annual Medical Variety Night!

{Italics indicates a hyperlink}

By Edrea Khong, MVN co-director

It’s that time of year again! Medical Variety Night (MVN) is the School of Medicine’s annual charity variety show featuring UGME student performers from across all four years of training. This year’s theme, So You Think You Can Match, was selected by popular vote amongst the students and is a spin on the popular television show, So You Think You Can Dance. The theme may be particularly apropos yet contentious right now, given the increasing difficulties surrounding the CaRMS match. However, while the show is sure to feature references to this, it certainly is not the focus. The spotlight will remain on the performers, and the show aims to celebrate all that is Queen’s Medicine.

Wandering the halls of the School of Medicine during after-class hours, one may be treated to a glimpse of the beautiful madness that is MVN preparation. From large group dance rehearsals for hip-hop, contemporary (new this year!), or Bollywood, to table-reads and short filming sequences for class skits, the students have been working tirelessly to perfect their acts for the show. The acts seem to get bigger and more elaborate each year, and this year’s line-up surely will not disappoint!

As always, details about the act set list are being kept tightly under wraps, but showgoers can be assured that there will be a great variety with something for

MVN 2018 Directors Edrea Khong, Daisy Liu, Emily Wilkerson, & Charlotte Coleman

everyone. In addition, although there will be some “medical culture”-styled humour, the show is designed to be accessible by and entertaining for all. In the past, the show has been very well attended by people outside of the “Medicine Bubble™” to rave reviews.

Outside of the performers, there are many others who have been hard at work on the show, such as the promotions, tech, and backstage crews already doing vital behind-the-scenes work in preparation. In addition, Edrea Khong and Daisy Liu (2020s) have been joined this year by Charlotte Coleman and Emily Wilkerson (2021s) as the MVN 2018 Directors. The four have spent countless hours since mid-September organizing and preparing for the show. With the two-week countdown now underway, they are hard at work ensuring the show runs as smoothly as possible. During the show week, many more students will also lend a hand as bakers, ushers, ticket takers, raffle sellers, and much more. MVN is a project of love, dedication, and talent from all of QMed.

MVN 2018 Emcees Roya Abdmoulaie & Lauren Mak

All proceeds from this year’s show are going to Kingston Interval House, an organization committed to supporting women, children, and youth experiencing violence and working collaboratively with the community to eliminate all forms of violence and oppression. While great strides have been made worldwide towards establishing greater equality especially in these past few months, there is still much to be done and services like these are so vital. The decision to support Kingston Interval House feels very apt. In addition to ticket sales, MVN depends on the generosity of the Kingston community and Queen’s faculty. Raffle prizes featuring local Kingston businesses and a bake sale featuring QMed culinary talent can be found at the shows. Donations are also being accepted on the MVN website, with donations of $50 or greater receiving a tax receipt.

MVN 2018 takes place on April 6th and 7th at Duncan McArthur Hall (511 Union St.), with doors opening at 6:30PM and the show starting at 7:00PM both evenings. Tickets can be purchased for $13 on the MVN website, or for $15 at the door.

Get excited for a fantastic evening of performances celebrating another year of Queen’s Medicine! Gather your family and friends and purchase your tickets to MVN 2018 today. Looking forward to seeing you at the show!

Posted on

Bollywood, gnomes and time travel, oh my!— 45th Annual Medical Variety Night promises an entertaining evening

Anyone wandering through the second floor of the Medical Building after hours some days this term could be forgiven for wondering if they’d accidentally ended up in a dance studio instead of a medical school.

What was actually happening was rehearsal for one of the dance numbers for this year’s Medical Variety Night (MVN). The show takes place Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at Duncan McArthur Auditorium at 511 Union Street West and will be hosted by Emily Kerr (MEDS2017) and Alessia Gallipoli (MEDS2017).

I set out to find out more about what’s in store at the 45th edition of MVN, “House of CaRMS” by emailing this year’s co-directors: Beverly Guan (MEDS2017), Jimin Lee (MEDS2017), Jordan Sugarman (MEDS2018) and Nathan Terrana (MEDS2018).

This year’s theme of “House of CaRMS” was selected by popular vote, inspired by the American political drama series, “House of Cards.”

“The television series features scheming, power-hungry characters doing everything it takes to climb the ladder of success,” Guan wrote back on behalf of her co-directors. “Naturally, we saw some potentially humorous parallels with the CaRMS process.”

Co-Directors’ Top 5 Reasons to Check out MVN:

Discover hidden talents of medical students at Queen’s

Find out what we have been doing with our spare time

Support everyone who has put their time and effort into MVN

Donate to great charitable causes

Have a great time!

The co-directors and performers are keeping as much of the program under wraps as possible (we have to go see the show to find out more), but they tease that we can expect hilarious class skits and videos—“featuring gnomes, time travel, CanMEDS competencies, and more!”—the largest Bollywood act in MVN history, the first ever QMed Qrew hip hop number, a concert pianist, and many talented musicians and singers.

MVN2015 Poster - AG

It’s that kind of enthusiasm and talent that has helped ensure MVN is an enduring QMed tradition.

“Whether students want to have their moment in the spotlight, film promotional videos, manage the show behind the wings, or even just bake for our bake sale, there is a role for everyone in MVN,” Guan wrote.

MVN is a significant time investment to create two evenings of entertainment. Why do so many medical students pitch in? “Perhaps it is because it is during these grueling hours of preparation and rehearsal that we learn something important about ourselves, something we don’t learn sitting in class,” Guan wrote. “We learn how to deal with our frustrations and manage our insecurities. We learn about the joy of striving for perfection but also the beauty of imperfection. And, most importantly, we learn that succeeding together, as a team, is just as fulfilling — if not more so, than succeeding as an individual.”

Each year, MVN proceeds support charities selected by the students. This year, they’ve chosen the Class of 2017 project, “Reads for Paeds” and Almost Home, a local Kingston charity.

“Given that a significant portion of the class in involved in the Reads for Paeds project, we wanted to collaborate with them in raising funds to print storybooks, written and illustrated by our class, to explain common chronic illnesses affecting children,” Guan wrote. “We also wanted to select a local charity that supports families with children who are receiving medical treatment, and Almost home fit this criteria perfectly.”

More information on both Reads for Paeds and Almost Home is available on the MVN website: www.houseofcarms.com

In addition to funds raised through ticket sales, there are other fundraisers at the show, including a bake sale, raffle tickets and a silent auction for one large MVN banner featuring pictures of the performers. Donations are also being accepted (all donations greater than $50 receive a tax receipt).

Tickets are sold for $12 online and $15 at the door. Online ticket purchases and online donations can be made here.

In the meantime, check out the MVN promo video here and see the hosts explain why they volunteered here. And we’ll see you at the show!

 

Posted on