LaMarsh Centre gala to raise funds for child and youth research, child soldiers

York’s LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research will host a special gala benefit that will contribute to critical research at the centre, as well as help support the Child Soldiers Initiative through the Roméo Dallaire Foundation and raise awareness about child exploitation.

The gala will take place Feb. 27 at 6:30pm at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., Toronto. Attendees will see the award-winning play, The Sound of Cracking Bones, and listen to a keynote address by former child soldier Michel Chikwanine. There will also be a cocktail reception with musical interlude by Kristin Lindell, a Q&A with the play’s director and actors, coffee and dessert, and an opportunity to bid on one of several exciting research talks focused on positive development and well-being across the lifespan. Tickets are $160.00 each.

Child soldier
Child soldier

The Sound of Cracking Bones is the story of 13-year-old Elikia, a resilient, courageous girl who leads innocent eight-year old Joseph on a harrowing escape through the jungle toward a hoped-for freedom. Set in a war-torn country, which could be in Africa, Latin America or South Asia, the story takes us to the very heart of Elikia and Joseph’s life as child soldiers caught in the grip of ruthless warlords. Their story is later brought to light by Angelica, the nurse who rescued and cared for them, as she testifies before a tribunal charged with examining the issue of child soldiers.

It’s only because of her testimony that the reality of these children – like so many others’ – is revealed to us. In turn, we see how the comfort of distance and time can dilute empathy with indifference. Unsettling yet life-affirming, The Sound of Cracking Bones is an intimate portrayal of a global issue. This production will also feature the talents of two outstanding York grads and one professor.

To RSVP and purchase gala tickets, visit the Gala web page.

For more information about this event, look at the event poster, visit the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research website or the Alumni and Friends website, or contact or 416-736-5528.

Donors interested in supporting child and youth research can contribute in several ways, including buying tickets to and attending the event or donating them to be distributed to youth; becoming a sponsor for this event or bidding on a research talk at the silent auction.