By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – Lethbridge Herald on November 20, 2021.
LETHBRIDGE HERALD[email protected]
A local group participating in the Battle of the Fans lip-syncing competition hosted by L’Arche were beaten in the second round by L’Arche Honduras, but the experience was nonetheless rewarding.
Battle of the Fans is in its second season this year. It is an initiative of L’Arche Canada which brings together communities from all over the world who wish to participate. It is a way to present the different communities and people with disabilities in them in a creative and fun way, and to raise awareness of disability and pride in disability.
âIn the first round our song was Mama Mia from Abba, which was great because we all love that song. Everyone in our homes was really excited to perform this song, âsaid Marie Moyer, Assistant Coordinator at L’Arche Lethbridge.
With this song, they were able to win the first round against L’Arche Toronto.
âWe had a lot of fun with this competition, it was fun participating in this competition this year,â said Brad Flaig, a member of L’Arche who has lived in their homes for over 20 years.
For the second round, they were invited to interpret Fame, by Irene Cara. In the video, they dance in a limousine as the song’s lyrics are about being famous.
âWe sing and dance inside the limo, and we dance outside the limo. I had fun doing it, âsaid Flaig.
In the second round, they faced L’Arche Honduras.
âIt’s an incredible team; they have huge success on YouTube. We were in a serious battle until the last minute on Wednesday and they were just ahead of us so we are out of the competition, âsaid Moyer.
Moyer added that Lethbridge came in second overall in the second round with views and likes on YouTube, and no other team in Canada or the United States has received more than 300 likes. Lethbridge received 344 likes and the only other communities that had over 300 likes were Honduras and Kenya.
Even though they are no longer in the competition, they hope they can return if there is a wild card this season.
âWe really enjoyed it, had a lot of fun so we hope we can come back, but if not, we’re ready for season three next year,â Moyer said.
In Lethbridge, they are working on a project to purchase a new wheelchair accessible van.
âA van for Brad’s house that can hold more than one person in a wheelchair at a time, so we can get around together,â Moyer said.
In this season of Battle of the Fans, the money raised is distributed between the communities that collected it and a program called Solidarity with L’Arche International, which distributes money to communities in other parts of the world.
L’Arche’s mission is to celebrate the worth of each person and to promote the gifts of people with disabilities.
âSo that gave us a global stage to showcase the wonderful people in our community and to do it all together. So I think that was a very important part of this whole project, âMoyer said.
Flaig was thrilled to be part of the competition this year and he looks forward to next year when he hopes to use a city bus for their video.
âBecause I know the city buses, I know the city bus driversâ¦ I would love to see them in the video with us,â Flaig said.
To view the videos, visit the L’Arche Canada channel on YouTube.
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