FCAD’s first-ever talent show gives savvy students the spotlight

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This was the first talent show put on by the RCDS. (Haley Rose / Ryersonian Staff)

The best and brightest of Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) got a chance to shine Wednesday night.

FCAD Stars, the very first FCAD-only talent show, was held in the auditorium of the Rogers Communications Centre on Nov. 19. The newly-minted Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS) organized the event.

Contestants sang, danced, drummed and clapped their way through the show, hoping to snag the grand prize of a $150 Cadillac Fairview gift card as well as a winner’s plaque to commemorate the victory.

Eight finalists were chosen from almost 20 entries. While the contestant turnout was modest, the range of talent was far from it.

Danielle D’Costa and Stefanie Daugilis sang heart-wrenching renditions of their song choices, Daugilis performing John Legend’s “All of Me” and D’Costa singing the Celine Dion classic “Because You Loved Me”.

D’Costa, a fourth-year fashion student, has a background in musical theatre and has been singing since she was a toddler. Before the competition started, she said she wasn’t too anxious.

“We’re using this room! It’s my intro to fashion classroom from first year. So (I’m) not that nervous,” she said. “But I will be, just wait for it.”

The prospect of a prize wasn’t the only reason D’Costa auditioned for the show.

“I like to support the RCDS in any way I can – they’re doing great things,” she said.

The RCDS was formed just a year ago, after a vote was held to determine whether an extra $60 would be tacked on to FCAD students’ tuition in order to better fund extracurricular activities.

The student body responded with an overwhelming ‘yes’. Since then, the RCDS has doled out over $15,000 to various student groups.

Vice-President of Events for the RCDS, Megan Matsuda, explained how the group formulated the idea for FCAD Stars.

“Together over the summer we came up with the year of events,” she said. “We thought a talent show would be great, because we have so many talented people in FCAD.”

Tavia Bakowski and Selin Ayman danced the crowd into a frenzy with a feverishly fun routine. Instead of seamless, mechanical motion, the pair charmed with their soulful, inventive moves and easy stage chemistry.

Ruzanna Shortstuffyan grooved to a self-penned track, rapping along to the beat of her conga drum. A friend joined her for an impromptu second song, and the duo got the crowd clapping and chanting along to the Black Eyed Peas hit “Where Is The Love?”.

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Winner Mackenzie Salhaney poses with her prize, which included a $150 gift card. (Haley Rose / Ryersonian Staff)

But it was creative industries student Mackenzie Salhaney who took home the title, with a dazzling cover of Kimbra’s “Settle Down”. Her only instrument was her own voice – she used a looping machine to record and combine various clips of herself singing.

Salhaney regularly performs around Toronto with her two musical projects, duo Empty Orchestra and five-piece band LUXA.

When she went up to receive the award, the crowd shouted out for her to give a speech. The modest Salhaney tentatively delivered.

“Thanks guys, that’s so nice! I’m so excited to spend this money!”

She gave a shout-out to the other performers before leaving the stage.

“Everyone was amazing, there’s so many talented people in these programs,” said Salhaney. “So let’s chat after and get to know each other, shall we?”

FCAD Stars was the last event the RCDS organized for this semester, but according to Matsuda, there will be a plethora of exciting FCAD events to look forward to in the new year.

“Next semester we’re planning to do a big industry conference,” she said. “We’ll bring in all of FCAD, professional speakers, workshops – stuff like that.”

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