It won’t be the same as getting together in person with her classmates.
But this Friday, Grade 12 Windsor Secondary student Kate Bourdon will tune in with fellow graduates from across the country for a “virtual prom” online.
Bourdon and Carson Graham grad Logan Weidner are two local teens who’ve been working with a group of grads across the country to organize a livestream event on the Student Life Network that grads can tune into to help them mark the significant milestone.
The event, Prom Is On, which will stream Friday evening at 5 p.m. will feature a DJ set from Loud Luxury, interspersed with shoutouts from Canadian role models and celebrities like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, comedian Rick Mercer, Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard and singers Lennon Stella and Johnny Orlando among others.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s medical health officer who has been leading the province through the pandemic, will also make a virtual appearance.
The online party has a charity component. For each teen who RSVPs for the virtual prom, CIBC will make a donation to the Kids Help Phone, which provides help to children in crisis.
Bourdon plans to tune in to the broadcast while hosting a socially distant party for a few friends – appropriately dressed – in her driveway as a way to mark the occasion.
“It’s an unconventional way to celebrate,” she says.
But there’s nothing conventional about graduating in a pandemic.
While students at her high school attended a semi-formal back in January, the main events of a formal graduation and a grad banquet with family and friends have been cancelled this year.
That reality took a while to sink in, said Bourdon. At first “It didn’t even enter my mind I wouldn’t have a grad,” she said.
Helping to organize the online prom was a way to connect with teens across the country who were feeling the same disappointment, she said, and try to turn it into something more positive. “We’re all upset that our proms are cancelled. It’s nice to meet new people who are in the same situation as I am.”
The nationwide event starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time (5 p.m. Pacific time). Grads can RSVP by clicking here.