Performers from one of Calgary’s premier teams are busy rehearsing before taking the stage later this month and they’ll be welcoming another group of young people to join them.

Over a dozen newcomers to Canada will be singing and dancing alongside the Young Canadians for the Dave Kelly Live Christmas Special at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on December 7.

Mira Abbra, who loved to dance while she lived in her homeland of Syria, says the experience with the Young Canadians is something else altogether.

“I’m really happy that I got to join the Young Canadians and I’m excited to be in the big Christmas show.”

She says that she’s learned a lot of dance moves and has never been so happy before to do it.

Michelle Choi, one of the members of the Young Canadians, says the show is a great opportunity for them to perform with the newcomers.

“We get to perform with them on stage and share with them what we love to do.”

Choi says that the troupe is teaching them a lot about Calgary and their group and they have adapted pretty well to the routine.

“At first, they were kind of nervous to come and work with us. As we’ve been rehearsing with them, we’ve been creating relationships and bonds with them and it’s really cool to be able to get to know them and to find out where they’ve come from and their story about before they came to Canada.”

Dave Kelly says that the initiative to bring the Young Canadians together with the children from the Centre for Newcomers is part of the performance troupe’s mission statement.

“The Calgary Foundation really believes in using the Young Canadians to build communities. We know how it is to be the new kid at school, they know what it’s like to feel unsure, and we thought, what if we all got together and put on a show where everybody felt together.”

There’s also a bit of immigration history tied to the Jack Singer family, Kelly says, making it the perfect venue to hold the event.

“Jack Singer’s mom famously came here as a poor immigrant woman as a cleaning lady. She worked long and hard and eventually got enough money to bring another family over. They wanted to pay her back and she said, ‘no, no; just bring someone else’. Because of her, 300 Jewish families now live in southern Alberta.”

The Dave Kelly Live Christmas Special takes the stage on December 7 at 7:30 p.m. You can find tickets and more information on the official website.

(With files from Stephanie Wiebe)