Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Evan St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fair address: Avalon Regional Fair

Project: John Murray Anderson - A Little Known Figure in Newfoundland's History

My project is about John Murray Anderson (JMA).  Despite being relatively unknown to many people today he had a huge impact on Broadway.  It was his dream that St. John's would develop a professional theatre company.  He would be so proud to know that 60+ years after his death a musical was written and performed in his hometown about his life.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I was so surprised to see how talented JMA was. He was involved in all areas of theatre. JMA wasn't just a singer or a dancer. He was involved in the production, writing, lighting and design of 30+ shows on Broadway. He also gave many famous people their start on Broadway including Harry Belafonte and Gene Kelly.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

JMA was far removed from Broadway and at a time when the musical theatre community was not very developed in Newfoundland he persisted and despite many setbacks he was determined to be a success. His story is about pursuing a dream and never giving up.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

As a young person who is very interested in musical theatre it is so encouraging to see how successful John Murray Anderson was on Broadway. Even though it was unheard of 100 years ago for a Newfoundlander to be a success on Broadway he was determined. Today we have so many opportunities and experiences compared to what John Murray Anderson had. Children today have the opportunity to perform with local theatre companies and can take advantage of voice and music lessons. JMA had to create his own opportunities.

  • Arif Husain

    Excellent work, Evan! Congratulations on your achievements so far, and I wish you all the best in your national competition and future endeavours! You will do very well. Keep up with the excellent work!
    09/07/2016 10:37:12 PM

  • Dave Brengelmann

    Greetings from Seattle - me thinks you should be working for the St. John's Chamber of Commerce! Excellent work.
    06/07/2016 5:49:05 PM

  • Barbara

    Great job!! Keep being bright and happy and enjoy your great life at school! Warm regards from Spain
    06/07/2016 5:07:06 PM

  • Andrea Cortese

    Congratulations and best wishes for a great job well done capturing John Murray Anderson life as a talent artist, a teacher and a great human being in a 2 minutes video. I know you will do well representing Newfoundland in Ottawa. Makes me very proud to know a young man with enormous talents and willingness to secede. I will not be surprised that one day to see you performing on Broadway. Set your goals high and never look back.
    06/07/2016 5:02:59 PM

  • Angelo Tiveron

    I can see someone following the footsteps of Anderson.
    06/07/2016 3:57:42 PM

  • Carole

    Well done! I have learned something about Newfoundland I had never heard about
    06/07/2016 12:33:03 PM

  • Alana crewe

    Awesome job Evan!! Good luck!
    06/07/2016 11:23:49 AM

  • Assad Khan

    Great work!
    06/07/2016 9:52:50 AM

  • Sec H

    Great work. Keep it up.....and you will be a superstar, just like your Dad !!
    06/07/2016 9:35:51 AM

  • Sec H

    Lovely, keep it up and you never could be a superstar, just like your Dad !!
    06/07/2016 9:34:01 AM

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Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.