Man Up! exposes the unique challenges facing boys today and delivers a message on what can be done to help at-risk youth achieve their potential.

Reality stageplay Man Up! visits Campbell River

Gritty performance speaks to at-risk youth in their language

A caution for dramatic content and strong language accompanies invitations to the Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation’s (BCN) reality stage production of Man Up! – the true story of the Boys Club Network’.

“Unfiltered reality and strong language define the hallways, dreams and disappointments of Canada’s large population of boys at-risk, and to reach them we must speak, understand and respond to that language authentically and hopefully,” says BCN co-founder Walter Mustapich. “Hope is what we are all about.”

BCN’s visit to Vancouver Island was initiated by the Community Justice Centre in Courtenay, the City of Courtenay’s Community Drug Strategy Committee, and the Campbell River Community Addictions Dialogue and Action Committee, after representatives of the organizations saw an abridged version of Man Up! during a federally-funded Provincial Youth Justice Forum in Richmond earlier this year. It is fitting that Man Up! closes its Island tour on National Day of the Child, Nov. 20, at the Quinsam Hall (2005 Eagle Drive) in Campbell River. Show time is 7 p.m., is open to the public and admission is free.

Man Up!, a critically-acclaimed and professionally-written, directed and performed production, will tour Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River from Nov. 18-20, and students, educators, parents and other stakeholders have been invited to attend the 60-minute plus Q&A presentation, free of charge. A companion study guide for educators and parents ignites pre-play discussion and continues the conversation afterward. Vancouver philanthropist businessman and BCN founding patron Frank Giustra is the driving force behind a small group of men funding Man Up! so that there are no barriers to admission or understanding.

“This play is BCN’s calling card, and foot-in-the-door of communities that could benefit from BCN’s message of hope,” says Giustra. “To see the play is to understand instantly and impactfully the unique challenges facing boys today, and also to know what each of us can do to help grow high-potential at-risk boys into happy and self-confident young men. It’s that simple.”

H.O.P.E. in the language of the Network, is an acronym for change.

“Hope, Opportunity, Positive mentorship, and Education is what at-risk boys in our program need, and it’s what we deliver,” says Mustapich. “It’s a simple idea conceived by the likes of developmental psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld, one of the first proponents of fostering connection and mentorship of boys as critical components for successful development.  Our model is based on ancient wisdom. What makes us current, relevant and successful in today’s world is our medium.”

The support, insight and initiative of the Community Justice Centre in Courtenay, the Community Drug Strategy Committee, and the Campbell River Community Addictions Dialogue and Action Committee makes this appearance possible.  The We Wai Kai First Nation and Kwakiutl District Health Council provided the venue.

About Man up!

Man Up! chronicles the true story of the original Boys Club. A gritty, heart-wrenching, emotional and life-changing story of two determined eastside educators, a group of at-risk boys on the sharp knife edge of life, a handful of generous and visionary Vancouver businessmen from all walks of life, and the compelling four year journey they took together – from the edge of frustration, hopelessness and despair to the pinnacle of hopefulness and success.

Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation

The Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation is a registered Canadian charity founded by two visionary educators; funded by visionary patrons; supported by visionary mentors. BCN tackles one of contemporary Canada’s most misunderstood and underfunded social issues.  High-potential Canadian boys and young adults who, through mere circumstance and lack of positive role models, are losing their innocence, happiness and basic human potential to hopelessness, drugs, even crime and the streets.