Local stars came together to encourage kids to stop bullying at Vaughan Mills Mall on Wednesday February 22nd. A concert and M&G was held with Canadian singer, Tyler Shaw, Ryland James, and Canadian YouTuber Meghan DeAngelis. They were celebrating Pink Shirt Day, which is a worldwide event that encourages people to wear pink to raise awareness to stop bullying. The event was held inside the mall from 6:30 to 8:30pm, followed by a meet and greet.
The event was hosted by Katie Zeppieri, who is the founder of GIRL TALK Empowerment and an announcer on Newstalk 1010. She said that 1 in 3 Canadian youth experience bullying. In these cases, 90% of bullying incidents could be stopped by bystanders. Not only are younger youth affected, but 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying in the workplace.
The crowd was welcomed with the first performance of the night by Ryland James. He’s a 17 year old YouTuber from Ontario who performed some original pieces, as well as a cover of Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful”
The crowd went wild for 21 year old YouTuber Meghan DeAngelis. Her channel “MayBaby” has over 5 million subscribers. She sang a cover of Sia’s, “The Greatest”. Then she answered a bunch of fan questions about her experience with bullying. She says she was a victim of online bullying when she was 10 years old. She went to her mother right away because she was “really confused and hurt” by her so called “friends”. She told the crowd to be aware that there are “so many different kinds of bullying” out there. She encourages her fans to tell someone, and be open and honest as much as you can. Some questions were asked by young fans asking “Why are you so awesome?”. With a chuckle, sitting at the end of the stage with her legs crossed, she responded with “I think I’m so awesome because I have unicorn tears in my blood.” She joked about never winning on her Roll up the Win cups from Tim Horton’s and explained she loves living in Toronto because she can call it “The 6”.
The crowd was then serenaded by Juno Nominated Canadian artist, Tyler Shaw. He wowed the crowd with acoustic performances of his hits “Wicked”, “House of Cards”, and finished with his platinum single, “Kiss Goodnight.” Fans were left singing along to the words as they headed over to the M&G line to meet the stars.
Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia in 2007. Two teen boys noticed a classmate was being picked on by wearing a pink shirt. In order to stand up, they bought 50 pink shirts and passed it around to others to make him feel included. This act of kindness spread around the world, and February 22nd is now known as “Anti-Bullying Day”.