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Ignite Learning
The Gift of Time
Westcreek Public School alumni generously volunteers his time and resources to help.

Many 19-year-olds might seem to be focused on themselves and what life can give them, but that is certainly not the case for Francesco Carbone, former student at Westcreek Public School and Dunbarton High School.

"Without Westcreek, I wouldn't be in the position I am today," Carbone said. Before learning the basics in sound from his principal Tony Rizzuto, "a career in sound and lighting was never on my list. After that it all changed."

Westcreek PS - Samantha-Francesco
Samantha Perera and Francesco Carbone going over notes before a recent show.

He is now the operations manager at Late Gig Productions in Oshawa. This position allows Carbone to volunteer his time and resources to all three of the performances that his former teacher Samantha Perera creates annually at Westcreek Public School.

It was Perera's idea to have Carbone trained to learn light and sound for the school's plays when he was only 11 years old.

"He just struck me as a very mature, very focused young man," Perera says. "I knew that by picking Francesco, that I had someone that I could count on." 

 

Paying it forward

Carbone and Perera often contact each other to touch base and talk about what she has planned for drama performances for the school year. He not only volunteers his time, he also arranges for the school to borrow state-of-the-art equipment. This makes a huge difference in ensuring that the student performers are seen and heard by the audience.

​Sam and Francesco onstage with students who helped create the set for the recent Westcreek PS production of “Down the Drain!"
Samantha Perera and Francesco onstage with the students who helped create the
set for the recent Westcreek PS production of “Down the Drain!”


"It's cool to give back to the kids here … and interacting with the teachers again. I've now developed friendships with the teachers," explains Carbone.

Currently, no one on staff at Westcreek has the expertise in lighting and sound to help with these productions. Perera says that without Carbone, they would not be able to put on the shows. Carbone is now paying it forward by mentoring students, just as he was so many years ago.

Francesco and the students he mentors on
sound and lighting at Westcreek PS.

"He never thinks about what's in it for him," Perera says. "I sit in awe of him. I cannot believe that someone could be so giving."

Carbone has gone on to work with many big names in the entertainment industry and continues to hone his skills for his passion. Yet he never forgets where he got his start.

"If I was given the option to do this school show or a concert at the Air Canada Centre, I would ultimately choose this," Carbone admits. "Those ACC shows are great - they're awesome. But if I could give back to a school that ultimately put me in the position to do those shows, that's what I'm going to be doing."