Boogie with the Stars back for 2018

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Peter and Paz Milburn show some of their dance moves as they prepare to Boogie with the Stars, which is back this New Year's Eve. Bill Phillips photo
Peter and Paz Milburn show some of their dance moves as they prepare to Boogie with the Stars, which is back this New Year’s Eve. Bill Phillips photo


New Year’s Eve may seem like it’s a long way off. But if you’re thinking about tripping the light fantastic on that magical night, it’s not too soon to start preparing.

And if cutting a rug is how you want to bring in 2019, or even if you just want to help some local charities, they why not consider attending Boogie with the Stars? The biennial dancing event is back this year.

The event, which was started in 2010 by Peter and Paz Milburn, is a dinner and dance, slated for New Year’s Eve.

“This year we’re branching out a little bit because we’re going to have a charity challenge,” says Peter. “It will involve a number of charities, all locally based. Hopefully we’re going to be able to raise money for these charities and have a bit of a competition between the charities.”

The format is similar to the television show Dancing with the Stars. Paz and Peter will help put teams together, which in addition to the dancers, will have a team name, a sponsor, and a charity they’ll be raising money for. The charity can put forward a dancer, or dancers for their team and the team will be trained by Paz and Peter leading up to the gala event on New Year’s Eve. There will likely be eight or nine teams and the actual dance competition will go for about an hour. The dancers will be judged by the local dance community in some of the traditional genres such as foxtrot, salsa, samba, waltz, tango and others, depending what Paz and Peter choose for them.

Paz Milburn, (left), John Brink of the Brink Group of Companies, Sanja Knezevic, special events coordinator for Prince George Hospice, and Peter Milburn get ready for Boogie with the Stars. The Brink Group is the title sponsor and Hospice is the main charity. Bill Phillips photo
Paz Milburn, (left), John Brink of the Brink Group of Companies, Sanja Knezevic, special events coordinator for Prince George Hospice, and Peter Milburn get ready for Boogie with the Stars. The Brink Group is the title sponsor and Hospice is the main charity. Bill Phillips photo

“The main theme is for the campaign to raise money,” he said. “The dancing part of it makes it fun.”

The main charity this year is the Prince George Hospice House.

“Hospice is so excited to be the host sponsor with Boogie with the Stars,” said Donna Flood, Hospice House executive director. “What we’re really excited about is that it’s an opportunity for us to work with a lot of other charities. It’s not just us alone.”

She said the format allows other charities, which may not have the capacity to stage a large event, an opportunity to have a good fundraiser.

The Brink Group of Companies is back as title sponsor this year and John Brink presented Paz and Peter with a cheque for $10,000 earlier this week. Brink, who danced in the event in 2016, will be back on the floor again this year.

“They kind of twisted my arm a little bit,” he said of Paz and Peter. “Hospice Society is one of the major recipients, and Paz and Peter do a very good job. We wanted to be part of it. It’s amazing how much I remember. It’s quite the experience.”

Brink’s partner this year will be Paz, so while he may not be an overly experienced dancer, he will have a very good partner.

“The underlying objective is that it’s a fundraiser and it’s a fun event for a good cause,” he said.

Peter said the sponsorship money from Brink and other sponsors is crucial to staging the very popular event.

“We have to have seed money,” said Peter. “We have to do many, many things throughout the year long before the event comes along. It’s wonderful, now we don’t have anything holding us back.”

For the dancers, the work will begin very soon as they start raising money and, later in the year, start their training.