Jim Canning may have discovered one of the secrets to eternal youth.
"My wife says I’ve never grown up," laughed Canning, a St. Vital resident who is a member of the Forever Young Club in Winnipeg.
The club — which consists of a group of individuals from all walks of life united by a love of ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll music, dancing, fun and friendship — will hold its 16th annual fundraising event at 8 p.m. on Sat., May 4 at the Masonic Temple at 420 Corydon Ave., which is wheelchair-accessible.
The fundraising element will include a 50/50 draw, a silent auction to benefit the Shriners Children’s Hospital and guests are encouraged to bring a ‘Tin for the Bin’ for Winnipeg Harvest. There will also be a "social style" meal at 11 p.m.
And whether your bag is the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison or the Everly Brothers — to name a few — visitors will get to jive to the live sounds of the Twilights and the DJ skills of Specialty Music.
"We chat about the old times, we like to dance and it’s pretty good exercise — especially when you’re doing something like the old-style jive — and it’s reasonably priced," said Canning, who enjoys attending regular club events with his wife and friends.
"I like the rhythm of the songs of that era and I can actually relate to them and sing along," Canning added, noting one of his favourite tunes is Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets.
Fort Rouge resident Bob Sidof, a past president who is currently the club’s events co-ordinator, said the dance is a chance for participants to relive their youth.
"It’s a chance to remember the past and enjoy great rock ‘n’ roll music. In Winnipeg, in the ‘60s and 70’s, there were lots of community club dances and this is a chance to relive that excitement," Sidof said, noting that both club members and non-members are welcome at the event.
Sidof’s wife, Deanna, who is the current president, is among the members who enjoy dressing up for dances by donning her poodle skirts, scarves and dancing shoes.
"This is our music and this is what we grew up with. And apart from the legion, we’re the only other place in Winnipeg where people can do this. This is our music and this is what we grew up with," she said, noting the club has a current membership of around 130.
Curiously, club founder Barry Green came up with the idea to form the group 16 years ago when he noticed nobody was dancing to the music at the Legion.
"Somebody said to me, ‘They’re not forever young like us,’ and it went from there," said Green, who lives in Richmond West.
Tickets for the event are $20 and only available in advance. For tickets, or more information, call the club’s hotline at 204-261-4442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.