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By: Karen B., Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, NF

Imagine spending a weekend with students from all over Manitoba and Northwest Ontario, enjoying concerts, competing for big prizes, and experiencing the best of hotel life. Over 2000 Grade 6 to 12 students did just that at the Extreme Change How You Do Life weekend – YC Fusion 2001. They listened to a dynamic speaker, interacted with hilarious comedians, participated in an exciting time of Praise ‘n’ Worship, played intense sports, and just hung out. The event, held at the beginning of May, attracted young people from dozens of different churches and denominations celebrating the Jesus who’s impossible to ignore.

YC is an annual youth convention held at the Duckworth Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The weekend is designed for young people to have a blast while getting to know each other and their Heavenly Father better. Steve Osmond, the speaker this year, helped draw people's attention to things that are really important using clear, simple biblical truths and humour. Osmond is presently the Director of Student Ministries at First Assembly in Calgary.

The theme for this year’s convention was from John 10:10 and was paraphrased by saying: “We can choose to live life normal, average, boring… or live it different, charged, extreme. Jesus Christ came to give life to the full!” Osmond expanded this thought throughout the weekend using skits, messages, stories, and audience participation.

Also sharing the stage was Starfield, a band that is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and sought after recording artists in the Canadian Christian music scene. The band led the excited crowd into heartfelt worship.

Sheryl Stacey’s alternative music ministered to an excited and pumped crowd at Friday’s late night concert. The acoustic sound of another band – Bailey’s Car - was accompanied by a unique brass section – two trombones - giving it a flavour that was completely its own.

The following night Downhere’s guitar-driven folk rock challenged the crowd to live life “down here” on earth in light of eternity, or life “up there.”

Three seemingly ordinary guys, Dave, Cliff, and Andrew, also known as “The Panic Squad”, invaded the stage just before the Downhere concert. They used improvisational theatre techniques and an incredible ability to make people laugh to glorify God and spread pure joy.

The 2001 YC convention came to a fitting close. After Osmond gave his last message, he asked Starfield to minister as hundreds of students flocked to the front of the stage, got down on their knees and prayed – or as Osmond said, “spent some quality time with their ‘Daddy’.” It was the turning point for many young people - the whole point of YC Fusion 2001.

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