South Shore Breaker
Bringing Harry Potter magic to life
The world of Harry Potter recently enchanted an area of the South Shore.
A fundraiser, Bayview Magic of Harry Potter, was hosted by Bayview Community School during March break. Normally the school hosts a fundraiser event for school services like trips, school equity projects and guest speakers in October but it faced some pandemicrelated setbacks.
“We had been the group decorating it the last time it was up and we had so much fun,” said Christina Wentzell, one of three parents who created and designed the event. She worked with Lisa Geck and Andrea Smith-young.
“We thought it would be great if we did a Harry Potter theme the following year, in 2020, so we started working on it right away. But, long story short, COVID happened.”
That didn't deter the trio. During the past two years, using a hefty amount of cardboard and recyclables they recreated sets, locations and other objects from the children's book series. Items included the Hogwarts' Express, a Nimbus 2000 broomstick, various shops in Diagon Alley and Harry's room in the cupboard under the stairs.
Wentzell said creating the objects and sets wasn't easy.
“We've had a very steep learning curve; none of us had ever done anything like this before,” she said.
“A challenge with the first piece was trying to learn how to work with the cardboard, to make it look realistic.
Then we just started getting more outlandish and outrageous and we have moving parts in some of our pieces.”
Originally, the exhibits were going to be set up at Bayview School, but due to fire safety concerns, they were moved to the South Shore Centre Mall. The tour was self-guided and allowed attendees to view individual sets at their own pace. There were also sensory-friendly time slots.
While the funds went to school programs, Wentzell says the project benefited the school in other ways, including teachers and students offered to help and many classrooms are reading the books.
“I think that there's … a sense of community and excitement … after two years of COVID restrictions and having to wear masks and distance from each other.”