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Associated Alumni

UNB’s Red ‘n Black Revue marks 70 years as New Brunswick’s premier variety show

What began as a class project in March 1948 has grown into one of the university’s most treasured and celebrated annual events.

The UNB Red ‘n Black Revue is the longest-running show in New Brunswick and brings together students, faculty, staff and alumni to celebrate the university’s rich history, diverse cultural mosaic and talented community members. The inaugural revue was so successful it was extended to three nights, all with capacity crowds.

In March, the revue celebrated 70 years of entertaining the Fredericton community. More than 160 people -- comprised of alumni, students, and faculty and staff -- took in the two-hour dinner-theatre production. 

Performances this year included traditional Indigenous singing, aerial acrobatics, cultural dances, and a tribute to the famous kick line, a Red ‘n Black staple.

“For the 70th anniversary, we wanted to make sure we built a diverse lineup that represents UNB’s cultural diversity, while honouring the traditional and historical pieces that made the Red ‘n Black Revue what it is today,” says Kristian D’Amore, director of campus events for the UNB Student Union.

Red and Black Revue traditional indigenious dancing

“It’s incredible how long this show has been going on, and just goes to show the immense talent our entire UNB family has. The Red ‘n Black Revue is special because it brings people together – students, faculty, staff and alumni alike all have memorable stories to share about their connection to the show.”

This year’s show also included an appearance by Virginia Bjerkeund (BA’51), who performed in and helped organize the first Red ‘n Black Revue 70 years ago. She was one of only 90 females studying at UNB at the time.

UNB’s Red ‘n Black Revue began in March 1948 as a class project and has grown into one of the university’s most treasured and celebrated annual events. At UNB’s millennial alumni reunion in 2000, more than 2,400 fans sold out the Aitken University Centre.

This year’s show was a dinner theatre for the first time in the history of the show.

“The 70th anniversary show is about honouring the first 70 years, but also celebrating our future,” says D’Amore.

History of the Red ‘n’ Black Revue