Meet Billy Elliot: Valin Shinyei

Note: Valin, who was the primary Michael in this production, also occasionally appeared as Billy in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Vancouver. His last show as Billy was on June 29, 2016.

Debut: June 25, 2016 (Vancouver, BC)

Total Performances as Billy:  2 (No partial shows) 

Valin & Gracyn Resize
Valin and his actress sister Gracyn

Valin Shinyei ThumbValin Shinyei was 15-years-old (D.O.B. = 12-May-2001) upon his debut as Billy and is from Vancouver, BC, Canada, where he lives with his very artistic family. His dad is an artist/designer, his mom is a choreographer/ director and his younger sister is an actress.

According to his official biography, Valin was born at home in Vancouver and was home schooled for most of the primary school years and is currently a student at the Thomas Haney Secondary School.

Valin’s performance training since the age of five has been at the Peggy Peat School for Dance where, besides his dance training, he also receives singing instruction.

At such a young age, Valin sports a resume that would be the envy of many a veteran adult actor.  His career in “show biz” began at the tender age of six when he began doing commercials. He gradually progressed into film and TV work.

Valin FilmographyCredit: Filmography by Wikipedia (Lic. CC-BY-SA 3.0/GFDL)

Valin has had lead roles in A Christmas Story (The Musical) as Ralphie Parker, A Christmas Story 2 (the Movie) as Randy Parker, Mrs. Miracle as Jason Webster, and The Client List as Brady Horton. He is the current voice of T.D. in the animated series Martha Speaks.


During the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Valin passed the Olympic torch to the Russians during the closing ceremony. On April 6, 2013 he hosted the 2012 THEA Awards Gala in Disneyland California. Valin was nominated for two Young Artist Awards in 2013 for his performances in A Christmas Story 2 and A Christmas Miracle. He won best supporting actor for the latter.

Valin Recording VoiceoversOver the years, Valin has done voice work for various animated TV programs. In the next few months, three such programs will air on American TV.  The programs are called Noddy Toyland Detective (Dreamworks), Tobot and Vroom.

For a complete listing of all of Valin’s performance accomplishments, please see the links at the bottom of this article.

This will not be Valin’s first lead role with the Arts Club Theatre. Last year, as was mentioned earlier in this article, Valin made his Arts Club debut in the lead role of Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story: The Musical.

Valin Shinyei as Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story: The Musical

Credit: Photo by David Cooper 

Valin is the Arts Club’s Billy Elliot The Musical’s Michael Caffrey, a role he has played in every performance to date.  He has also been the understudy to the show’s Billy — Nolan Fahey, who has been an ironman. In the very strenuous title role, Nolan has played the part in all 49 of the production’s shows prior to Valin’s debut.

Expressing Yourself - Valin Shinyei (Michael) and Nolan Fahey (Billy)
Expressing Yourself – Valin Shinyei (Michael) and Nolan Fahey (Billy)

Credit: Photo by David Cooper

With his debut in the title role, Valin becomes the 151st boy to debut in the role world-wide, in a non school/youth production of the show.

For more information about Valin visit:

Billy Elliot the Forum, Valin’s Website, Valin on Wiki, IMDb


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