The sixth annual Kids’ Fine and Dramatic Arts Camp, sponsored by the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society with financial assistance from the United Way, concluded with a gala performance on August 24 showcasing the singing, dancing, acting, and artwork of the participants.
Fifty-two children and youth took part in this year’s camp. Organizer Susan MacLean says that the camp benefited this year from the participation of 11 students from the Bonaparte Indian Band, who have not been able to take part in the camp until now, largely due to transportation issues.
“Bonaparte youth worker Jennifer Caruso organized the entire thing, and brought the kids every days,” says MacLean. “She picked them up, stayed to help out with the camp, and then dropped them off every afternoon. It was so great that they were able to join us, and the kids loved it.”
Younger participants spent an hour each day for four days learning singing with Theresa Takacs, art with Jo Petty and Julie Ells, dancing with Kelly Mykyte of Krush Dance Company and her daughter Ayla, and acting with Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan. Teens were able to write, direct, and star in their own movie under the guidance of filmmaker Gareth Smart.
During the gala performance, participants sang a song together, then split into four groups (Kindergarten-Grade 1, Grades 2 and 3, Grades 4 and 5, and Grades 6 and up) to present plays they had written themselves.
“The kids picked the themes of the plays, picked the characters they wanted to play, and wrote the plays themselves,” explains MacLean. Participants also learned about projection and body movement.
During the dance portion there was a group number, then dance routines from the four age groups, with each number getting more intricate. Artwork was displayed in the hallway and in the HUB gym; while most of the pieces could be taken away by the participants, large flowers they created will remain as ornaments in the gym.
The movie could not be screened at the gala, but the 11-minute film, called Turn On the Power, can be viewed on YouTube at http://bit.ly/2P8aBXG. The movie tells of what happens when human-like androids run amok (make sure to stay for the ad at the end).
“The camp was a total success,” says MacLean. “We have quite a few kids who take part every year, and this year we had some younger siblings taking part for the first time. They’ve seen their older siblings having fun, and were really eager to take part.”
MacLean gives a big thank you to the HUB and the four summer students there, who helped out with the camp. “The timing of it [in the third week of August] makes it a good springboard to get kids back into a school routine. We want to continue it, but funding is always a big issue.
“But this year’s camp went so well and so smoothly. There’s definitely a lot of interest in it, and parents want us to continue.”