Participants made casts of their hands and then painted them under the supervision of artist Jo Petty.

Fourth annual fine and dramatic arts camp a huge success

Organizer Nancy Duchaine is looking at some possible new items for next year's camp, which attracts participants from outside our region.

The fourth annual Fine and Dramatic Arts Camp, put on by the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society, ended with a bang on August 19, with a production showcasing what the more than 50 participants aged four to 15 had learned and worked on during the week-long camp.

Participants had a chance to do art with Jo Petty; drumming with David Dumont; singing with Theresa Takacs; drama with Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan; and video with Gareth Smart. The video component was so popular that organizer Nancy Duchaine says they will be looking at hiring another instructor next year to accommodate more participants.

Arts camp participants sing “I Am the Earth”. Photo by Barbara Roden.

“We pride ourselves on having small classes with more personalized instruction,” she says. “There were so many interested in video that we had to split it into two groups.” Each group wrote, directed, and filmed a movie: one a romantic comedy, the other a horror film, both of which were screened for the appreciative audience of more than 100 people.

The group performed the song “I Am the Earth”, and there was a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, with the actors on stage augmented by readers who took it in turns to narrate the production. A drumming performance was accompanied by half-a-dozen artists creating two paintings inspired by the music.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”. Photo by Barbara Roden.

“I’d love to have a dance component, and maybe a glass mosaic class,” says Duchaine, already thinking ahead to next year’s camp, which will take place from August 14 to 18. “However, scheduling could become a problem,” she adds, noting that the participants in the video module gave up participating in the other four classes. “We want to give kids a choice.”

While many of this year’s participants had taken part in previous camps, there were a number of new faces, some from as far afield as Kamloops, Lillooet, Vancouver, and even Alberta. “They were friends or cousins of kids who’ve done the camp before, who told them it was so awesome. They came to visit during this week so they could take part in the camp. Some of the parents said their kids just don’t have this opportunity at home.”

Drumming with instructor David Dumont. Photo by Barbara Roden.

Duchaine says that, not for the first time, she heard that this was “the best camp ever”. “Parents are so pleased with the outcome. They tell us that they can’t believe what their children did.”

Judging by the enthusiastic response of the audience, that sentiment is shared by many. Duchaine is pleased with how engaged the kids are in the camp and what they learn.

“The camp just gets bigger and bigger, and better and better.”

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