Embracing the Arts saw Our Lady of Lourdes French Immersion Catholic School students take in a wide range of art-related activities both at the school and at other locations in Elliot Lake and Serpent River on Thursday.
“This initiative was led by our Parent Council, successfully receiving a Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grant. We are one of three successful applicants in the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB),” said Lourdes vice principal Nadia Zanatta. “Having done the Participaction Day in the fall, this gave us a framework to adapt with a focus on the arts. We offered activities both during the school day and in the evening to try and reach a variety of families.”
The day’s activities saw several local artisans instructing in makeup, cooking, photography, dance, singing, songwriting, yoga, martial arts, drawing, painting, and digital art.
Among the local artists who participated was Elliot Lake artist Linda Finn, singer-songwriter Ponto Paparo, music instructor Anne Foy of Jewels and Gents, yoga instructor Cindy Stewart from Massey, dance with Catharine Gear, martial arts at KMAC with Marni Kay, photography with Jeff Chi, makeup tutorials with Ana Lees from Shoppers Drug Mart, and George Copeland at North Channel Music Store.
“Days like this provide such an opportunity to build relationships and establish curriculum connections in the school and in the community. Highlighting the rich art culture in Elliot Lake and Serpent River First Nations was very noticed,” Zanatta said.
Evening activities included, dance with Miss Kate, pastel art with Mya Kay, and scrapbooking with Manon Brann.
Parent Paul Owl catered the luncheon which was shared by an estimated 250 students, staff and parents who volunteered their time during the day.
“His vision was to create a plate of art. We shared a meal of a 'build your own mac and cheese bar', with a variety of items including chopped veggies, pulled chicken with blueberries, and a beef bolognese sauce, as well as smoked trout, greens, and an assortment of cheeses. For an afternoon snack, he prepared smoothies and for the evening session of our activities, he made an apple bannock with a maple, honey butter drizzle,” Zanatta added.
"Embracing the Arts Day at Our Lady of Lourdes French Immersion School is a pure testament that it takes a community to raise a child,” said Lourdes principal Stephane Prevost. “I would like to thank all of the participating businesses, organizations, along with all of the volunteers and the Lourdes teaching and support staff that made this event a possibility."