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Early Years Arts Festival a success (6 photos)

Each classroom held one of the activity stations for the Early Years Arts Festival.

RED LAKE -- An arts festival in Red Lake has students dancing, playing and painting over the weekend.

On Saturday April 23rd, the St. John School Board put on their annual Early Years Arts Festival at their Red Lake school.

This event was free and had numerous activities for kids happening throughout the school. Among the activities were dancing, playdough and tinfoil boat building, painting and music. Each classroom held one of the activity stations, with the gym holding the large painting station, live music and tables where children could find snacks. Each family was even offered a free coy of the book The Gruffalo upon entering.

The festival, as well as the similar event Arts Jamboree in Kenora, has been put on by St. John’s for over five years. However, they haven’t been able to hold them for the past two years as a result of the COVID pandemic.

“It’s been two years and families needed something to bring some joy back,” says St. John’s School Board Early Years coordinator Marnie Buffett.

The aim of these events is to showcase different mediums of the arts to help facilitate expression and communication for the kids as well as with their families. The board has found that if children have the opportunity to experience the arts with their family involved, they continue to grow in both self-expression and in the field of art.

A big part of this event is being able to partner with the Ontario Arts Council, and  local businesses to bring the arts to the kids. Riley Green of Homegrown Dance Centre was in one classroom to lead the dance station with the kids. Photographer Alyx Drager Photography was also in attendance to offer free family portraits to the families.

“The arts are really important to us, we’re trying to create an experience for kids and families to experience them outside of school,” says Buffet.

Sarah Desforges

About the Author: Sarah Desforges

Sarah Desforges is a reporter living in Northwestern Ontario.
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