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Art gala springs back to St. Mary's College – Sault Star



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Sammi Dechamplain is going big when St. Mary’s College brings back its in-person art gala on Tuesday.

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The Grade 12 student found the biggest canvas she could for a painting based on a sunset she took at her camp north of Sault Ste. Marie.

I had fallen in love with this picture,” said Dechamplain during a recent interview with The Sault Star. She wanted to do something with her photo for years. The “perfect opportunity” came up to paint what she saw at Quintet Lakes.

I’m going all out,” recalled Dechamplain. “I just went to town.”

She was part of the last live gala at St. Mary’s when she was in Grade 9 in 2019. Dechamplain, 17, is looking forward to reactions of attendees when the gala runs in the school’s commons and theatre next week.

That’s how you grow as an artist,” she said. “That’s how you celebrate being an artist is just sharing your work with other people.”

Dechamplain is one of an estimated 120 students who’ll be featured at the gala. Admission is $10. Proceeds benefit Tumaini Afrika.

Art needs an audience,” said Adriano DiCerbo, lead teacher of the arts. “The life cycle in artwork isn’t complete unless it has an audience. We need to share the work.”

About 50 visual arts students will be featuring their drawings, paintings, photos, multi-media works, digital creations, found objects and printmaking from the 2021-2022 school year.

Gala visitors will be hearing lots from Mahaz Syed.

He’ll front a rock band for a performance of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters, drawn from the American group’s self-titled fifth album released in 1992.

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I feel like it’s more soft rock,” said Syed of his chosen song. “It’s not very hard metal. It’s a slower tune.”

The Grade 12 student will be accompanied by music teacher Kait Tappenden for his mashup of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black and Michael Buble’s Sway.

Syed will also appear for a pair of songs with SMC Singers.

A veteran of SMC Spotlight’s production of We Will Rock You in 2019, Syed is keen to get back in front of an audience.

Super thrilled and excited about it,” he said.

Sydney Czop is captain of the high school’s 20-member dance team. Members are drawn from all grades. They’ll do performances featuring jazz, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop dance. Routines, practised since the school year’s start, will be spread out during the evening.

Czop, a Grade 12 student, says team members have plenty to highlight during their performances.

All the hard work that these girls have done throughout the year and their perseverance throughout COVID, just how great the team is and how much they love their dance,” she said.

Not having a regular gala that drew audiences to the Second Line East secondary school was “definitely hard” on team members, Czop adds.

These girls have persevered and worked hard and they’re looking forward to showing the school and the community what we have done this year,” she said.

Olivia Bernard is working with Sophie Bernardo, Amelia DiCerbo and Nicholas Legacy to create the gala’s pamphlet to share with guests. The leaflet will highlight the different arts programs offered at St. Mary’s and more samples of student works.

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I thought it would be a really great experience,” said Bernard of her decision to get involved. The Grade 12 student is developing an interest in photography based on classes she’s taken during the last two years.

Creating a story with my photos would be the best part about photography for me,” said Bernard.

Samantha Lance graduated from St. Mary’s in 2017, but keeps helping organize the gala. She is a 2021 graduate of Ontario College of Art & Design University. Lance begins her master’s degree in curatorial studies at University of Toronto this fall. She will again help organize art shown at this year’s gala.

I’m already impressed with the work,” said Lance. “It’ll be really interesting to see what the public has to say about them, as well.”

She appreciates the opportunity to stage student art in the school’s commons area.

It’s just such a nice space to work with because there is so much room,” said Lance. “So much opportunity to display the artworks in just a different way.”

She is also evaluating work submitted from students in Grades 6 to 8 from Algoma District. Top three efforts will be featured at the gala and awarded cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50.

They get to see and feel the audience’s reaction and I think that’s important,” said DiCerbo of St. Mary’s students participating in the art gala. “It’s a celebration of what they’ve achieved. That’s a beautiful part of the arts festival, as well, to stop and celebrate and acknowledge what the kids have created.”

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Anyone interested in buying student artwork can speak with DiCerbo at the gala. The night’s theme is Spring Back.

To spring forward to something back,” said DiCerbo.

I think everyone needs it,” said Lance of the gala. “Especially with COVID that had been going on, this is a nice kind of spring back.”

June 10

Trace Adkins with Terri Clark at Kewadin Casino in St. Ignace, Mich. Tickets on sale at

June 10-12

Sault Theatre Workshop presents One-Act Festival at Studio Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Plays on June 10 (Two Actresses, The Beggar and the King, Stone’s Throw From the Heart) and June 11 (In One Door! Out the Other!, Bruised Orange, Without Whom). $30 one night, $40 two nights, $45 participant’s pass. Call Harry or Sandra Houston at 705-946-4081.

June 11-12

Studio Dance Arts Live at Sault Community Theatre Centre. Recreational and competitive at 1 p.m. And 4 p.m. Competitive showcase at 7 p.m. Tickets on sale at Community Theatre Box Office or online at

June 18

Fresh Breath at Whisky Barrel;

Basset at Algoma Conservatory of Music’s The Loft. 7 p.m. $25. Tickets on sale at;

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 8 p.m. Tickets $25, $35, $45 on sale at

June 23

Algoma Conservatory of Music student recital at The Loft. 7 p.m. $10. Tickets on sale at;

Stories Steeped in Stone presents Tracie Louttit (Spiritual Armour), Theresa Binda (Heartbeat of the Land) and Kristin DeAmorim (Current) at Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site. 6:30 p.m. $25. Tickets on sale at venue.

June 25

Darrin Rose’s Drinking in Public at Sault Community Theatre Centre. 8 p.m. Tickets on sale at Community Theatre Box Office or online at

Submit listings to by Wednesday noon.

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Humboldt Public School collaborative art project complete –



The Humboldt Public school recently finished an art project that utilized every student in the school and now has a colourful fibre art display on the fence along highway 5. 

The school is a pre-k to grade 8 school and has approximately 330 students.  

The project began when a teacher wanted to do a large scale project with the entire student body. 

Teacher Michelle Lafayette applied for a SK Art grant and began contacting the artist who would help lead the school through the project.  

Lafayette explains how it all got started. 

“Well, when COVID happened we had to rethink how we did everything. I wanted to do a school-wide project that we could do around arts. So, I did a quilting project because I am a quilter. Then the kids made a quilt piece out of construction paper and made a huge collaborative quilt. It was a great project. So, I wanted to do something again this year but I didn’t want to do it all by myself so I searched for grants so that I could hire an artist to come in and do this for us. I knew that Monika had done school projects before and community projects. I had seen the work that she did on Broadway (Saskatoon) when they had construction and she had woven fabric onto the fence. I thought it was amazing and something that we could do here also.”  

Every student regardless of abilities was able to contribute to the project.

The project consisted of many different types of fabric and fibres, from old sheets to yarn, with different patterns and colours, it has a wide range of sizes and textures. 

To begin with, the fabric had to be broken down into small manageable sizes. 

“So, what we did was we got donated sheets and materials and the kids came in and ripped the fabric. They loved it! A little cut and then the sound when they ripped it, and some got really physical and used all their strength and showed me how they could rip it. It was amazing,” said Lafayette. 

The fabric was then wrapped around circular things, hula-hoops, ice cream pail lids, plant trays, and even cut-up corrugated plastic signs. Everything was recycled materials as after it has been out in the weather it will likely be trash.  

The artist Monika Kinner, who is from Saskatoon, was so happy with the results. 

“The end result is what we hoped for, how we got there was completely not what I had expected it was far beyond what I expected. I am really appreciative of my own creativity and ideas because of all the rain we had to completely change what we were doing. That was fun for me, so I have to say I appreciate the opportunity to be so creative and fly by the seat of my pants.” 

The display will likely be up until sometime in October, however with the weather it could change. 

The students involved really enjoyed the time and effort that was put in and now can be proud of their work displayed outside the school. 

SK Art was also impressed by the project and encouraged all schools to bring in artists and allow them to work with students on different projects. 

“Bring artists into schools!” stated SK Art program consultant for Art in Schools Projects, Jody Greenman-Barber.

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Winners announced for BC-wide art, writing contest for Indigenous youth – Trail Daily Times – Trail Times



The winners have been announced in a provincewide children’s art/writing contest where youth were asked what being Indigenous means to them.

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day and hosted by Xyólheméylh (Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society) the contest was open to all Indigenous people age five to 24.

The entries were judged by a panel consisting of Xyólheméylh’s board of directors and elders advisory committee. There were three categories – ages five to 10, ages 11 to 14, and ages 15 to 24.

The children and youth expressed their connection to the land, nature, animals, and their families. They also expressed their hopes and dreams as well as their sadness with discrimination and racism.

“Many artists have painted or drawn pictures of wolves howling at a full moon. In my artwork, I have used the dream catcher as my moon because I want the dream catcher to catch and protect all my hopes and dreams of being a person who is known to protect friends, freedom, family, loyalty, and teamwork,” said 10-year-old Emiley of her artwork.

Kyan won first place in the ages 15 to 24 category.

“Stereotypes often take over how First Nations are seen, and when someone looks at you and automatically thinks that what you are isn’t something to be proud of it makes you feel bad no matter how proud you are,” Kyan wrote.

“Thank you to all the children and youth who submitted their heartfelt art. It is truly inspiring to see the talent, creativity and the pride expressed in being Indigenous,” said board president Dr. Wenona Hall.

READ MORE: Fraser Valley writing, art contest open to all Indigenous youth in B.C.


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ARTS AROUND: New art exhibit showcases ‘Women’s Work’ in Port Alberni – Alberni Valley News





A new art exhibit is opening at the Rollin Art Centre, featuring a group of four local female artists.

Sue Thomas, Jillian Mayne, Colleen Clancy and Ann McIvor will display their artwork in an exhibit titled “Women’s Work” that opens on June 21 and runs until July 22. The diversity of the work reflects each woman’s unique creative process and artistic expression.

Join us in the gallery this Saturday, June 25 from 1-3 p.m. for refreshments and an opportunity to meet these incredible and accomplished artists.


The Rollin Art Centre will be holding a summer-inspired art exhibit from July 27 to Aug. 26 and we are inviting all local artists to submit up to three pieces (size depending) that depicts your own rendition of the season of summer.

All mediums are welcome. Application forms are available at the Rollin Art Centre. The fee is $10 per submission. Deadline for submissions is July 15.


Join us on the terrace at the Rollin Art Centre on Saturday, July 16 for an acrylic painting workshop with Susan Schaefer. Bring a friend and be creative!

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Susan will guide you through what makes a good composition while simplifying your landscape.

The workshop fee is $115 +GST. A supply list is available. Register at the Rollin Art Centre at 250-724-3412.


This summer, the Community Arts Council will be raffling a chair designed by Leave Her Wild Container Design. The chair has been planted and is on display at the Rollin Art Centre (corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle Street). Tickets are $2 each or three for $5.


Teas on the Terrace are back at the Rollin Art Centre this summer and tickets are now on sale.

Choose from our high tea (served on a two-tiered plate) for $25 and our strawberry tea (served with decadent strawberry shortcake) for $20 and join us on the terrace under the canopy of the trees, sipping tea, listening to local musicians and sampling a selection of snacks.

July 7 – Strawberry Tea – Folk Song Circle

July 21 – High Tea – Dennis Olsen

August 4 – Strawberry Tea – Dennis Olsen & Guy Langlois

August 18 – High Tea – Doug Gretsinger


Here’s a chance to have your kids do something creative and fun and make new friends this summer. The Rollin Art Centre is offering eight weeks of creative summer art programs for children between the ages of 7 -13.

Each week features a different medium. From drawing to painting, we have something everyone will enjoy.

The three-day camps take place Monday to Wednesday for ages 7-8 (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), and ages 9-11 (1:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.). The cost is $75 per week.

There is also a camp for ages 11 to 13 on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($45 per camp).

Call 250-724-3412 to register.


Celtic Chaos will perform a maintee at the Capitol Theatre this fall as a fundraiser for the Rollin Art Centre.

“For the Highlander” is a brand-new performance by Celtic Chaos which tells their story in original narrative, poetry, song and music. Join us for this high-energy, fun-loving group of musicians and help support art in the community.

The concert takes place Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $25 each and are available now at the Rollin Art Centre.


The Sunshine Club will be holding a pottery sale at the Harbour Quay on Saturday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.


June 22 to July 22 – “Women’s Work” – group exhibit – Sue Thomas, Jillian Mayne, Colleen Clancy, and Ann McIvor

July 16 – Acrylic workshop

July and August – Teas on the Terrace – Tickets available now

July and August – Children’s Summer Art Camps

Sept. 17 – Giant Book Sale – Athletic Hall

Nov. 6 – Celtic Chaos performs – Tickets on sale now

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412. Email:

Artart exhibitPort Alberni

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