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Red Deer public students can do phys-ed, art, music at home – Red Deer Advocate



Plenty of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic are being learned at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But how about art, music, home economics and phys-ed?

Realizing many students are missing out on physical activity, as well as hands-on learning, while finishing the school year online, Red Deer Public Schools has started an optional course activities website.

It was launched for elementary and middle school kids just before school break and has already received more than 1,500 visits.

“It seems to be quite popular,” said Nicola Golby, associate superintendent of learning services.

She’s glad some children and youths are diving into food preparation, learning to crochet or play an instrument.

The website was designed for kindergarten to Grade 8 students, since high school students have their hands full focusing on core subjects — especially if they need to keep their marks up for post-secondary admission, said Golby.

Younger students with enough time and interest in additional studies or activities can peruse 16 optional courses, as well as one Lego Club activity, on the site.

It can be accessed through the Red Deer Public School District’s main website.

Computer coding, art and science challenges are posted, as well as wellness teachings, recipes and sewing instructions.

Fledgling musicians can learn how to play the guitar or create their own digital music.

There’s also beginners yoga, online physical workouts and activities.

Golby said teachers in specialty areas — including phys-ed, home economics, art and music — have been posting content to the website as a way of keeping their options going during the school shutdowns.

It’s also a way for them to keep connecting with students.

“This is a stressful time for kids,” added Golby. “If we can give them something to engage them, or give them something productive to do,” it could help normalize what’s otherwise a far from usual school year.

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Instructor has students looking beyond the screen to create physical art – The B.C. Catholic



As the world undergoes incredible challenges in the midst of COVID-19, Sarah Matossian, art department head and instructor at Little Flower Academy in Vancouver, has risen to the occasion and found success encouraging her students to create physical art, as she continues to provide a project-based curriculum for her students.

Instead of digital art assignments, she has her students create hands-on art projects in their own spaces at home and document them online.

Little Flower Academy was faced with the shutdown in late March, just as students were about to return after spring break. The school quickly transitioned to teaching on Zoom and through the school website.

“Overnight, our world has been forced to depend on screens even more than usual,” Matossian said. “This is the reality that’s out there, and I didn’t want to just be swept away in that thunderous current. My students were already overwhelmed by social media and screen time for so many hours of the day before the pandemic, and I was seeing the negative effects of this then. So I asked myself, how can I help my students look beyond the screen? How can I guide them to continue to interact with the physical world and to be creative without becoming even more dependent on screens?”

While planning her curriculum, Matossian’s goal was to engage her students without completely depending on a screen.

“This has been wonderful. It is so critical for our mental health, as well as our physical and emotional well being to keep being creative during challenging times. In addition to painting, sculpting and drawing, it’s quite remarkable how many of my students have been choosing to return to pastimes of old, such as embroidery and crochet. They have been re-purposing and redesigning clothing and sneakers, embroidering atop old photographs, and enjoying the slow and careful process of these ‘old-fashioned’ creative methods. They’ve been telling me how it’s been so enjoyable for them and how much better they feel when they engage in this process.”

“Since we can’t meet as a physical community, the presentation of art is where I decided to make our biggest pivot,” Matossian said. “We showcase projects through photography and video, and also share during our Zoom classes.”

Prior to the start of the pandemic, Matossian’s art students exhibited their projects during their annual art show for friends, family and community members.

Additionally, the halls of Little Flower Academy rival art galleries in Vancouver with more than 700 art pieces on display, which according to Matossian “help our student artists feel a sense of pride and bring colour and life to each hallway of our school.”

Matossian said she and her students often visit Ronald McDonald House to do face painting and lead crafts for children who are undergoing treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital next door. I

“It’s a special way to give back to our community and try to spread joy during difficult times. Art brings us together in such a meaningful way. Over the years, when a few of our students and staff faced life-threatening health concerns, such as cancer, having my students make artist trading cards for them was a way to share encouragement and messages of hope.”

Matossian began her relationship with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising when she invited the institute to share classroom workshops at Little Flower Academy. Her classes enjoy watching the DEBUT Runway Show and learning about creative careers. 

Inspired by institute, Matossian led her students in classroom projects such as unconventional material dresses on mannequins, creating shoe sculptures, fashion drawings, and jewelry design, to name a few. Matossian also believes her students who attended the institute’s 3 Days of Fashion Summer Program had their eyes opened to the possibilities of a career in creative fields.

“They have returned excited and feeling more empowered about pursuing their creative passions,” said Matossian.

Article courtesy of FIDM. Reprinted with permission.

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This weekend is a perfect time to Hop into the Arts District – OrilliaMatters



Well folks we are moving into December and the holiday season and Christmas events are coming up fast here in O-town! Lots of opportunities to support local artisans, creatives, and businesses in your Christmas shopping and events.

First off, Mariposa Arts Theatre’s production of The Christmas Tree is still playing at the Orillia Opera House, Thursday to Sunday until Dec. 6. There are both matinee and evening shows, and audience members are limited to 50 and seated socially distanced in the large Gordon Lightfoot auditorium.

This is a lighthearted yet poignant Norm Foster show that will be sure to put you in the holiday mood. Members of the Orillia Silver Band will also be playing holiday music for your enjoyment. For tickets, click here.

The Orillia Arts District is hosting a Holiday Art Hop this Friday night from 5 to 8 p.m. and this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All the galleries along Peter St. S. will be open with special guest artists and beautiful one-of-a kind art and gifts for you to buy.

Hibernation Arts has a special arts draw going on for this event. Anyone who spends $50 on art there is entered into a draw for a special arts goodie bag…so get in and get spending! Many of the galleries have great ideas for gift giving, including soaps, coasters, cards, mini works of art, purses, pillows and more. Come and see what Orillia’s arts district has in store for you this Friday and Saturday.

This Saturday and every Saturday until Christmas, both the Orillia Farmers’ Market and the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market have special Christmas markets happening.

Full of Christmas tasty treats and cheer and excellent locally-made Christmas presents to be bought and enjoyed. The Orillia Farmers’ Market downtown also has two special Christmas markets on Wed. Dec. 16 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for your last-minute Christmas shopping.

Of course, this Friday is Black Friday and many stores downtown and about town have Black Friday sales and events happening. As well, many stores in downtown Orillia are open until 7 p.m. Friday nights, until Christmas, to help you with your Christmas shopping. And parking is free in the downtown lots!

Please please support our locally-owned and operated, independent stores and restaurants here in town, on Black Friday, this holiday season, and throughout the year.

They are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, and we all want them to still be here at the end of this terrible pandemic. Winter season, after Christmas, is a hard time for them every year, so let’s make sure they all have good Christmas sales to tide them through. Please help if you can.

Hip Chick Design is having a Pop Up Shop from Dec. 1 to 13 at Creative Nomad Studios. Beth McKean will be having lots of her talented maker friends join her in this one-stop-shop for Christmas, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

Rustica Pizza Vino is having an outdoor Christmas market, featuring some of your favourite independent makers and creatives, Friday, Dec. 4 and 11, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Shop safely outside in a beautiful setting and enjoy some mulled wine and dessert pizza too.

Does creating put you in the holiday spirit? Then there are some upcoming workshops that you will enjoy! Craig Mainprize is hosting a landscape painting workshop on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at Creative Nomad Studios. You will be safely seated with your household bubble, or socially distanced, so come check out this awesome workshop and learn from this accomplished landscape painter. For tickets click here.

Creative Nomad Studios is also the home of a wreath making workshop on Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. with Elegance of Nature Floral Design. This is your chance to tap into your creative side and come home with a beautiful decoration for your front door. This will put you in the holiday spirit for sure. For tickets, click here.

And, on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., also at Creative Nomad Studios, come enjoy a Paint Night with local artist Dale Duncan. The painting is entitled A Frosty Eve, and the workshop is designed for painters and non-painters alike, so come with your enthusiasm and holiday spirit and take part. Tickets are available here.

Storytelling Orillia is hosting a Legendary Kitchen Party, online on Nov. 29, with great stories and music, to celebrate Canadian Storytelling Day. For more information and for the link to participate, email

If you are looking to have a festive family photo taken this year, Streets Alive Productions is again hosting a Merry Streets Alive Christmas, where you can have your photo taken by local photog Deb Halbot and collect a beautiful hand painted Christmas ornament as well. There are two dates for this fun opportunity. Dec. 5 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. the event will be outside The Eclectic Café and Dec. 12 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. it will be in the Peter Street Arts District.

Of course, all of these fun lead up to the holiday events can only happen if Simcoe Muskoka stays in the orange zone for Ontario, regarding Covid-19. It is up to all of us to wear our masks, wash our hands, social distance and do NOT hang out with multiple people, unmasked, in private homes. That is a prime way this virus is spreading. Please, for the sake of our business owners, creatives, makers, and our friends and neighbours, stay safe and follow the guidelines. Let’s make sure we stay in the orange zone for the holidays. Take care.

And last minute, the award recipients for the Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards are announced Wed. Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. on the Orillia Museum of Art and History YouTube channel, here. It starts at 7 p.m. and will be available after that time. Enjoy!

Please send your arts news to by Tuesday at noon to be included.

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Upside-down Kelowna public art piece a metaphor for health-care system, says art studio – Global News



A new piece of public art, one that shines a metaphorical spotlight on health-care professionals, has been installed in downtown Kelowna.

Titled ‘Flower,’ the 13-foot-tall, 600-pound piece is located at the intersection of Doyle and Ellis streets, in front of the Interior Health building.

With its roots at the top and the bloom at the bottom, ‘Flower’ is a representation of a Mariposa Lily, an Indigenous flower of the Okanagan.

A close-up of the bloom of the art piece ‘Flower.’.

Global News

In a YouTube video, the co-founder of Toronto-based Studio F Minus, which created the art piece, also said ‘Flower’ is also a metaphor for a holistic approach to health care, “and also a representation and celebration of people who provide that care.”

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“The flower came about because it’s a fairly universal symbol of good health,” Mitchell F. Chan said of the piece created from aluminum. “We’re used to sending someone flowers to wish them to get well soon.

Read more:
‘Seeing my dad through the window of his heart’: Penticton man preserves father’s legacy with art

“But when we start to think about the flower, we wanted to acknowledge that it’s actually the root structure underground that makes that bloom possible.

“And for us, this was a metaphor for how the health-care system works. All this is possible because of this complicated network that often remains unseen.”

Chan said by placing the roots at the top, instead of the bottom, “this is how we celebrate the doctors, the nurses and the health-care professionals who make all of this possible, by giving them their moment in the sun, so to speak, through this sculpture.”

Click to play video 'Mount Boucherie Secondary Students reimagine work of Group of Seven in mural'

Mount Boucherie Secondary Students reimagine work of Group of Seven in mural

Mount Boucherie Secondary Students reimagine work of Group of Seven in mural – Nov 16, 2020

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An associated artist with Studio F Minus, Michael M. Simon, said creating ‘Flower’ required hundreds of pieces.

“The last six months have been a very intensive metal-working project of piecing the hundreds of components that went into making this thing,” said Simon.

“Everything, from building the interior skeleton to cladding it to manually bending the edging that goes around the entire stem and bloom, to finishing the over 100 layers that go on top to give it that very paint-by-numbers look.”

Click to play video 'Saskatoon illustrator’s art on delivery packages this holiday season'

Saskatoon illustrator’s art on delivery packages this holiday season

Saskatoon illustrator’s art on delivery packages this holiday season

According to the city, the upside-down artwork was a collaboration between the City of Kelowna, Interior Health and a funding partner, Bentall Green Oak.

It’s unknown how much the art piece cost.

In a press release, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran called Flower a great piece to the city’s public art collection.

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“Flower is a piece for our time,” said Basran. “Animating our public spaces has never felt more important.

“Not only does it add vibrancy and character to the downtown, it serves as a symbol for both our healthcare workers and anyone accessing services at Interior Health during these challenging times.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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