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October 27, 2005
For immediate release

Island Artists Recognized For Contributions To ArtsSmarts

Community and Cultural Affairs

Island artists will be recognized at two separate events in the coming weeks for their contributions to the ArtsSmarts program in Prince Edward Island. ArtsSmarts is a national initiative launched in 2004 to bring teachers, artists and communities together to promote learning through the arts in schools.

“Identifying artists as partners in education is an important signal to students who may have an interest in arts and culture,” says Honourable Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs. “It is my pleasure to recognize the efforts of artists across the province who have assisted students in gaining a greater understanding of and appreciation for the arts, ensuring the success of ArtsSmarts.”

During the first year of ArtsSmarts in PEI, 19 Island artists worked with teachers in eight schools to help students learn core curriculum through the arts.

Education Minister Mildred Dover advised that the new ArtsSmarts program has already resulted in many positive outcomes. “In its first year, ArtsSmarts has brought hundreds of students together with many highly respected Island artists. Together, they have produced a wealth of beautiful art that will remain in Island schools for others to enjoy,” said the minister. “From an education perspective, we welcome the opportunity the program provides to bring learning to life through the arts and to meet the needs of students with various learning styles. We encourage people to get their new project ideas in before the next application deadline of November 8.” Projects are invited to promote learning through five disciplines: drama, dance, music, creative writing and the visual arts.

As part of the annual You Gotta Have Art event on October 28 at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown, 11 ArtsSmarts artists will be recognized for their work. They include: Ron Perry, Dr. Ron Chaisson, Maurice Bernard, Janet Cameron, Eric MacArthur, John Cousins, Debbie Thompson, Everett Johnston, Kate Moss, Rachel Ballem and Lennie Gallant.

An additional eight artists will be recognized during the Fédération culturelle de l’Î.-P.-É. Annual General Meeting on November 28 at the Centre scolaire communautaire de Prince Ouest. They include: Ginette Turgeon, Louise Daigle, Louise Lalonde, Paul Ness, Sylvie Toupin, Murielle MacDonald, Monique Lafontaine and Janelle Irving.

A program of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, ArtsSmarts is the largest education initiative in Canada dedicated to improving the learning capacity of children and youth by integrating the arts into teaching and learning. It is supported at the national level by the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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