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November 2, 2005
For immediate release

Island Projects to Be Featured in National ArtsSmarts Exhibition

Community and Cultural Affairs

Four projects from Prince Edward Island schools will be featured as part of the ArtsSmarts National Exhibition at the University of Moncton Art Gallery October 31 to November 6. Projects from Athena Consolidated, Birchwood Junior High, and Elm Street Elementary schools will be on display at the national exhibition of student and artist projects. Students from École Saint-Augustin will perform their project as part of the exhibition opening ceremonies.

Launched in 2004, ArtsSmarts is a national initiative that brings teachers, artists and communities together to help students learn through the arts.

Education Minister Mildred Dover said ArtsSmarts provides innovative ways for students to learn core curriculum such as history, science and language arts. “Through the collaboration of teachers and artists, students have great new opportunities to learn. We are very lucky to have so many accomplished artists who recognize the importance of teaching our youth. Islanders can be proud of the work they are doing in our schools and the wonderful projects that will be on display in Moncton,” she said.

“This initiative is an excellent partnership between the arts community and schools across Prince Edward Island,” said Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, Elmer MacFadyen. “I am extremely pleased by the support this initiative has received from artists and teachers across the province. Through their talents and

encouragement, students are gaining a great appreciation for the role of arts and culture in our community.”

Animal Habitat - Animals that are native to Canada, a project of Athena Consolidated School, included the creation of a wildlife museum. With the support of artist Maurice Bernard, students transformed the cafeteria and hallways using dioramas made of wood depicting wildlife native to PEI. This artwork has become a permanent display in their school.

Students at Birchwood Junior Intermediate School produced a short film on the Acadian tradition titled Courir la Chandeleur. Artists providing support to this project included: Louise Lalonde, Paul Ness, Sylvie Toupin, Murielle MacDonald, Ginette Turgeon, Louise Diagle and Monique Lafontaine.

Imaginary Creatures, a project of Elm Street School, allowed each student to create their own gargoyle type creature out of clay with the assistance of artist Rachel Ballem. The gargoyle creatures were then brought to life through stories written by the students.

Students at École Saint-Augustin researched and wrote a collection of texts based on the Acadian culture and history in Rustico. They also co-wrote a song titled Un nouveau regard, with well-known signer-songwriter Lennie Gallant and worked with him to record the song. Students also created a mural in their school based on local Acadian culture. Artists providing support for this mural were Louise Daigle and Ginette Turgeon.

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 core curriculum. It is supported at the national level by the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation. ArtsSmart PEI is a partnership of the departments of Education and Community and Cultural Affairs, three Island school boards, the Confederation Centre of the Arts, PEI Council of the Arts, the PEI Crafts Council, UPEI, the Capital Commission of PEI, Fédération culturelle de l’Î.-P.-É., the Atlantic Technology Centre, and the Eptek Centre.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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