Youth engagement in the arts takes centre stage at MacDonald Island Park

(Fort McMurray, AB, May 30, 2013) – Several upcoming arts initiatives at the Suncor Community Leisure Centre and the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery presented by Kirschner Family Corporation showcase regional youth engaged in arts and culture.

The Learning Through the Arts exhibition runs from May 25 to June 15 and features artwork from grade six to nine students. Learning Through the Arts is an educational program that uses art-based activities to teach the core curriculum by providing educators with creative tools to engage students in math, science, language arts, social studies, and other core subjects. The creations from the students are on display in the main concourse of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre.

On June 3 at 5:30 pm, the Suncor Community Leisure Centre atrium comes alive with the sights and sounds of hip-hop as the Northern Elements Crew hosts a flash mob sure to get the community buzzing about growing hip-hop culture in the Wood Buffalo region. The event comes on the heels of the Mi Dance Academy season finale recital, ENCORE, which takes place this Friday and Saturday at Keyano Theatre.

“We are tremendously proud of our young dancers and thankful for the support of the community that has pushed the Mi Dance program to more than double in size,” said Jodie Mercier, General Manager of Sport and Recreation at MacDonald Island Park. “Arts and culture is flourishing across our region and we’re more than happy to do our part in ensuring we foster its growth – especially for youth.”

A partnership with the Fort McMurray Public Library is showcased when the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery presented by Kirschner Family Corporation welcomes the Boppin’ With Mr. Mynah exhibition. The exhibition features work by artist Tricia Sellmer and poet Alexander Forbes, as well as pieces created by elementary school students in Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan. The opening reception is June 13 at 7:00 pm, and the exhibition is open to the community for viewing from June 3 to June 25.

“These initiatives demonstrate the level of interest youth have in arts and culture in our community,” said Mercier. “These projects encompass visual arts, performing arts, and literature, and display how arts can be integrated into core education curriculum as well as pursued as leisure activities. We are proud to have the opportunity to share these events with the community and we will continue to provide a venue where youth engagement in arts and culture is encouraged.”

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