Arts & Culture Week Kick-Off

It was a wonderful start to the province-wide celebration of Arts and Culture. April 22-29 was officially BC Arts and Culture Week as promoted and co-sponsored by Assembly of BC Arts; and British Columbia Arts Councils.

Within Tumbler Ridge, the kick-off for this weeklong event began on Saturday, April 21st with two District sponsored projects, the Green Fools Physical Theater workshop, as well as TR Junior Idol.

Green Fools Physical Theater is based out of Calgary, Alberta and has been in the Peace Region many times, most notably in Chetwynd for one-week workshops. Program Coordinator for the Community Centre, Joy McKay engineered the two-hour workshop in the hope of bringing them back again for the one-week stint.

Twelve youth, ages ranging from 7-13, were present and had a great time. They learned to juggle, spin plates on sticks, tightrope walk across heavy cable, walk on stilts, mime, slapstick clown and saw wonderful hand made paper mache faces masks. As well, the kids learned to use Diablo strings and Flower sticks.

Although there are several members of this troupe who travel around, the two that were on hand for the Tumbler Ridge workshop were a married team, Dean and Stacey Clark. Together they have done this for two years, but separately Dean has been at it 15 years and Stacey for 7. The children who attended the workshop did an outstanding job at the whirlwind of novelties that day. They were: Katrina Leuze; Kelly Fry; Dalton Janzen; Kyla and Darcy MacNeil; Rebecca and Jessica Petersen; Brittany Pilgim; Chris MacKay; Lesa Madsen; Faunne MacLaren and Danielle Lively.

That same evening was the TR Junior idols Finals. On separate nights previous, three judges were asked to choose from contestants who auditioned for the chance to go further in the competition. Tumbler Ridge Secondary School Vice Principal Blaine Broderick; Piano Teacher (Musical Marmots) Crys White and TR Adult Community Choir Director and Pianist Dawn Wagner were the panel for this competition.

A good turnout of approximately 75 family members and friends of the young performers showed up in room 4 and 5 to cheer on their favourites. Nine contestants were judged by the panel, which scaled to two in each age category.

The performers for the age group of 5-12 were Kalin Sitter singing ?Anything But Ordinary?; Cora MacLaren singing ?Breakaway?; Kyla Guske singing ?These Boots Are Made For Walking? and Georgia LaPrairie-McManus singing ?Downtown?. Guske and LaPrairie-McManus went to the final two and it was Georgia LaPrairie-McManus who won first prize.

The contestants for the age group 13+ were Braighen Backnick; singing ?Beat of My Heart?; Jennifer Skyrpan singing ?The Math?; Stephanie McBain singing ?World?s Greatest?; Calisa Smith singing ?A Thousand Miles? and Jacqueline Smith singing ?My Heart Will Go On?. Jacqueline Smith took home first prize. It was quite the coincidence having two non-related Smith girls performing in the final round and seemed to cause some confusion, due to the fact that the time frame between the beginning and end was over an hour. The audience was intrigued until the end.

A great effort by the Community Centre, also coordinated by Joy MacKay, with on site help from Roxanne Gale. The show lasted from 7:00 until 8:15 pm, emceed by Erin Hanna. The District of Tumbler Ridge sponsored this event, with donations from Jade True Value, Impressions, TR Inn and Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council. Congratulations to everyone who participated and especially our first TR Junior Idols.