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Arts Appreciation night offers outlet for artistic expression

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Leila Core performed Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ for the crowd last Wednesday. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Leila Core performed Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ for the crowd last Wednesday. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Students at LCCVI hosted their annual Arts Appreciation Night last Wednesday, welcoming both parents and students to an evening celebrating the arts.


Teacher Krista Mueller said they’ve been hosting the artistic evening for about 20 years now, offering students a chance to display their hidden talents. The coffee house style event saw a regular classroom transformed – the room was dimly lit with lights strung up, and tables were covered with paper and crayons for guests to get creative.


This year’s event was put together by three senior students – Kelly Wilks, Ryan Breen and Abbi Withers – as part of their year-end course study.


Withers said it took the three of them about a month to put everything together. She said they drew some inspiration from previous years’ events, while putting their own spin on it.


The night doesn’t just focus on one medium, but all combined. Withers, a painter, said it’s great to see poetry, music, dance and other forms of art on display alongside each other.


“It’s a really fun relaxed night,” she said. “It just gives us a chance to appreciate it.”


All three students said when it comes to the arts, they can often be overlooked or overshadowed by other subjects like mathematics and science.


“It’s important, it’s the way people express themselves,” Withers said. “It’s good to have creativity…and it’s good to share it.”


Breen, a percussionist, said the evening ran smoothly with a lot more acts than they initially expected. There were around 30 different performances, from poetry to piano and even an act where student Teddy Harris played guitar and drums at the same time.


“It was packed in there,” he said. “It’s a great way to showcase the arts…nowadays in school the arts are not as expressed or welcomed.”


Breen said the arts are an important aspect, and the night lets a lot of kids come out of their shell.


“There’s a lot of kids, I had no idea what they could do,” he said. “I was really impressed and surprised.”


Wilks, who is involved in the dramatic arts, said this was the second year she has been involved in the event. She said with the three having different sectors within the arts, they were able to bring something different to the table.


She said the evening offered kids a chance to get on stage and have some recognition for their talents, especially for those who may not have the opportunity to get onstage otherwise.


“There’s no judgement, it’s not a competition,” she said. “We all just celebrate each other…a lot of the time with teenagers, you don’t really get that opportunity.”


All three agreed the atmosphere was a welcoming one, and they hope to see Arts Appreciation night continue for many years to come.


“Kids who don’t normally have a voice get to stand up and speak or perform,” Wilks said. “I just love it, and I hope the tradition continues.”