The rhythm of the school day was a little different than usual in Paradise Hill Monday.
The Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange kicked off its annual tour spending the day with Division I and II students. The tour will take the five artists throughout the province, primarily to rural schools over the next six weeks.
This year the artists are Kelly-Anne Riess, a writer, Melissa Nygren, a singer-songwriter, Carol Morin, a visual artist, Evans Bamwesigye, a dancer and African drummer, and Leon Willey, an actor. The artists for the tour were selected through an application process with the goal of creating of a balanced and varied group.
It was only the first day but Leon Willey, the manager of the tour this year, was feeling confident.
"The more exposure kids and communities have to the arts, the better. I think it's just vital. Sometimes it shows kids there is more to life than what they know," he said.
The tour is a cultural exchange and the artists are also interested in what people across the province are doing.
Students spent time with the artists in various parts of the school. The gym was transformed into a dance studio where students learned about rhythm and footwork. Some of the students had the opportunity to try their hand at mixed-media painting on the stage area. Classrooms were filled with giggles and creativity as improvisational acting scenes and new songs were born. Surrounded by books, those student in the library found their own words as new poems emerged.
"I feel it is important for people in communities to see working professional artists. It is important to see that artists of every art form can succeed, it is a matter of where they place their joy, happiness and contentment," said Willey.
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