Youth Empowerment in the Arts Project: keeping local youth engaged in the Arts

Students at Fort St. James Secondary School have been able to follow their hearts in the arts.

  • Oct. 19, 2016 6:00 p.m.

The Youth Empowerment in the Arts Project is now in its second year at Fort St. James Secondary School.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Students at Fort St. James Secondary School have been able to follow their hearts in the arts.

The Youth Empowerment in the Arts Project continues to be a huge success, now in its second year.

And it only seems to be growing.

“We now offer two programs,” said Shauna Hesse, grant writer for the District of Fort St. James.

“The original theatre program is offered with 15 students currently taking part, and this year the students can take a digital media program which is so exciting. There are 25 students enrolled in that program right now.”

Hesse could not be more thrilled with how much student interest the program has received as well as all of the community support that has helped get the program running.

“It was the SONAR group at Fort St. James Secondary school who voiced their opinion. They wanted to see more opportunities in the arts in the community,” Hesse said.

Nak’azdli Youth Council, Music Makers, FSJ District, Nak’azdli Band, Theatre Northwest, the Community Arts Council, local and regional arts organizations, the public education system and various businesses also played a vital role in bringing the project to life.

“We have funding for up to three years now,” Hesse said. “And my role is to work towards long term sustainability.”

The Vancouver Foundation has given a grant in support of the project and funds have also been received from the BC Arts Youth Engagement Program and the Community Arts Council of Fort St. James.

Just recently, Nak’azdli Whut’en contributed $10,000 to the project.

“We hope that the project is a great success and look forward to seeing the end productions,” Nak’azdli Chief, Alec McKinnon said.

Through the project, students will have the opportunity to learn from professional musicians, create their own projects and perform their own creations once completed.

The project also allows students the opportunity to earn elective credits towards graduation.

“We are so lucky to have Lauren Brotman from Theatre Northwest work with the kids. To have a professional artist come here, it’s really amazing,” Hesse said.

Music Makers contributes the learning space and the Arts Council continues to coordinate the program.

“And the school has been so cooperative in having the kids attend,” Hesse said.

According to Hesse, the program has now evolved into a mentoring project as well because of its success.

This once uncertain pilot project has now branched off into many directions and a youth led, Arts Strategy is currently in the works.

Hesse says this will allow young people to step up and help make a difference in the community.

“The Youth Empowerment in the Arts Project is all about community working together,” Hesse said.

“To see what these kids can create. It’s amazing to be able to see it and support it and we should be supporting it. These kids are our future.”




Just Posted

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Gallery: Project Heavy Duty inspires students into it’s 32nd year

The event is a collaboration between SD91 and industry in and around Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Madison Scott’s mother hosts event to keep search for her missing daughter alive

Eight years ago, the Vanderhoof teenager disappeared, and the RCMP continue to chase leads

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Terrace hospital’s business plan approved

Health Minister’s announcement opens door to construction phase

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Most Read