À chacun sa mesure

École Horizon Jeunesse, Commission scolaire de Laval
School principal: Claude Desrosiers
Project coordinators: Caroline Bélanger Boyte, Marie-Claude Émond, Marie-Claude Hébert and Chantal Labbé
Principal resources or partners: Simon Labelle-Ouimet, Alexia Martel, Ensemble on tourne, the Journées de la culture and the Usine de films amateurs de Michel Gondry

Seven hundred students at École Horizon Jeunesse took part in the project Chacun sa mesure. To gain a better understanding of the richness that comes from diversity, the students were encouraged to broaden their horizons through a creative process based in language and science. Working with sculptures, drawings, photographs, installations, makeup, puppets, theatre and poetry, students showed a spirit of openness and dialogue in expressing their own worldviews, and being receptive to the worldviews of others. Over the course of the 10-month project, they had memorable encounters with a succession of guest artists. As agents of social change with the people in their lives, the students proudly invited the entire community to their vernissage. It was a fitting conclusion to a meaningful project.

Canada : un 150e, ça se fête!

École La Carrière, Commission scolaire des Rives-du-Saguenay
School principal: Marc Girard
Project coordinators: Marc Girard, Mélissa Larouche and Serge Tremblay
Principal resources or partners: Marie Bélanger, Christine Boily, Nathalie Camus, Jean-Michel Malouf, the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and the Quatuor Saguenay

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, École La Carrière, the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and pianist Marie Bélanger teamed up to offer 150 elementary students an opportunity to appear on stage with professional performing artists. Accompanied by the orchestra, the students sang an original song highlighting key moments in Canadian history. They also sang two pieces from the Baroque repertoire and played a piece on the recorder, accompanied by flutist Vincent Lauzer. The Canada: Un 150e, ça se fête! project provided an excellent opportunity to promote classical music in the school community, encourage collaboration between students and musicians, and initiate an ongoing partnership between the school and the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.

Le peuple de la Grande Tortue

École Netagamiou, Commission scolaire du Littoral
School principal: Rebecca Nadeau-Monger
Project coordinators: Marius McKinnon, Anne Monger and Suzanne Thivierge
Principal resources or partners: François Guindon, Beaudoin Lalo, Ana Osborne, Sylvie Perron, Agatha Shattler and Wapikoni Mobile

According to an Indigenous legend about the creation of Earth, the island of North America is a great turtle on whose back all Indigenous peoples originated. This legend became the narrative thread for the students in the only Français, langue d’enseignement, class in Netagamiou School. These students took part in several workshops led by a member of the Unamen Shipu community along with Wapikoni Mobile and Archeo-Mamu. The workshops focused on the way of life, history, art, chants, music and dances of First Nations peoples. The students also enjoyed novels and legends about the First Nations, created totems, and cooked and shared a traditional meal. All these activities enriched their theatrical interpretation of the Inuit story Un inukshuk solitaire. The project Le peuple de la Grande Tortue is part of a collective step toward reconciliation between Québec’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Le nouveau monde

École Sainte-Colette, Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île
School principal: Guylaine Crousset
Project coordinators: Soumia Barhi, Edgie Étienne and Aurélie Spooren
Principal resources or partners: Yve Laviolette, Jean-François Légaré, Alexandre Parenteau, Bouge de là and the Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord

The Nouveau monde project at École Sainte Colette focused on the cultural background of students from families who had recently immigrated to Québec. Drawing inspiration from the world of children’s literature, the students created a play about an explorer who arrives in an unknown land. In dance workshops with Alexandre Parenteau, the elementary students had an opportunity to experience how rhythmic movement contributes to language learning. The play, which combined theatre and choreography, presented the universal language of dance interwoven with the students’ heritage languages and the French language. Performed at the school and the Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord during the Festival des arts, Le nouveau monde enabled cultural partners, families, the community and professional artists to form meaningful ties.

Portrait d’un songe

École du Coteau, Commission scolaire des Affluents
School principal: Luc Germain
Project coordinators: Éric Cool, Catherine Jamieson and Christophe Surget
Principal resources or partners: Éric Bergevin, Richard Roy, Théâtre Advienne que pourra and Théâtre Denise-Pelletier

Students at École secondaire du Coteau rose to the challenge of designing a four-panel artwork to be exhibited at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier during a run of the play Le Songe d’une nuit d’été (Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The adventure began when the students sat in on a rehearsal of the play and a meeting between the director and actors. The students then took photographs of the actors, trying to capture the fleeting emotion of the characters they played. Later, in the classroom, the students created a backdrop evoking figurative or abstract realms and were themselves photographed as they reinterpreted the emotion portrayed by the actors. With the support of art mediator Richard Roy, the students transformed the photos using mixed media techniques. Through the Portrait d’un songe project the students had an opportunity to take part in an ambitious artistic endeavour and enter into a sensitive dialogue between drama and visual art.

Vermeer et moi

École Buissonnière
School principal: Claudie Ouellet
Project coordinators: Gabriel Beausoleil, Audrey Lavallée, Rémi Lavoie and Geneviève Legault
Principal resources or partners: Julie Landreville, Marc O'Brien-Miro, Cindy Tessier-Trudeau and Livart

The Vermeer et moi project gave elementary students at École Buissonnière an opportunity to reflect on the artistic impact of the Dutch Masters. The 50 or so participants were first introduced to the work of Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. They then considered the influence of Vermeer’s work on contemporary photographer Hendrik Kerstens. Using recycled materials, the students fashioned accessories, such as necklaces, rosaries and hats, to be worn for a series of head and shoulders portraits. The subjects practised posing in drama class in order to achieve the subdued expressions evident in the resulting photographs. As a final touch, the students created picture frames incorporating motifs borrowed from the decorative arts of the Baroque period. The portraits were exhibited at Livart, a multidisciplinary centre for contemporary art.

Un poulailler dans la Cité!

École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes, Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs
School principal: Martial Proulx
Project coordinators: Nancy Lépine, Josiane Plourde and Dino Stea
Principal resources or partners: Roger Brabant, Monica Brinkman and the Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges

Once authorization was given to construct a chicken coop in the garden of École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes, a number of students took part in various arts and culture activities to prepare for the hens’ arrival. The green committee organized a screening of the documentary Demain, un nouveau monde en marche (Tomorrow). Students found much to appreciate in Monica Brinkman’s Tractor, a tribute to their region’s agricultural heritage, and Roger Brabant’s exhibition The Imaginary Henhouse. While some students helped build the chicken coop in woodworking class, others collaborated with Monica Brinkman in making mosaic cladding for it from broken crockery. In keeping with the permaculture principle, they designed a green roof with plants that would feed the hens. Through this project, the students served as agents of change and raised awareness in the community about environmental issues. It was with true pride that they inaugurated their Poulailler dans la Cité!

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Nolin

Collège Saint-Paul
School principal: Cathie Bouchard
Project coordinators: Julie Gauvin, Sophie Laflamme and Marie-Claude Nareau
Principal resources or partners: Marie-Michèle Bayard, Roxane Laplante, Karine Renaud and Station Cirque

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Nolin was a major production in which 151 performing arts students at Collège Saint-Paul took part. Working closely with their teachers and a number of resource people, the students adapted Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s cult film, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (released as Amelie in English), adding musical numbers and contributions by Québec writers speaking out about diverse issues such as overmedication, domination by multinationals and harassment. The students used their creativity to attract an audience to their show by producing and releasing compelling video clips on the theme of happiness. Through drama, dance, song and music, Amélie Nolin and her companions spread happiness at each of the three sold-out performances.

Histoire et science en phylactères

École Henri-Bourassa et Soleil-de-l’Aube, Commission scolaire des Affluents
School principal: Philippe Gariépy
Project coordinators: Julie Roy-Audet, Frédéric Duclot, Julien Rosa-Francoeur and Annie-Geneviève Morel
Principal resources or partners: Jocelyn Jalette and the Centre d’art Diane-Dufresne

The project Histoire et science en phylactères reflects an interdisciplinary approach combining the arts, history, science and French. Forty-two lucky elementary students from École Henri-Bourassa et Soleil-de-l’Aube got to witness the creative process of comic book artist Jocelyn Jalette before collaborating on their own comic book in the style of the historical work 1792: À main levée. Using the language and codes specific to comic book art, they summoned all their creativity to develop a storyline and to come up with characters and bring them to life in their drawings illustrating the challenges faced by various societies over time. They also had an opportunity to display their drawings at Printemps des arts (an exhibition organized by their school board), attend an official launch at the Centre d’art Diane-Dufresne and collaborate on a book containing their informational texts and drawings.

Prim-Opéra

École Sacré-Cœur, Commission scolaire de Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup
School principal: Éric Lavoie
Project coordinators: Julie Lizotte, Audrey Massé and Francine Michaud
Principal resources or partners: Corporation régionale de la Salle André-Gagnon and Fusion Jeunesse

The Prim-Opéra project gave Elementary Cycle Two students at École Sacré-Cœur a chance to sing, play music and act in an opera they produced themselves over the course of a school year. The first step was to have the students gain an appreciation of different types of opera. They then wrote a libretto and worked on staging and set design. The aim of the project, carried out with Fusion Jeunesse, was to instill positive attitudes in students about staying in school, while at the same time introducing them to opera. The young singers, musicians and actors, in working closely with others on the production, had an opportunity to enhance their cooperation skills. Their opera was performed on a professional stage and the proceeds were donated to Opération Enfant Soleil.

Des pieds et des mains

École Saint-Arsène, Commission scolaire de Montréal
School principal: Sylvie Chaloux
Project coordinators: Caroline Boucher, Bruno Pleau, Muriel Porret and Camille Trempe
Principal resources or partners: Jérôme Minière, Une école montréalaise pour tous and the Musée d’art contemporain

École Saint-Arsène is pulling out all the stops to make its students aware of climate change issues. Drawing inspiration from poetry, an outing to the Leonard Cohen exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain and a classroom visit with singer Jérôme Minière, 57 students at the elementary school demonstrated their commitment and poetic sensibilities in a stop-motion video based on the lyrics of Des pieds et des mains, Minière’s song about the fragility of the planet. The students worked in small groups, with each new team of animators carrying on from where the last team left off. Once completed, the student production was part of an exhibition on contemporary art and song at the Musée d’art contemporain

District 43

École secondaire Amos, Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île
School principal: Nathalie Labelle
Project coordinators: Séverine Giroux-LeBel, Chloé Martin and Roxanne Riendeau
Principal resource or partner: Fusion Jeunesse

The students at École secondaire Amos are former dropouts who enjoy learning in a convivial, motivating environment. In light of this, 25 students were invited to draw inspiration from the early-20th-century picture series En l’an 2000 to come up with their own vision of the year 2100. Focusing on technological advances and global issues, they imagined an overpopulated flying island surrounded by various modes of transportation. The result of their efforts was District 43, a colourful, futuristic world that reflected the distinct personalities of its creators. In steering their project through the various stages from conception to reality the students took a position on a number of potential social issues and engaged their creative abilities in a common cause. District 43 was exhibited at Montréal’s Olympic Stadium during the Festival Éducation du futur, organized by Fusion Jeunesse.

Les Filles du roi

École primaire Christmas Park, Commission scolaire Lester-B.-Pearson
School principal: Benjamin Matlin
Project coordinators: Josée Dubrule, Samantha McLean, Maria Martinez, Bernadette Lombardo-Reichert and Susan Vertolli
Principal resources or partners: Stéphanie Bénéteau, Chuck Pitts and OroLab

More than 60 Cycle Two and Three students at Christmas Park Elementary School took part in a film depicting key moments of the arrival of the filles du roi in New France. After thoroughly researching the subject, the students, for whom French is a second language, brought their characters to life to tell about the arrival of the filles du roi and their introduction and subsequent marriages to French colonists. The Filles du roi project benefited from a culturally enriching session with storyteller Stéphanie Bénéteau. Filming took place on the shores of Lac Saint Louis and a special evening was held to give parents and the community at large a chance to see the film. At the screening, the students spoke enthusiastically about how much they had enjoyed taking a different approach to learning history.

Rose et Réal visitent Montréal

École Sainte-Bibiane, Commission scolaire de Montréal
School principal: Sylvie Mimeault
Project coordinators: Geneviève Côté and Marie-Hélène Rochon
Principal resources or partners: Simon Gauthier, Élise Gravel, Audrey Lacroix, Danièle Marchand, Michel Rabagliati, François Tanguay and the Coop les ViVaces

Children in the preschool program at École Sainte-Bibiane took part in a school project on the theme Montréal, ma ville, mon histoire, in which they explored different aspects of their city, accompanied by two stuffed toy squirrels named Rose and Réal. Escorted at different times by Elementary Cycle Three students, parents or grandparents, the children discovered their city and its history, along with its architecture, literature, artistic and sports culture and ecosystem. Throughout the year, the children attended discovery workshops and had an opportunity to meet people from different walks of life: a farmer, an athlete, authors, storytellers and ecologists. Whether listening to the sound of a passing métro train, painting manhole covers, visiting the Olympic Stadium or hiking on Mount Royal, the exploration activities the children participated in made them want to take care of their city.

Projet d’échange d’art postal

Commission scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées
Associated schools: Écoles Adrien-Guillaume, École aux Quatre-Vents, École de la Montagne, École du Boisé, École du Ruisseau, École du Sacré-Cœur, École Sacré-Cœur, École Saint-Cœur-de-Marie, École Saint-Laurent, École Saint-Michel (Gatineau), École Saint-Michel (Portobello), École Saint-Pie-X, École secondaire Hormisdas-Gamelin
Director General of the school board: Daniel Bellemarre
Project coordinators: Lise Allie, Sophie Barette, Francine Bleau, Marie-Josée Gariépy, Johanne Edgar, Chantal Legris and Josée Matte
Principal resources or partners: Nathalie Chabot, Véronique Pepin and Nathalie Robillard

The Projet d’échange d’art postal, initiated by the cultural committee at the Commission scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées, provided an opportunity for 1000 students from different schools to correspond with one another. By participating in this fantasy-inspired art project, students learned not only about mail art, a medium that promotes closer ties, but also about different drawing and writing techniques that enabled them to create postcards containing personal images and caring messages with a poetic touch. Writer and artist Véronique Pepin led the workshops and encouraged participating schools to hold their own exhibition. Designed to bring people together, the project allowed students to show their creative side in an exchange of postcards with other schools, thereby making them aware that friendship, helping one another and sharing are important values in the larger school community.

Festival du cinéma

École du Maillon, Commission scolaire du Lac-Abitibi
School principal: Patrick Rancourt
Project coordinators: Jacynthe Lebel, Mario Matte and Karine Morasse
Principal resources or partners: Stéphane Bisson, Alexandre Caron, Jean Caron, Kathleen Corneau, Sébastien Greffard, Gilles Parent and Jean Racine

The Elementary Cycle Three students at École du Maillon carried out a number of activities during their Festival du cinema project. Finding inspiration in the lyrics of Québec singer-songwriters, including the songs of some artists who visited their classroom, the students wrote texts that were then set to music by Stéphane Bisson. The students made a video of their favourite song (on bullying), writing a script and working with producer Jean Caron to film it. On the website they created, they expressed their concerns about bullying. At the festival they organized, they set up booths on cinema and showed animated films they had written, produced, edited and voiced. In the students’ eyes, seeing all the artists working at their craft was proof positive that you can pursue your dreams in a regional community.

Tribu

Polyvalente de Disraeli, Commission scolaire des Appalaches
School principal: Jonathan Brochu
Project coordinators: Rosemary Fillion, Manon Gardner, Vicky Hamel, Lisa Roy-Lafrance, Serge Lajeunesse and Hélène Laplante
Principal resources or partners: Carolane Bouffard, Éric B. Brouillard, Dominique Fillion, André Garon, Johanne Laurendeau and Maxime Poulin

In spring 2018, a cast of more than 200 students from Polyvalente de Disraeli performed as musicians, dancers and acrobats in the show Tribu. The tribal theme was chosen to illustrate the enhanced power of the group, but also to introduce the ideas of acceptance and open-mindedness. Throughout the year, with support from artists and artisans as well as their teachers, the students created and performed acrobatic and choreographed numbers and musical works. They also designed and produced sets, costumes and makeup. The Tribu project, warmly received by an audience of students from eight elementary schools and people from around the region, was successful in bringing young people together and motivating them in a common purpose.

Et si c’était ça le bonheur

École Des Cardinaux, Commission scolaire de Laval
School principal: Carole Blackburn
Project coordinators: Nathalie Frappier and Véronique Ouellet
Principal resources or partners: Francine Gauthier, Yves Robert, Christiane Asselin Roy, the Association des photographes artisans de Laval and Les passionnés des arts visuels

Et si c’était ça le bonheur, a poem by Christiane Asselin-Roy, inspired a project in which painters and photographers were paired up with elementary students at École Des Cardinaux. The poem provided a starting point for the creation of 75 original works: 25 photographs, 25 paintings by professional artists, and 25 paintings and poems by students. All 75 works, on the theme of the five senses, are reflections on happiness. The project concluded with the distribution of a souvenir booklet and an exhibition that afforded students and artists the opportunity to exchange ideas. In the end, what is happiness if not the simple pleasures of seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting that mark our days?

Ulysse, l’homme aux mille ruses

Collège Laval
School principal: Michel Baillargeon
Project coordinators: Geneviève Chapleau, Vanessa Coderre, Karine Miller-Guay, Catherine Parr and Catherine Sauriol
Principal resources or partners: Nicolas Dubois, Laurence Gagnon, Charlotte Girard, Alain Jenkins, Patrick R. Lacharité and Frédérick Moreau

This year, Collège Laval chose for its annual production the subject of Ulysse, l’homme aux mille ruses, loosely adapted from Homer’s Odyssey. It was tailored to the 240 students in the school’s four arts education options. Onlookers had a chance to take in 11 pop-up performances combining theatre, dance, music and visual arts in different locations throughout the school, including the gymnasium, cafeteria and swimming pool. Directors Frédérick Moreau and Patrick R. Lacharité worked closely with teachers to guide the students through their exciting cultural epic. The students also had an opportunity to explore different areas of stagecraft by getting involved with set, costume and lighting design. Undeniably, this multidisciplinary production served as an excellent vehicle for promoting the arts at school.   

Levons le voile, théâtre clownesque

École André-Laurendeau and École régionale du Vent-Nouveau, Commission scolaire Marie-Victorin
School principal: Sylvain Caron
Project coordinators: Violaine Castonguay-Bélanger, Lyne Courtemanche and Marie-Claude Stébenne
Principal resources or partners: Maxime Berthiaume, Bryan Morneau and Menka Nagrani

The clown theatre project Levons le voile, théâtre clownesque resulted from a desire to show that the dramatic arts foster the inclusion of society’s marginalized. The project brought together seventeen students from École André-Laurendeau and seven students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from École régionale du Vent-Nouveau to create a collective work based on clowning situations. The participants attended workshops given by professional performing artists, who steered them toward the clowning arts and social-intervention theatre. The creative process was the subject of a documentary and the show was presented during Québec’s intellectual disability week. The project showed that we all share the same need to be happy and the same desire to laugh and make others laugh, which develops relationships of trust and friendship.

Reclique l’art

Polyvalente Hyacinthe-Delorme, Commission scolaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
School principal: Nancy Prévéreault
Project coordinators: Mylène Côté, Yolène Laberge-Frenière and Marie-Eve Lamothe
Principal resources or partners: Marylène Ménard and Menka Nagrani

The project Reclique l’art engaged more than 350 students at Polyvalente Hyacinthe-Delorme in taking a stand on overconsumption by putting on socially committed theatrical performances and producing collective artwork from abandoned items. Following a classroom visit from glass and mosaic artist Marylène Ménard, the visual arts students recycled old objects into mosaic works representing six of the programs offered at the school. Under the guidance of performing artist Menka Nagrani, the drama students created tableaux vivants and choreographed routines that were critical of problems in society. These were presented at the vernissage. The group artwork, made up of six murals, is on permanent display in the cafeteria, serving as a reminder that art can enhance our living spaces.