Letter from the Queen

The Arts for Tots preschool classes wrote to the Queen earlier this month to congratulate her on her Diamond Jubilee - it's her sixtieth anniversary as Queen of England. Yesterday morning, she wrote back!

Text: Buckingham Palace I send you my grateful thanks for the words of loyalty and support which you have so kindly sent on the occasion of mf the Sixtieth Anniversary of my Accession to the Throne. Elizabeth R 2012

The Arts for Tots students were thrilled – and the instructors even more so. The letter was folded like a brochure and on the front was the ER crest embossed in gold, with gold edging around the whole brochure. Instructor Treena Gosbee quickly secured a frame and inserted both the letter and the envelope, which was sent by air mail – with no return address, but the ER crest instead. And if you were wondering – yes, the Queen has to pay postage.

Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne on February 6, 1952 upon the death of her father, King George VI. She is queen regnant of 16 sovereign states.

Miss Treena said she had hoped the kids would see that the Queen and the royal family weren’t a fairy tale, they were real. She is so pleased to be able to show each of her classes their letter from the Queen.

Submitted by Shannon Neufeld

The Monday afternoon preschool class with the framed letter and envelope from the Queen of England

Spring is in the Air

There was such a beautiful snowfall last week - I had to make sure I took some pictures of the outside of the Centre. After so many months of snow, snow and more snow, it's hard to remember that the seasons do change in southern Manitoba. And what does spring mean for S.A.C.? Well, for one thing, the Southeast School of Dance (Apr 21) and Backyard Theatre Company (Apr 27) recitals are fast approaching. The Backyard Theatre kids are actually practicing in the studio next door as I write this. Every now and again I'll hear some funky music or somebody laughing... The kids are working really hard to put on a good show! I'm excited for them to be able to show people all they've learned in the past eight months.

Also coming up is our 'Diamonds and Denim' Fundraiser (Apr 27). We have a top-notch committee this year, and lots of fun surprises for our Gala guests. We were discussing the decorations at our committee meeting yesterday, and it's going to be a glamorous occasion. I also had a sneak peak of the signature painting by Daylon Brown. It's beautiful.

Classes are drawing to a close, and some new classes are starting in March and April - Digital Photography (Mar 15), Drawing Dynamics (Mar 21) and Multicultural Cooking (Apr 9). There's also a workshop in the works - learning to build your own frame and stretch your own canvas. I am definitely signing up! I've been wanting to learn how to do that forever.

I find around this time of year I usually start getting a little introspective - and finding myself asking the question, "What's next? What now?" What do they call that - spring fever? Spring just seems like a good time to change things up - to start doing something from my bucket list (yes, I have one...) or something I've always wanted to try. To call a friend I haven't spoken to for a while... or invent something. But I also really value the ability to be content with what I do have, and thankful.

So I am thankful for my job at the S.A.C., my friends and that fresh snowfall last week... and I am really itching to learn how to make my own canvas and buy a really nice dress for the Gala. How's that?

Submitted by Shannon Neufeld

Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre, 304 Second Street - on the corner of Reimer Avenue and Second Street

Dance Instructor Bethany Friesen Tells All

Being a dance teacher is the best and most rewarding job I’ve ever had! When I was first approached about teaching with the South East School of Dance at SAC I had an overwhelming excitement that filled my entire being. I love to dance! I love kids! And I love to be an influence wherever I can! And this opportunity allows me to do all three at the same time. I am so thankful that I can be a part of these girls’ lives, although it may seem small and insignificant I hope somewhere I can be a life changing influence to them. It’s so rewarding when you first teach something to a group of kids to see them work hard and practice and do it over and over then finally they can do it, they love it and yell out “I love this dance!” This brings me great Joy and motivation as a teacher to continue and to do the best job that I can. Dance is not always sunshine and roses, it consists of a lot of hard work too. It’s a journey teaching these kids that yes, dance is a lot of fun and we are a recreational dance school but there is also a lot of discipline and sore muscles that goes with it! Now it is crunch time and we are working really hard to get the recital pieces finished and looking sharp. The kids are getting antsy and excited and I can’t wait to see them perform on stage what they have been working so hard towards!

Submitted by Bethany Friesen

Dance instructor Bethany Friesen and the Pop Dance ages 7-10 class as they prepare for their recital on Saturday, April 21

Great Photography on Display at SAC

The Exhibit Opening for Jim Reimer on Wed, Feb 8 was full of family, friends and art lovers. Past board chair Frances Funk opened the event with a welcome, and Jim Reimer shared some thoughts about his journey as a photographer – with some interesting and humorous stories about different photos he has taken, even taking the time to poke some fun at close friends. This was the first exhibit opening I have been able to attend since I started working at the Arts Council. The Exhibit Committee did a wonderful job of greeting guests, replenishing refreshments and making everyone feel welcome. To note: some of Jim Reimer’s photographs are for sale – and these are some of his best pieces in a 45-year career. Read his biography online at www.steinbachartscouncil.ca under the Hall Gallery Exhibits link. His exhibit will be up until March 2, so I recommend stopping by!

Something Cute

The Arts for Tots preschool program always blows me away. The creativity of the teachers, Miss Treena and Miss Pam, is absolutely on a different level than your average preschool curriculum. Whether they are dressed all in one color or wearing a funny hat, it feels like they are always planning something fun for the kids. This past week was hat day, and whenever there’s a dress up day it’s exciting for us in the office because that means the kids will come through the office in a parade, sometimes with instruments and sometimes without. We also had Miss Rose from Kindermusik (www.kindermusik.com) come in and I snuck a peak to watch them play with their instruments and streamers because it was just absolutely cute.

Since I work in marketing at the Arts Council, I have a chance to understand the mission statements behind all of our programs. Arts for Tots is top-of-the-line in providing an opportunity for children to grow in creativity and be well-rounded in their development. The program often brings in professional clinicians to teach the kids about music, dance and movement, visual arts and drama. At our Munschketeers show with Prairie Theatre Exchange recently we displayed some of the recent crafts the kids had made during science week – a solar system made of popcorn kernels and a rocket ship made with newspaper and paint. Very cool.

This is a great program that I hope many children can benefit from

PTE Volunteer

My name is Juliane and I’m a volunteer at Steinbach Arts Council. Volunteering has been a lot of fun, plus my volunteer hours count towards my graduation at Red River College. I get to do all kinds of stuff like preparing and helping out at events and as well working on the computer.

This past Saturday I had the chance to help out at the SRSS Theater for the show “ The Three Munschketeers. “ I had the opportunity to read stories to some of the kids that came to the show, which I really enjoyed. I’ve never done that before! We had blankets and pillows on the floor for the kids to sit down and listen to the stories while they were waiting for the show to begin. After the show I helped out with serving cookies and milk to the kids. I liked watching the kids all line up, waiting for their milk and cookies. They were so cute! After everyone was gone we started cleaning up. We took down all the decorations from the hallway. We had put up fun pictures from all of the classes going on right now at S.A.C. and also some pictures and a collage of last year’s Summer Arts Day Camps. We had also put up all the stories that had been entered in the story writing contest. I helped judge the stories and select winners. It was really hard to choose! Those kids are so smart, and they write such amazing and funny stories! After the show, I also helped tear down the stage used by PTE. The staff from Steinbach Arts Council was very friendly to me and helped me when I needed help. After cleaning everything up at the SRSS we drove back to S.A.C. to put everything back where it came from.

It was a fun day and I can say that I enjoyed working with the staff from Steinbach Arts Council and with the other volunteers. I love meeting new people and volunteering opens many doors to meet more people.

Thank you to Steinbach Arts Council for hiring me as a volunteer and being so welcoming. I really appreciate it!

The Melville Boys

Tues, Jan 24thThe Melville Boys

Hi, I’m Becky, a Katimavik volunteer. Katimavik is Canada’s leading youth volunteer service organization http://www.katimavik.org/. In the next six months, my team and I will travel to Steinbach, MB and Chisasibi, QC to volunteer with not-for-profit organizations. I have been in Steinbach for three weeks now, and this week my team and I helped as stage hands with Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and the play “The Melville Boys.”

I had such an enjoyable time watching “The Melville Boys”. The set up was incredible, it felt as though I was really in a cabin by the lake and was watching Lee and Owen Melville and their experience. The lights were just perfect and again helped me feel as though I was actually there. The bright colors of the set were very attractive and I couldn’t help but scan over them. The actors themselves were amazing too; Owen was the comedian who always lightened the mood and made the audience laugh, whereas his brother Lee was more of the serious type—a great balance. The character Mary and her sister Loretta were a great addition to the act, it made it feel whole and just the way the actors played their roles made it seemed very realistic and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the subject the play was based off of; it is a very realistic and hot topic and they nailed it right on the head. This play had two very different sides to it; serious and hilarious. They were portrayed very well and I can guarantee that anyone whom was watching will say the same. The performance both brought a smile to your lips and, at times, tears to your eyes.

In my opinion, the performance of Owen Melville was especially good. He was the happy-go-lucky brother who just wanted to have fun and enjoy his time with his brother at the lake that weekend. However, he held a very deep worry for his brother—who was dying. He came across as a man with a big heart, which he kept hidden by bottling up his emotions.

This event was located at SRSS Theatre which I found to be a very close and convenient venue. There was just the right amount of space for everyone to get around and for the 10 minute intermission, a large area for people to enjoy themselves in. As a volunteer who helped both set up and take down the set; I really do think the effort put into it was well worth it because a fantastic play came out of it. The staff were incredible people to work with and I really enjoyed working alongside of them.

All in all, I really enjoyed this play and would certainly come to see it again.

At the Office

Classes are back up and running at Steinbach Arts Council. The office has been abuzz with phone calls from people registering for classes and programs. There’s something for everyone, from painting to pottery, wellness, cooking and language. In fall, I tried Body Pump taught by Christel Flaming. I love her! She’s so professional, and I never knew what to expect at the next class. She would always have something new to teach us. If you’re wondering what Body Pump is, it’s muscle training to music. The class starts with a warm up, then we use everything from balls to exercise bands (also called resistance bands) and weights, and then we cool down. A lot of our staff did the class together, it was 12 sessions starting in October and lasting till December. It was only two classes in where we all started noticing a difference. Plus, class made me feel great.

I’m really interested in wellness and art, so I’ve really enjoyed working at Steinbach Arts Council. A few other things I’m really excited about are our Open Judged Art Exhibit coming up in April. We’re going to line our hall gallery with original art from all over Hanover! I can’t wait to see the different styles and creativity. I was going to apply, but then I started getting a little nervous about putting something together. And what should I paint? (Or draw? Or ‘digitally paint’?) It’s open to all art mediums, so I’m not even sure what I want to use. Applications are due this Friday! But the artwork isn’t due till February. Ya, I should definitely apply. If I really got serious, I would sign up to have a whole exhibit next year. But I haven’t built up my collection yet, enough to fill the whole hall gallery anyway.

Also coming up is the Summer in the City Festival this summer. But we’re already taking applications for performers and visual artists. Last summer, we had a Arts in the Park day that went along with a showing of Cars 2 arranged by the City of Steinbach, and I painted while everyone was enjoying the BBQ, mural coloring and entertainment. I actually got people walking by to help paint in the feathers of the owl I was doing. A lot of the kids thought that was pretty cool. So, I think Summer in the City will be a lot like painting that day at A.D. Penner Park. I am considering applying to be one of the visual artists doing live demonstrations during the Festival (which is three days this year instead of two!) …But, I may be busy doing stuff with the Arts Council, as we are heavily involved in the behind-the-scenes of the event. I will have to put a bug in the ears of my artist friends and get them to paint. Then I can live vicariously through them…

Happy 2012 everyone!

Contributed by Shannon Neufeld

The Three MunscheKeteers Contests

There are two contests in part with the PTE performance.

A coloring contest for the Arts For Tots students. Their coloring pages are due back on Mon & Tues, Jan 16 and 17th and will be put in a ‘mini-exhibit’ at SAC. The winners get free tickets to the show.

Illustration copyright 2011 by Michael Martchenko, from Moose! All rights reserved. Based on Wait and See by Robert Munsch © 1993 Bob Munsch Enterprises Ltd. © 1993 Michael Martchenko (art); Where is Gahning? by Robert Munsch © 1994 Bob Munsch Enterprises Ltd. © 1994 Hélène Desputeaux (art), published by Annick Press Based on the books Just One Goal! © 2008, Moose! © 2011, and We Share Everything! © 1999, text by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko. All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

There is a story writing contest for grades 1-3 and 4-6 and the winners will get free tickets to theMunschketeers show, plus the top two from each category will read their stories to the audience. We are looking for a humorous life incident, two pages max.

If you know a great mini writer then make sure they know about the contest!

A New Year

A new year brings new opportunity. With school and classes starting this upcoming week it's the perfect time to make resolutions and try something new. The weather has been fantastic so far this winter but knowing our prairie climate an Alberta Clipper is probably just around the corner - BUT don't let the weather keep you inside. Our community is diverse and full of possibilities and SAC is the first place to check when looking to try something different.

There are many opportunities coming up this month at SAC. Starting with The Melville Boys. On January 24th, the MTC regional tour presents the 4th event in this seasons concert series.

Following that, SAC is bringing an added attraction for the entire family. Join The Three Munschketeers on the SRSS stage as Robert Munsch's characters come to life on Saturday January 21th.

The new year also brings new years resolutions - something that is always easier said then done. Kick start your 2012 goal with one of our wellness classes. Kickboxing, pilates, yoga, zumba and belly dancing are some of the classes being offered this year.

For tickets and class information call SAC 346-1077.

Wishing you a year full of creativity, good health and great company.

Steinbachonline.com is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

About the Steinbach Arts Council

The Steinbach Arts Council, an umbrella organization for performing and visual arts groups, enriches the lives of our community through development of local artists and musicians and exposure to professional art forms. The Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre is a home for all these groups and their programs. It’s purpose is to create an environment where all arts disciplines can work together under one roof and share their resources and their talents with each other, and the entire Arts Community!

For more info, visit steinbachartscouncil.ca.