Showcasing the Arts during the pandemic
Virtual Secondary Arts Show
In June 2021, HPEDSB hosted the first ever Virtual Secondary Arts Show, titled “Art in the Pandemic”. The traditional Secondary Arts Show would have seen its 32nd annual gallery event in the spring of 2020, with a showcase of exceptional student artwork displayed at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery in the Belleville Public Library. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was unfortunately cancelled.
In an effort to get ahead of the uncertainty of pandemic restrictions, a small committee decided early in 2021 to plan a virtual arts show for the year. The theme “Art in the Pandemic” was chosen to encompass both artwork that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also includes artwork that was created during this unique school year. The virtual event was livestreamed on the board YouTube channel, showcasing a wide variety of student artwork from every secondary school in the board in a video format.
Sophiasburg Central School: Small but mighty in song
In September 2021, the Sophiasburg Central School Grade 7/8 class received new ukeleles through the fund-raising efforts of their school council. Weeks later, music teacher Misu Burns registered the class to participate in the CBC Music Class Challenge performing Ginalina’s song “Small But Mighty”.
Explaining why she chose that particular song from the list of Canadian songs available for the competition, Burns said, “We have one of the smallest schools in the board, so this song resonated. I wanted to showcase how much I love our school, how great our kids are, and what a special place this is.”
Enlisting support from Grade 3/4 teacher Sam Hirst and Sophiasburg parent Caleb Hutton at Back 40 Productions, Burns’ small team took on the large job of creating a video entry for the contest, in a short period of time, while following all necessary COVID-19 safety protocols.
Hirst taught her class sign language, which accompanies the singers in the video. Burns taught the other participating classes a combination of singing, playing ukulele and movement.
“Learning Ginalina’s Small But Mighty for the CBC Music Class Challenge was indeed a challenge,” shared Burns, “but it also proved to be very rewarding, as the students improved with each class and all their hard work really paid off. Our school may be small, but we are mighty in heart and spirit!”