Generations of Préville – Part 1

Christine Caillibot-Schimp: Three Generations of Préville.
Photo: Christine, ca. 1987

The Préville Fine Arts Centre was founded over 45 years ago, which means that most people who have a connection to Montreal’s South Shore community also have some connection to our Arts Centre.

For Christine Caillibot-Schimp, that connection spans three generations!

Christine started taking music and gymnastics classes at Préville on Saturdays when she was nine years old. She also took a parent-child music class with her mom! However, it was her first theatre class in a summer camp that Christine remembers most clearly; that first taste sparked a lifelong interest. She participated in as much theatre as she could—at Préville and elsewhere—up until the end of her CEGEP studies.

Christine, ca. 1990, in the Préville production of “Class Dismissed”.

Now Christine is a mom to three boys who are third-generation Préville Fine Arts Centre participants!

Emmett @ Préville’s Online Summer Camp

Christine’s middle son, Emmett, is eight years old, loves music and is an avid swimmer. He loves skiing and is a Lego fanatic. He’s sporty and loves robotics, science and hands-on things like experiments. He’s got loads of  energy, spends lots of time outside and needs to run!

Emmett, eight, third-generation Préville artist!

He is the kind of child who appreciates our traditional summer camp, with lots of activities each day, time in between to move around and a variety of teachers and other campers to interact with during the day.

Like so many in our Préville community, Christine and Emmett were disappointed when Préville moved its summer camp online. Emmett had found Zoom school classes in the Spring long and difficult. So, with some reservations Christine signed Emmett up for a week of conversation classes in Frédérique’s Language Lab.

Frédérique’s introduction video went a long way to convincing Emmett to sign up, and he was comforted feeling like he knew a little about his teacher before camp even started.

The language lab was interactive: Emmett could stand, do games and draw pictures. He was participating rather than feeling like a bystander. And most importantly to Emmett, he could see and hear Frédérique, and she could see and hear him too.

The 45-minute class flew by each day, as did the first week of camp. Then, to Christine’s surprise, Emmett asked to sign up for a second week!

Christine was thrilled! She felt the small class size helped, but that key to his enjoyment and participation was direct interaction with his teacher. It made him want to cooperate, be responsive and involved. He also enjoyed being able to safely connect with new people, who existed outside of his COVID bubble.

Christine, ca. 1987

The invitation to participate and sense of community created by staff and fellow students have been hallmarks of the Préville experience throughout its history. As much as possible, we try to create a learning environment that nurtures creativity and fosters memories of Préville, such as those cherished by Christine, in all of our participants—whether in-person or online.