A Préville In-School Success Story: Hoop Dancing

Working with schools to realize educational, arts-related activities and special projects

Orange Shirt Day Workshops at John Rennie High School, LBPSB

On September 30, 2021, The Préville Fine Arts Centre and Indigenous artists Marie-Celine Einish and Craig Commanda joined students at John Rennie High School in Beaconsfield, Quebec to commemorate a new federal statutory holiday, The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which honours the lost children and survivors of the residential school system, along with their families and communities.

September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day, when Canadians are encouraged to wear orange, as part of a grassroots movement raising awareness about the tragic legacy of Canada’s residential school system, started by Survivor, Phyllis Webstad.

The collaboration at John Rennie High School took the form of two special noon-hour workshops, coordinated by Préville’s own Heather Schnarr, showcasing the work of Marie-Celine Einish and Craig Commanda.

Beadweaving Workshop

Multidisciplinary artist Craig Commanda led a beadweaving workshop for a group of students who were able to create along with him, by using the beading supplies that were provided, and by watching his hands projected on a large screen. A pop-up gallery of Craig’s intricate, sculptural work was set up to inspire the participants.

Hoop Dance Workshop

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the hoop dance workshop that Marie-Celine Einish led outdoors. Dressed in regalia, Marie-Celine performed for the students, and then led a group workshop in how to execute basic steps–including using hoops–so participants could get an appreciation for the complexity involved in the ceremonial and performance art form.

Word of the Day Videos

Complementing the workshops were a series of five “Word of the Day” videos produced by the Préville Fine Arts Centre, that John Rennie screened in school throughout the week, and that Préville shared (along with a pdf teacher resource) with other partner schools in the Riverside School Board and the Lester B. Pearson School Board

The videos were composed by Philippe Frenette-Roy, using footage and recordings by Maggie Downer, from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory First Nations; and Mariette Buckshot, of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg – Algonquin First Nations.

One of the Algonquin Word of the Day Videos. 

View all the “Word of the Day” videos on our 
YouTube channel.

Working with Schools

These workshops, and the videos, are great examples of the kinds of customizable programming that Préville loves to design–in collaboration with a diverse team of artists–for schools from primary through to high school.

We have worked with other schools and school boards to realize thematically-related projects, and are always open to hearing about the kinds of programming teachers are looking for. To learn more about the artists, workshops and multi-week programming that we can offer your school community, please visit our Préville in Schools page.

To reach Veronica Thomas, Executive Director: direction@centrepreville.org
For general inquiries, please contact us.

About the Préville Fine Arts Centre

The Préville Fine Arts Centre is a not-for-profit organization that has been a leader in bilingual, arts-based education since 1974, when it was founded by musician and visionary, Belva Thomas. Located in Saint-Lambert, on Montreal’s South shore, Préville welcomes learners of all ages and levels. We are proud to put our Belva Thomas Bursary front and centre to ensure our courses remain accessible to everyone. Applications can be made directly from our website!