DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Days Five, Six & Seven

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Thunder Air LogoPalgrave Rotary Club, Thunder Air, Aeroplan donors (Hans Koehle, Maria Da Cunha, Cheryl Vhal, Victor Ford), The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through The Arts Program, TD Bank Group, and the Paul Semple Scholarship Fund are supporting this project.

June 14th, 15th, & 16th, 2016 | Written by DAREarts Artist-Educators Cathy Elliott & Shelley MacDonald | Day Five, Six, & Seven

13407042_10154261498302317_6137187653312452632_nDay 5: We arrived and hit the ground running! We started brainstorming with Karis, Ariel and Jack, who envisioned what the video might look like. They were instrumental in the groundwork of the song that dictates what they are feeling and guides the vision.

This is a continuation of what Glenn started; we started video right away on the first afternoon. They played with shadows on the ground by the shore. We started with just the three students and picked up more during the day. Very informal. They worked with the “bounce,” which reflected light on faces and created beautifully strong portraits of students. They want to do more close ups of faces.

13416749_10157005131075585_7890642931788541525_oDay 6: They strongly feel that Attawapiskat’s visibility is affecting them, both physically and emotionally.  On day two, they projected Peter Mansbridge introducing a feature “Checking in on Attawapiskat” from the housing crisis in 2010 and Jack and Joseph lined up their faces and lip synced Mansbridge’s words. They also want to have a group shot with them doing the same thing, mouthing the words of the media as the lead-up to the spoken word segment of the song.

We set up our “drum screen” in the classroom and rear-projected a walking scene and the students cast their shadows, walking, dancing, holding hands, celebrating. That evening, we met around 9:30 for the “magic hour” lighting of the setting sun. Liza and Nigel knocked on our door and we played back the music as they sang along for the lipsync. They walked around the town and we picked up two little girls who wanted to be in the movie. We found ourselves in the playground, by a hill and the silhouettes of the kids on the hill were spectacular with the “god sun” effect with the lens flare. 13416913_10157006104575585_1525913808101152598_oJack magically appeared in the group on the hill – which was growing, and started directing. He discovered the beautiful shadows on the red brick wall, and completely took control of the shoot. It was a miracle in action as we watched the students show the discipline it took to do take after take to get the perfect shot. It was wonderful to see them “come together” as a group and create an almost mythical creature on the wall.

A modern pictograph. Or a contemporary petroglyph – etching their presence on this land with the lens.

Day 7: This afternoon, we’ll start laying out the video and doing more shooting.

13418842_10154261498217317_5997809301985913957_nWe’ve decided to leave a camera with Jack. He’s got so much promise, he’ll use it for the Youth Council, start up a Youtube channel for the Council, and we know he’ll use it for good. He’s already shown extraordinary leadership, and this will be a great tool for him.

Photos courtesy Cathy Elliott & Shelley MacDonald.

DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat – Posts by Artist-Educator Glenn Marais
Read Day One
Read Day Two
Read Days Three & Four
Read Day Four Thoughts
DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat – Posts by Artist-Educators Cathy Elliott & Shelley MacDonald
Read Day Eight
Watch “Walking for Peace” by the youth of Attawapiskat


DAREarts is a children’s charity that uses the arts to empower youth at-risk to become leaders. Our lead sponsors are Northbridge Insurance, Scotiabank, TD Bank Groupand the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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7 thoughts on “Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Days Five, Six & Seven

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Eight | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  2. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Four Thoughts | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  3. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Days Three & Four | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  4. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Two | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  5. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day One | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  6. Pingback: DAREarts Attawapiskat: Walking for Peace | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  7. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Eight | DAREarts | DARE2blog

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