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Youth Programs


Global Steps

Dance Database and Workshop Series

Arts Orillia is building a teachers’ database for inclusive dance education with a global focus. This experience has two parts; teachers begin by receiving a package that gives information about a particular style of dance, including its cultural history and social context. Educators are supported with: 


• several links to performances

• prompts for students to continue their learning

• a short recorded interview with a guest artist who is an expert in the  style of dance that the children are learning about


The second part of the experience is an in-person dance lesson facilitated by artistic director Kate Hilliard and a virtual visit from the guest artist. The level of physical challenge will be adjusted for the grade level. We ask that teachers let us know about the accessibility requirements of students and staff prior to our in-person workshop.


Water Monument

Eco Art Workshop Series

Water Monument is an interactive eco-art experience for young environmentalists and student artists! This workshop begins by discussing water care through a variety of cultural perspectives, including the Western ideology of attaching monetary value to water and recognizing it as a precious resource. We also learn about “personhood,” an idea celebrated through Indigenous Traditional Knowledge which grants water the same protections as people.


Through this learning, participants will engage in a community assemblage project in an area of visual art practice. Elementary workshops are a half-day long: morning until lunch or after lunch-recess until the end of the school day. Nutrition breaks and all recesses will be taken as usual.


Participants are given the opportunity to design, discuss, and imagine a better future together. This experience places a strong focus on collaboration, mindfulness, and empathic listening as students take responsibility to protect our earth for future generations!


Inventing Utopia

Drama and Creative Writing

With Desirée Leverenz

What if we could imagine a perfect world? What does it look like? What does it take to get there?


Your students are invited to explore their creativity, and imagination through games, writing, improv, and more as they create a personal performance about the world they want to live in! We’re celebrating “weirdness,” new ideas, and above all else – we’re creating an inclusive place for students to be honest about the issues that they would like to tackle in their communities. This is a creative workshop that trains leadership. Join guest artist Desirée Leverenz - a theatre director, creator, mover and shaker, who will never wash Treaty 6 soil from beneath her feet. She works with students in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to help our young people clarify and sharpen their questions. She hopes that a class might discover stories and conversations so that we can all dream of a better future together.

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