Arts Alive: Creating Lasting Connections

Teaching artists Samantha Whelan Kotkas (trumpet) and Walter MacDonald White Bear

Thanks to your generous support, children from across Canada continued to be inspired by the magic of the performing arts during an unpredictable school year. Through the newly-designed Arts Alive website, parents and educators can access a range of inspiring performing arts learning opportunities that you help make possible.  

Among a host of offerings, you are helping the NAC bring virtual workshops led by some of Canada’s most innovative artists in theatre, music and dance to homes and schools throughout the country.  

Workshops include: 

  • Creating a Theatrical Time Capsule, led by Kristina Watt, an award-winning actor and theatre creator, where students apply a blend of imagination and current life experience to write and perform a story; 
  • Pow-wow Dance for Healing with Josée Bourgeois, a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nations in the Ottawa Valley of Ontario who gives students a presentation on her personal journey as a dancer;   
  • The Beginnings of Bing Bang! where percussionists Marton Maderspach and Bruno Roy take children and their families on a journey to explore all kinds of percussion including the cajón, guiro, claves, surdo, bodhran and djembe; and 
  • A new free four-part video series all about invoking imagination through the arts for educators hosted by NAC teaching artist Samantha Whelan Kotkas as part of the Music Alive Program. 

Samantha, who is a professional trumpet player and has been a MAP teaching artist for 15 years, said “The pandemic has been a very challenging time for performing artists. We are used to performing several times a week for live audiences which has not happened for 15 months now.  I feel very fortunate to be able to still connect with students virtually though the Music Alive Program.  The NAC was very proactive in helping us move our workshops into an online format so we can still virtually visit the communities we have come to know and love over the years.”   

Music Teacher & Assistant Principal Melody McGrath-Taylor from Manning Elementary School, Manning, AB and her students are thankful for the online workshops too. She shared “Following years of beautiful connections built between Walter [MacDonald White Bear, teaching artist] and Samantha and our students, they were delighted to have the opportunity to connect with their musical "buddies" through our virtual Music Alive experience this spring. Walter and Samantha used their previous connections to engage our students and make them feel that we were all in one big room together. Our musical, spiritual, and cultural journey continues, hand-in-hand with the National Arts Centre. Thank you for making music come alive in our tiny, remote northern town!”  

Explore all of the learning and engagement opportunities you help provide teachers and parents by visiting the Arts Alive website today! 

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.

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