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Selkirk College Summer Camps for Kids Opens Up New Worlds

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
July 11th, 2014

With the backdrop of Nelson’s majestic Lakeside Park acting as inspiration, artist and educator Elizabeth Cunningham will take kids on a journey of imagination this August.

Packing more than 30 years of teaching experience, Cunningham moved to Nelson last summer from Eden Mills, Ontario. Jumping feet first into the community, Cunningham is offering two summer camps for children between August 18 and 22. Both Nature & the Arts for kids aged five to eight and Razzmatazz Circus Arts for kids nine to 12, offer exciting opportunities for children who love to create.

“Lakeside Park is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever been in,” says Cunningham, who moved to the West Kootenay to be closer to her children and grandchildren. “It’s an ideal setting to bring what is really going to be a whole kaleidoscope of arts to the children.”

Using a well-received model she applied to 22 years of summer camps in Eden Mills, Cunningham will focus the Nature & the Arts camp on a story. Based on First Nations legend, the story How Summer Came to Canada will act as the theme for the camp. Cunningham will explore the myth through activities that include storytelling, drawing, painting, kite making, music and sculpture.

“I love telling stories from all over the world,” says Cunningham. “I think children love to hear stories and adding that element brings a little more imagination into the mix.”

For the Razzmatazz Circus Arts camp, the older children will get a chance to immerse themselves in circus life and bring it alive through music, dance, mask making, giant puppets, clay and photography. Working with a professional circus artist, the kids will get to learn a variety of circus skills like making juggling balls and flower sticks, and clown character creation.

“I think the integration of the arts and the focus on the theme is what sets this camp apart,” says Cunningham. “And certainly the location of Lakeside Park is amazing.”

Cunningham says partnering with Selkirk College to bring kids programming alive this summer was a natural fit. Kootenay Studio Arts and other arts programming the college offers throughout the year is a small community asset that helps set the West Kootenay apart.

“For kids interested in the arts, this might be a great opportunity to see what Selkirk College offers,” she says.

“Maybe when they get older, they can look back and this will have been their first step forward.”

The camps will take a maximum of 15 children in each five-day adventure. Nature & the Arts will take place between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Razzmatazz Circus Arts is scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Both camps take place at Nelson’s Lakeside Park and both cost $225 (which includes materials). Camps are filling up quickly and to pre-register call Kootenay Studio Arts at 1-877-552-2821.

Photo Caption: Elizabeth Cunningham (right) and her four-year-old granddaughter Avalea got into the spirit of the upcoming summer camps by making and painting kites. Cunningham will be bringing her two decades of experience putting on summer camps to Lakeside Park this August. — Photo courtesy Selkirk College

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