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Shokunin Master Classes make Kootenay Lake’s East Shore a major destination

By Contributor
July 7th, 2014

By Art Joyce

In Japanese, a shokunin is a master craftsman or artisan. More than that, the word implies an ethic of striving for excellence and a responsibility to benefit one’s community.

With that theme in mind, Selkirk College announces a new summer program beginning this summer at Crawford Bay School, featuring regional artists and craftspeople. Programs will be offered in theatre, writing, music and the visual arts.

The Shokunin Summer Program will specialize in small intensive classes from (Tuesday to Saturday) July 22–26 held between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“When I heard the word Shokunin for the first time, I was fascinated by the concept of work as a practice of presence, of a sense of fulfillment that comes when one is entirely taken up by creative work,” says Community Education Coordinator Laverne Booth.

“The idea is to attract visitors who want to engage masterfully with one of the amazing artists, craftspeople, and other talented people we have in our communities who are so beautifully serious and surrendered in their work.”

For those interested in honing their writing skills, novelist Luanne Armstrong presents The Writer That You Are, helping you get in touch with your own writing process, find your creativity, and match it with the craft of story making through writing.

Learn scene making, character construction, active language, effective dialogue, and finding the essential core meaning of a story. Poet, journalist and historian Sean Arthur Joyce (see photo), better known regionally as Art Joyce, offers Exploring the Past in the Present.

Learn why the past continues to be a force in the present and how to transform historical writing into lively, engaging prose using techniques of creative nonfiction. While the basics of mapping out historical research will be explored, this is not a course in genealogy.

Artists of all skill levels will find plenty to choose from in Shokunin Master Classes. Ted Wallace will offer Intuitive Drawing, increasing students’ skills by working through the judgments and traps that keep us from creating expressive art.

The focus will be on the human figure and face, using a variety of drawing materials. Ever wanted to paint your self-portrait? Ever wondered why artists find them so fascinating? Zora Doval will feature Portrait: A Powerful Tool of Self-Discovery.

Zora will present various techniques and approaches, from quick charcoals and pastels to acrylics and ink. Be prepared for major fun, self -discovery and greater self-knowledge. Intentional Creativity withDanielle Tonossi is another opportunity to allow your creative self to speak through colour and form. No previous painting experience is needed. Come with an open heart and the willingness to play.

Musicians looking to take their skills to the next level won’t want to miss The Language of Music, presented by Greg Lostracco. Learn “the secret chord… that pleased the Lord,” to quote Leonard Cohen – the ‘language’ of music that unlocks its mysteries.

Learn how to apply musical theory and harmonics, the rudiments of rhythm, basic singing, ear training, contemporary harmony, and applied theory. Learn how to play songs by ear. Computer music and composition is an option. Please contact the instructor so Greg can develop the course based on the interests of the students.

Anyone who’s seen one of Lucas Myers’ hilarious one-man shows knows what it is to laugh from the belly. Now Myers teams up with Krista Lynch to offer Telling Your Story, teaching students how to present their stories dramatically in both solo and ensemble pieces.

Using Augusto Boal’s Image Theatre techniques, Krista will guide participants through creating scenes collectively that are sourced from their own experiences. Lucas will focus on various ways to create material for a solo piece as well as inventive and unique ways to present the material.

For young people there are afternoon classes in Lego Mindstorm Robotics with Anne Lavergne, a computer scientist who lives in Kaslo, teaching youth 12 to 18 years old how to build and program robots for problem-solving.

Nelson writer Julia Caceres will offer a class for young writers from age 10 to 16 years. There’s an art program for children each day run at Crawford Bay Park by Jacqueline Wedge and Danielle Linn and friends. Daily yoga/fitness sessions will be held from 9–10 a.m. each morning at the school.

The four-day master class for each course is $200 plus $60 for Lunch at Crawford Bay, with delicious, organic, locally grown greens, and vegetarian delights.

To make the event especially memorable there will be a wrap-up bonfire where registrants can share their new insights. To register send cheques payable to Selkirk College, Box 100, Crawford Bay, BC V0B 1E0 or via PayPal at

Registration deadline is July 15, 2014.


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