Keeping the fun in learning

Performing arts students hone craft, give back by performing

Jessica Van der Veen watches her steps as she participates in a dance mini-workshop Saturday at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. The group was guided through the routine by school artistic and education director Darold Roles (far left).

Jessica Van der Veen watches her steps as she participates in a dance mini-workshop Saturday at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. The group was guided through the routine by school artistic and education director Darold Roles (far left).

It was labelled as a carnival and it didn’t disappoint.

Canadian College for the Performing Arts students in costume – and in character – greeted visitors at the door of the school’s performance hall, a.k.a. the St. Mary’s Church auditorium. Behind a temporary wall, a group of grinning kids and adults were guided through a dance routine by enthusiastic instructor Darold Roles.

Downstairs, a group of visitors and students were led in a choral practice by faculty member Marvin Regier. Across the hall, a father and daughter were given a quick singing lesson and taught how to get the most out of their voices.

All in a day’s work – or play – for staff and students at the college on Elgin Road.

“I think everyone around the school is a little more relaxed and a little more grounded,” Roles, the school’s artistic and education director, said of the atmosphere around the college this fall.

It’s the start of the second year for Roles and college director Ron Schuster.

“Last year with the change in directors, everybody was a little tentative. We knew we had big shoes to fill (after co-founders Jacques Lemay and Janis Dunning left in 2010),” Roles said.

The school, which opened its doors Saturday for its annual Carnival of Classes, has another ambitious year planned, both from a performance standpoint and an educational one.

A full complement of 40 first-year students, plus 23 second-year students are singing, dancing and acting their way through classes. The school offers a third-year program, called Company C. The largely student-led program focuses on mounting three productions during the school year, but not enough people signed up this fall. Nonetheless, there are plenty of chances for new students to strut their stuff and hone their performing arts talents.

First up among the public events is A Day of Bridge, a fundraiser for the college’s scholarship program. It happens at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at the college (1701 Elgin Rd.). For $30, patrons can enjoy an early lunch while students entertain.

Another fundraiser, the Lucille Ball – the late comedienne was born 100 years ago this year – happens Nov. 4 at the Crystal Ballroom at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

“We’ll have 24 Lucies running around doing wacky things and there’ll be a Ricky Ricardo-style big band playing Latin music to dance to,” Roles said.

The evening event will see students perform various routines related to the zany antics of Lucy. Tickets are $100, or $130 for a special star package.

The most solemn community performances students take part in is their annual Remembrance Day events. On Nov. 6 and 13 in churches around the region, students will sing and perform choral speaking shows, all of which pay tribute to Canadians who died fighting for their country and democracy.

“There’s rarely a dry eye in the house (for those performances),” Roles said.

Other public events can be found at www.ccpacanada.com.

Operating out of an Oak Bay church annex has offered the school’s operators and students alike to become entrenched in the community.

“We get a lot of support for our company in Oak Bay,” Roles said.

“We have a lot of our audience support from Oak Bay (as well as) some amazing volunteers. We’re happy and proud to be a part of the community and rely on that link.”

He was heartened by the recent comment from a nearby neighbour: “They said, ‘We missed all your students all summer, singing and dancing down the street.’”

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read