General News » News

Experience a full menu of fun at Taste of the Arts

January 17, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir


Whether you see yourself behind a keyboard or a shiny kitchen counter that would make the best TV chefs envious, try your hand at a full menu of activities next Saturday as the Gibson Centre hosts the second annual Taste of the Arts.

Taste of the Arts, a program made possible through a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, will give kids the opportunity to put themselves into the shoes of their favourite vocalists, artists, drummers, actors, dancers, and even chefs and see what sparks their passion.

“We introduced this free Taste of the Arts day when kids in the community from Grades 1 through 8 can come out and try a bunch of different things and see what they might enjoy,” says the Gibson Centre’s Heather Taws. “I am sure anyone with kids, or anyone at all, has been trying to figure out what they are interested in and sometimes it is hard to choose between all the different lessons. This way, they get to do 20 minute classes in a little bit of everything.

An open house with drop-in activities, the first morsel on the menu is a vocal class, which Ms. Taws says is “lots of fun.”

“Kids get to see what it would be like in a choir and go through some of the important ways that you need to breathe and sing properly so you’re not hurting your voice while, at the same time, singing something fun, that you’ve heard of, keeping it contemporary,” she says of the workshop, which will be led by Nanette Seaman.

Carlina LaLomia will lead kids in a piano sampler for kids of all ages and experience levels, who will be able to tickle the ivories of a number of keyboards and “see what a basic chord looks like and how you can put together one by yourself and see if it is something you might want to delve into more seriously.”

If treading the boards is what your kids might be leaning towards, Gibson Centre’s theatre director Chandra Pepper will lead youngsters in an exploration of “theatrical life” through fun drama games, learning how to be comfortable standing in front of a group of people and “putting yourself out there,” says Ms. Taws.

“It’s so fantastic helping kids break out of their shells,” she says.

Next, dance teacher Pamela Grant, will bring her hip-hop, jazz and contemporary moves to kids looking to bust theirs, and putting it all together, by drumming with Janet Hayward.

“She has her own little army of drums she’ll bring with her and kids will have a chance to see if they’ve got the rhythm in them,” says Ms. Taws.

Bringing a dash of extra flavour to this year’s event is naturopath Dr. David Collings who will show kids how to “take the food we eat and turn a fun cooking project into a work of art.”

“We held focus groups at the beginning of our foray into this and asked the community what [they are interested in and] what their kids would really like to try,” she says. “We did our best to get a little bit of something everyone was interested in. We knew culinary was going to be really exciting for people, but what ended up surprising me was everybody ended up really liking everything. I thought there would be a couple of art forms that people wouldn’t be really into, but we did the Taste of the Arts and a March Break camp and they were just interested in everything. I think what they were interested in was the variety [they could try] and it was heartening to see the kids interested.

“Last year we were really excited because we had never done it before and we put it out there not knowing what the response would be. We thought if we got 20 kids, we would be so happy we reached them – and we had 150! We were overwhelmed and so excited how many people would be interested in the arts and bringing their kids to expose them to the arts in this community.”


For more on Taste of the Arts – and remember, you don’t have to choose, you can try all the activities – the open house/drop in session is Saturday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Gibson Centre (63 Tupper Street West, Alliston). For more information, call Heather Taws at (705) 435-2828×31 or email


Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support