The annual Labrador Creative Arts Festival brings students from Labrador and artists from all over together for a week long event where students produce original plays and artists share their many talents!
Each year, the festival has a different theme. For 2019 the theme was “Illumination” and the aim was to bring light to “the creative practices of the people of Labrador while bringing the creation and use of light to students as a focus of playwriting and workshops.”
Light can often be a rare commodity due to the physical darkness of northern communities during the winter months and it is therefore celebrated in visual art. During these months, the popularity of music and storytelling grows as it helps to bring light back into our lives. With the festival taking place in November, when the light is nearing its lowest point in these communities, the theme of this year’s festival couldn’t be any more symbolic and meaningful!
The main goal of every festival is to: “turn creativity into performance, art into memory, and possibility into reality!” To reflect the meaning of the theme “Illumination,” students strengthened their sense of identity and community using their playwriting skills to shed light on the concerns and achievements of their individual communities.
Nain illuminated their traditions from Christmas Eve church services to the beauty of drum dancing!
At the most recent Festival, 165 students from 10 different schools in Labrador wrote their own play and then performed it in front of their home communities and in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. These plays demonstrated an immense amount of creative expression from the students in the forms of dance, theatre, legends, visual art, and culture, all with the purpose of illuminating issues within in their communities and also being able to share their culture and traditions. The young students were able to express themselves, build their self-esteem and confidence while also learning from others.
The Mushuau Innu show their traditional life style and the importance it still plays in today’s life!
This year a total of 17 artists visited Labrador for the Festival, sharing their talents with the students through many workshops, including visual arts, improv, jewelry making, song writing, puppetry, character development, lighting and sound technical support, film-making and dance expression. In addition, the artists also visited local schools, worked with the students from the coast of Labrador, preschool children in daycares, the long-term care facility, and the Labrador Correctional Center. Clearly, the festival brings many people with different backgrounds together to share many unique talents and experiences!
Mr. Adrian Bernard, a visiting artist, gets the primary students at Peacock Primary rapping a tune!
This annual event is truly a great opportunity for Labrador youth. The IGA is once again very proud to be affiliated with the Labrador Creative Arts Festival!