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Summertime blues... or reds

Creative Camps inject art into summer

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 16/03) - Artistically inclined kids don't need to travel far away this summer to take courses in drama, music, and art.

Local teachers Erika Wallbridge and Kelly Cumming will be offering arts classes for kids 8-13 in the basement of the Anglican Church in Yellowknife starting June 30.

NNSL Photo

Erika Wallbridge, top, and Kelly Cumming, can't wait for their classes to start. - Kathleen Lippa/NNSL photo

"There's definitely a need for it in Yellowknife," said Wallbridge, a student of drama at Bishop's University in Quebec, who is home for the summer. "In Yellowknife there's not a lot of emphasis on drama."

Wallbridge founded the camp, and has been working hard to get it up and running over the last year with help from her dad. When Wallbridge asked Cumming, a long-time friend and accomplished figure skater, to join her, Cumming jumped at the chance to be an instructor.

"Kids have so much energy," said Cumming. "You just feed off that."

Wallbridge didn't attend camps like this one when she was growing up in Yellowknife because, quite simply, there weren't any.

Now she is offering the kind of variety she always wanted, with courses focused on The Wizard of Oz, visual arts, drama, mask making, improvisation and dance.

"It's a great way to learn to express yourself," Wallbridge said, speaking in particular of the drama classes. "It fosters a lot of the qualities an adult needs to be successful."

There are dozens of camps for artistically inclined children to attend in the summer. But Wallbridge and Cumming think they've got enough variety to keep local kids hopping from June 30-Aug. 22.

"You can go to our camp and do something different every week," said Wallbridge.

Beside their classes, which will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each week, they will also bring local experts in karate and yoga to meet their students.

They also plan to conduct art gallery tours.

"We have a lot of passion," added Cumming.

"We're not doing this for 'a job.' We've planned it. It'll be so stimulating for kids. And I mean, nothing's cooler than drama!"

For more information about Creative Camps check out their Web site at www.creativecamps.ca, or call Walbridge at 873-8616.