Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Day - Cross Lake Heros

Kate, a student who visited Cross Lake presented the story of World War II soldiers Sandy and Rose Beardy to her peers at the Remembrance Day Assembly on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

Video of our trip to Cross Lake - a recap

Here is a video re-cap of our amazing trip to Cross Lake in the Spring with 12 students from Toronto, ON. Six students were from Humberside C.I. in the south west of Toronto and the other six students joined us from Downsview S.S. in the North West.

It was an incredible journey that none of us will ever forget.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Air Canada to the rescue! Thank you for supporting music at Mikisew!

After Long McQuade's generous donation of three guitars, and Humberside students raising enough money to support Star purchasing another guitar and five ukuleles we were a little anxious about how Star would get all of these great instruments back to Winnipeg. Air Canada was amazing!
As soon as we requested some help with the baggage fees they waived all of the fees immediately and were kind enough to give us advice on how to pack the label the instruments!
Here is part of their email response:
"We received your request for support, thank you. The Air Canada Foundation has also been very much involved with First Nation communities, especially with regards to the health and the wellbeing of children – and as such, it will be our great pleasure to assist you as best as we can." - Manon Chabot  Chef des Communications de l’entreprise – Fondation Air Canada    

Charles from media relations called Lisa Prinn who has sent the request in on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning first thing he called and was so kind! I can not say enough about how kind and thoughtful he was! He even called back to make sure we knew that Star was taken care of and they even refunded her one baggage fee. Truly amazing!!! 

Thank you @AirCanada! 

Long McQuade were also heroes. They got a box and bubble wrap and put it all packed nicely and safely away for us. Such great people!!

HCI students raise $550 Charity Initiative for music program at Mikisew

Cindy Levesque and her team of "Charity Initiative club" students raised $550 during the school year to help support the music program at Mikisew School. Star was able to purchase an acoustic guitar with a pick-up for Stadio Cafe student performances during the next school year as well as 5 ukuleles and several musical theory and teaching resource books. It was fun watching Star go shopping at Long and McQuade!

Star at the check out of @LongMcQuade in Toronto, ON. 
 Five new ukuleles including two yellow smiley face ones! September will be amazing in Mikisew music class.
 Star Beardy, Evelyn Spence and Laura Menard pose at Long McQuade during our shopping spree! Photo by Lisa Prinn. 

Andrew Balfour, Composer - Kismet in Toronto before a journey to Cross Lake

Today we were thrilled to have the honour of meeting Andrew Balfour.  We had a wonderful lunch and conversation. As we've mentioned before, sometimes it's strange how things work out with our relationships with Cross Lake and this meeting was no exception. Andrew is actually travelling to Cross Lake in a few weeks as part of an arts council outreach. He did not know anyone in the community and was going with the purpose of making connections to work with the youth doing some music and arts programming. He met the perfect person over lunch in Toronto - Star! And both Andrew and Star were leaving Friday, and he just happened to be available on the only day we were able to meet as well!

Laura Menard, music educator at Humberside has worked on several of Andrew's pieces but had not had the chance to meet him in person so it was a huge honour for her as well. Laura's long time mentor and friend Brad Ratzlaff was also able to join us. It was really lovely and a lunch that will not be forgotten as it has opened up so many more opportunities for the youth in Cross Lake!

Pictured above: Evelyn Spence, Computer teacher Mikisew, Andrew Balfour, Composer, Star Beardy, Music and First Nations teacher Mikisew, and Brad Ratzlaff ViVa artistic director. Photo by Lisa Prinn. 

Here's some info about Andrew, and two pieces to check out - both of which Ms. Merard, music teacher at Humberside CI has performed!


VIVA - where the music makers met.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Open Space - Printmaking and Music in the city

Evelyn, Star, Laura and Lisa met up with Garth Jackson who originally travelled to Cross Lake to check out an amazing printmaking art reception at Open Studio featuring Lotti Thomas. It was fabulous!

This was followed by a night out enjoying the iconic Black Bull patio, and of course new music night at the famous HorseShow tavern. Star was impressed to find "LinkWray, Jr. had played here and autographed a photo that hangs on their walls. So cool. 

Long McQuade are AMAZING!

Star Beardy, Mikisew High School’s music teacher will be bringing back 3 beautiful guitars donated by @LongMcQuade Huge thanks to Jordi Small, store manager. One guitar was donated in memory of Lawrence Williams @jazzfm tnx! Students in #CrossLake will have new instruments this Sept!

Star Beardy visits Toronto

This week we have been super happy to have Star Beardy, Mikisew's music teacher, and Evelyn Spence, Computer teacher in Toronto visiting and sharing resources and knowledge. It's be amazing. 
IMG_6036.jpg We started the week off playing music trivia, we have spent some time at OISE, University of Toronto as well as a stop in Niagara Falls with Lisa Prinn, HCI art and co-op teacher and Laura Menard, HCI music teacher! 

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Sharing of the drum

We were thrilled to bring a steel pan drum to Cross Lake with us as a gift from Micheal Lashley and Itah Sadu. Star Beardy, Mikisew High School's music teacher was honoured to accept the drum on behalf of the school during a school wide assembly.

Thank you so much for your generosity. Pictured below is Micheal Lashley presenting the drum to Downsview students who were so very proud to have been able to take the drum to Cross Lake, with Principal Bruno Berto.

Students at Mikisew's open mic night try out the steel pan as Raven and Abby from Toronto explain where the drum is from and how to play it. 

 Ana MacKay, Mikisew Principal gives the steel pan a try during the presentation.

The steel pan and a classroom set of snow shoes from Jim Adams at MEC were presented to the school at the assembly.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Cross Lake reunion of students in Toronto

At the end of school we had a BBQ to bring together the Toronto students from Humberside and Downsview one more time before some graduate and some travel for summer. Only two students couldn't make it due to previous engagements (a sisters graduation and try outs for the National rowing team - both very important reasons).

It was so nice seeing everyone who travelled again together. Two students from Humberside who were instrumental in getting the trip to happen, Clare and Chloe were also able to come which was so lovely.

What a lovely bunch of people.

The students really connected on our journey. So much so that they even created a little family - giving each of us a role.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

HCI students collect 711 books

We have just finished sorting, labelling and boxing all of the books for Mikisew High School and we also received some wonderful children's books for Otter Nelson River School! There are 711 books now in transit to Cross Lake. A HUGE thank you to Sandy Matheson, Chelsea Bovey and Inapak Marketing for shipping over 20 boxes to Winnipeg and Cross Lake Education Authorities head office.

The Garnet - Humberside Newsletter

Please enjoy this wonderful article by Sabrina Mitrovic in Humberside’s newspaper!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

HCI students present to teachers at staff school meeting

Yesterday, the six students who went to Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Cross Lake, MB from HCI presented to the teachers about their experiences at Humberside C.I.'s staff meeting.

The students created this on their own, and in their own voice. They made a powerpoint, video and wrote their parts coming together to tell their story. It was truly amazing as you can see:

Monday, 14 May 2018

Pretty Special

There something pretty special about a trip that ends with twelve people who were pretty much strangers, huddling together at Pearson. What a fantastic trip.

Fly away, fly away, fly away home

After making great time on the road (thanks Mr. Dingwall) we filled up at the airport gas station before returned the rental vans. It was super easy returning them which was very nice.
We had stopped in Grand Rapids again for a quick bite and a talk before getting to the airport.

We felt it was important to talk about the trip and how important our stories and messages would be coming back to Toronto. We all had a good talk, and made plans to get together again before the end of school. The friendships that were made, were special ones, and we felt it was important to get together again soon. 
At the airport in Winnipe we found out that Toronto was having a massive wind storm. Our place said it was on time yet, there were planes being diverted and cancelled. In fact we heard an announcement saying no flights would be going to Toronto that night.

Ready for the worst, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. The flight attendant warned us that the plane was expected to board and leaving just ten minutes late, but it might turn around in the air if the weather in Toronto didn't improve. Luckily, we made it, though 6 of us lost luggage. We didn't get our bags until Sunday night.

It was quite the trip. One that none of us will forget and we hope to see our friends again in Toronto next year!


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Driving back to the peg to fly - travel day

In the morning we got up early to load the vans and say see you later to this beautiful community. It was really hard to leave and it's such a great place, full of beautiful people and fantastic landscapes. Elaine came out with Fawn, Maya and Evelyn to say one say hello and give us hugs. It was so great.

 We stopped by the birch tree on the way out as Elaine wanted us all to try the sap. It was cold and delicious. Fuad found a snake and was super brave in picking it up. Such a great trip.

 We made a couple stops along the way home to take some photos and grab lunch. It was great. The nine hour drive flew by as we laughed, sang, and got texts from our new friend Chloe about how sad she was to see us go. At least we came, and it's not good bye it's see you again soon!