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PECI symposium provides snapshot of the arts



Students got a snapshot of many different aspects of art as Prince Edward Collegiate Institute welcomed them the worlds of drama, dance, music and the crafts, comedy and visual art during an all day and evening Arts Symposium.

The day featured workshops from amateur and professional artists for Grades 7 and 8 students from elementary schools and all Grade 9 and 10 students at PECI.

“This project was made possible through a Project Enhancement Fund grant from the Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation,” said Matthew Sheahan, organizer, and the school’s Department Head of the Arts.

“The grant allowed us to have two of our prominent visitors – stand up comedian and actor Dave Barclay, who is best known for his Mio commercials, giving him the name ‘the Mio Guy’ and blues musician Rick Fines.”

Dave Barclay

Dave Barclay

Barclay spoke of his work as a standup comedian, actor and writer and is well known for his appearances in commercials for Mio, (see below) and Canadian Tire.

Student Alexis Richards Simpson was pleased to be part of Barclay’s class. Drama class is her home room.

“He was pretty interesting. I learned that you really shouldn’t be shy and you should just push yourself forward.”

Savhanna Mootoo, was thrilled to meet Barclay and was first in line to have her Mio bottle signed, as well as her cell phone.

“I am a really big fan of his commercials and I’m shaking now because I got to meet him,” she said. “I love Mio. I was so excited to meet him. He talked about how he overcame his shyness and got to where he is today.”

Rick Fines

Rick Fines

Blues and folk musician Rick Fines was in the music room. Fines is recipient of Maple Blues Awards for “Songwriter of the Year” and “Acoustic Act of the Year” has played with various well-known blues artists.

Also a storyteller, Fines believes in the transformative power of music.  When not performing, he teaches and shares with students across Canada – including work with the Blues In The Schools programs.

He led students in an exercise “to wake up the writer inside you… the part of you that knows how to express yourself wakes up and starts thinking more.”

He recommended they continue “object writing” for 10 minutes every morning as soon as they wake up.

“It means leaving out a piece of paper and a pen and a book from which you can grab a noun. And something to set as a timer to tell you when 10 minutes is over.”

He noted the first part of the story may not make sense as you’re just out of bed and not thinking straight.

“Then somewhere in there, you suddenly start into something and suddenly your’ writing a story about something off you go on a tangent, writing a story about something. This is your creative side getting an outlet. Do it for only 10 minutes and that part of you is awoken.”

The day rolled into the evening’s Arts’ Night Showcase in the school’s main auditorium.
PECI’s creative welcomed the public to an evening of visual art, guitar, dramatic arts and photography.
The evening’s special guests are singers Emma Woodward, Lynsey Corbin, Amy Rutherford and Megan Lal.
The event was free of charge but donations were gathered for the school’s participation in next month’s Relay for Life event fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.






Music students practice in the hallway as their classroom is used for the symposium.

What Mio commercial? This one: (Two guys in an office drink  Berry Pomegranite MiO and transform their looks. “MiO not only changes your water, it changes everything!”)

Filed Under: Hastings & Prince Edward District School BoardLocal NewsPECI - It's a Panther Thing

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  1. Argyle says:

    Well done PECI ! Just another of the many good things happening there…..nice.

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