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The 32nd Annual Celebration of the Arts

Celebration of the Arts

May 2022

It was back in 1989 that Edmonton Catholic Schools first hosted a Celebration of the Arts. Since then, the annual celebration of music, visual arts, dance, and drama has always been a highlight for our ECSD community. Last year was the first time in ECSD history that Celebration of the Arts was hosted in a virtual environment. Once again, Celebration of the Arts will be shared in a virtual format!

Click here to join us on May 18 at 6:30 PM for a one-time livestream event.COACLICK%20HERE.png

Celebration of the Arts: Question and Answer


We had a chance to catch up with the team behind the 32nd annual Celebration of the Arts to find out more about this year’s livestream event. And to ask about plans for an in-person event in the future. 

Q: Celebration of the Arts hit the virtual stage last year. Tell us about the pivot?

A: As artists, we live by the adage that the show must go on!

For more than three decades, Celebration of the Arts has showcased students’ work in the areas of music, visual arts, dance, and drama as a live, in-person event. With the sudden and unexpected events of 2020, we were forced to cancel our event that year. Our team regrouped and was able to host a wildly successful virtual event in 2021.  With the uncertainty about the ability to successfully host in-person events, we decided to stay online this year.

Celebration of the Arts is a highlight for our Edmonton Catholic Schools’ community, and we wanted to ensure that our students’ artistic gifts could be celebrated again this year. 

With the ability to leverage technology (and with a lot of teamwork!), we are thrilled to provide this virtual performance opportunity to our students once again.

1-19.pngStudents from Archbishop Joseph MacNeil are among the more than 750 students representing all grades from 100 Voices through Grade 12 for this year’s Celebration of the Arts.

 Q: Why is Celebration of the Arts so important to our ECSD community?

A: Fine-arts education is integral to a student’s educational experience in that it brings to life the full expression of what it means to be human. While the pandemic has changed many of the ways we are accustomed to expressing ourselves through the arts, teachers and students have accepted this challenge with creativity, resilience, and malleability. We want to celebrate this! 

2-11.pngEdmonton Catholic Schools’ students take the stage for the 2018 Celebration of the Arts.


Q: We know you are eager to return to the concert hall stage but were there any benefits to hosting a virtual event?

A: While nothing can compare to the magic of a live, on-stage performance, there are some benefits to a virtual event. Teachers and students have had the opportunity to learn more about technology and have discovered new ways to showcase students' work. Being virtual also means reaching people worldwide as there are no geographical barriers in a virtual show. Last year, we had family and friends watching from across the globe: the Philippines, Ukraine, Poland, Chile, the UK - the list goes on! Going virtual also means that we are not limited to the number of people in the performance nor the audience. Our virtual audience space is truly unlimited.

3-7.pngStudents at St. Martin perform for the 2022 Celebration of the Arts

Q: How many performances can we expect? And how many participants?

A: There are 22 different performances from all areas of the arts: music, visual art, dance, and drama.  We are excited to have over 750 students participating this year, representing all grades from 100 Voices through Grade 12.

Q: Any secrets you can share or what to watch for?

A: This year, you will notice performances and artworks reflecting hope and solidarity for the people of Ukraine.  Students across the division have been creating visual representations of their support for Ukraine and its people.

Throughout the show, look for the sweet and funny and look for the serious as students of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds share their artistic expressions. 

We are especially pleased that all of the work is student-created. This includes the music in the opening sequence and the accompaniments to the visual art shows. And please stay online until the very end! We want to celebrate all of our performers (and you won’t want to miss the finale!).  Spoiler alert* the finale involves all of this year’s student performers.

Q: The cover art for the event is beautiful; what can you tell us about it?

A: The artwork, “Happiness of Sunflowers." was created by Lidya Alatah, a grade three student from St. Charles School. We had a conversation with Lidya, and this is what she shared about her piece.  

“Happiness of Sunflowers” is inspired by the events in Ukraine.  Lidya tells us that “I was happy and excited while painting,” and when asked what she thought about Ukraine during her work, she said that she “wanted them [the people of Ukraine] to feel the same happiness and to bring them joy.” 

Here is our conversation with Lidya:

Q – Can you describe your artwork?

A - I describe it in a way to express how I'm feeling. The colours are bright and nice. I like how the inside goes from dark to light. The petals show an ombre effect.

We did this artwork to represent Ukraine. 

Q – How did you create this beautiful piece? What media tools and techniques did you use?

A – I used Acrylic paint (Van Gogh-inspired background). I used techniques by dabbing up and down in the middle of the flower and showing my brushstrokes on the petals to create a realistic picture. 

Q – Can you tell us some interesting “behind-the-scenes” information about your art or yourself as an artist.  What inspires you?

A - My sister inspires me. I like to sketch abstract pictures and different characters at home. When I'm doing art, it makes me feel happy, calm, and excited, and sometimes I am surprised with my outcomes.

Q- Do you have any final thoughts about your piece?

A - The one thing I learned is that you can represent anything in any way you want.

 4-13.png8-year-old Lidya Alatah poses by her painting which is the cover art for the 32nd   annual Celebration of the Arts


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