Photostory #313: Valley Centre. Focal Point of Prairie Culture: Saskatchewan Arts Board Summer Session
National Film Board of Canada
June 12, 1962
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Cutting away brambles from the thorny path to the footlights, giving rips on professional techniques that could pave the way to a bestseller, or just providing a chance for amateur actors, writers and artists to get together and test abilities -- these are reasons behind a two-week summer course at scenic Fort Qu'Appelle, 45 miles northeast of Regina in Saskatchewan. Valley Centre, as the course is known, is an example of how the Saskatchewan Arts Board helps groups and individuals interested in visual arts, music, drama, writing and handicrafts. The board encourages art by financial assistance, coaching by experts, loans of equipment and exhibits. At Valley Centre, high-school students, house-wives, teachers and others spend 14 days in the strenuous hard grind of the workshops. Accent is on drama, includes make-up, stage-setting, calisthenics, and an actual theatrical production. Other workshops concentrate on writing (personal advice from instructor to student, group discussions on individual work) and pottery made from local clay. Saskatchewan's art board encourages Canadian's creativity, increases chances for undiscovered artists to contribute to the nation's culture.