Posts Tagged Centauri Summer Arts Camp.
Our 2012 Dates have now been Finalised! Here are the dates for each of our sessions in 2012:
Session One: Sunday 1 July-Saturday 14 July
Session Two: Sunday 15 July-Saturday 28 July
Session Three: Sunday 29 July-Saturday 11 August
Session Four: Sunday 12 August-Sunday 19 August
International Film-Making Tour to North Wales: Session 4, then Thursday 23 August-Saturday 1 Sept.
Dont forget booking opens Nov 19th for returning campers (Nov 16th for the tour)
It has been a truly magical 17th summer here at Centauri. As we move back into our Toronto offices and begin to plan for next year (believe it or not!) we thought we’d give the final word to one of our campers. Sydni was an LIT with us this summer, and as part of this leadership program, older campers are asked to offer an inspirational message to the entire camp at a mealtime. These speeches can be some of the most memorable and moving moments of the summer for us all. Here is what Syndi had to say to everyone about her perspective on Centauri this summer:
“For all of my five years at Centauri I’ve sat by and watched speech after speech of people putting their finger on what they believe makes Centauri so special. But now it’s my turn, and I’ve come to a conclusion as to what exactly makes this place perfect; it’s you.
When I say you I don’t mean a Brock camper, Butler camper, or Brant camper. I mean everyone. That means a counselor, program director, nurse, head of camp, or even the daughter of the heads of camp. Everyone.
You make Centauri when you throw yourself into every single day, whether that means program, the evening program you are creating, or trying something frighteningly new. You make Centauri when you surprise yourself by opening up to a group of people you thought 14 days ago was impossible. You make Centauri when you sit through an activity that isn’t your favourite, with the biggest smile on your face: because it’ll make it special for someone else.
It’s a simple equation: Centauri=Community. Community= You.
Therefore, you are Centauri. The magic that sits in this place rests in the palm of your hand. You are a wizard, Harry. In simple terms, you guys can change lives, in fact you’ve done it and you’re not even aware. Congratulations!
The best part is that your 14 day trial of life-changing is not over. It’s time to take it to the outside world.
Good luck and thank you for everything.”
Session Four has begun and it is amazing the amount of things that have managed to happen in the past 4 days.
The second night we took a trip to Disneyworld where campers sang and danced to their favourite songs and showed off their knowledge of Disney films. That evening dorms built villages and learned what it takes to be not only self sustaining but environmentally friendly as well.
Two nights ago we celebrated the culture of Quebec with our Quebecois banquet. Campers paraded into dinner where they heard traditional folk songs. Dinner was followed by our very own Winter Carnival. There was dancing, tug of war and many other fun activities. The famous Bonhomme even made a guest appearance. The evening ended with everyone making their way down to the campfire where we heard a retelling of a traditional Huron myth.
Last night campers and staff alike were transformed into super heroes to battle the evil Professor Polyester. Dorms created personas, costumes and powers but in the end it was Julie and Craig who saved the day.
Along with all of these fantastic events campers are enjoying wonderful dorm hours and getting ready for their final presentations in program and today’s Super Mario festival promises to be yet another spectacular day.
Yesterday was the final day of session one – and what a day it was! Three venues and ten final presentations, topped by a grand finale featuring every one of our campers. Here are some of the many highlights… Our Art & Design campers offered a slide show of the design work created by the campers, along with displays of gorgeous hand-bound books filled with visual poetry. Our stage combat campers restaged the Viking raid on the island of Lindesfarne, showing events from the point of view of Vikings and the monk-victims, in a historic presentation that moved through the fields around camp. Our Acting & Directing campers staged several traditional Indonesian stories, in a performance that included original sound and music, dark side mask, neutral mask and terrific performances. Our Film Styles campers mounted a film festival which included styles such as German Expressionism and slapstick comedy. Our Dance campers mounted several pieces, one of which was choreographed by our campers, reflecting given themes. In addition, we had a Clown show, an Fine Art presentation, theatre shows, vocal, musical theatre and much more. Camp was quiet last night, with our stayovers relaxing and so many terrific people gone. I can truly say this is the only time we see our counsellors with sad expressions, as they miss all the great campers they have grown to love. Not to worry, though – session 2 begins in a few short hours, and we have another set of amazing campers all about to arrive!
Check out more photos of the final presentations of Centauri Arts Camp, Session 1 here
Over the past three weeks Craig and I have been travelling in Europe – a vacation, before we begin focussing intensely on the up-coming camp season. We spent time in Rome, where we were excited to be able to meet up with two of our fabulous campers – Val and Costanza. We met them outside The Pantheon, and they took us for some of the best gelato we’ve ever tasted! It was amazing to see them both again.
We managed to include many arts experiences in our trip. We visited Alexandria in Egypt, where we were able to tour the awe-inspiring new Biblioteca Alexandria - as a writer, this has been one of my dreams! We saw Roman amphitheatres in several cities including Taormina (Sicily), and our love of art was well satisfied by a couple of days in Barcelona, where we enjoyed Gaudi’s unique architecture and sculptures. In Malta, we toured one of the oldest theatres in Europe, designed and built by the Knights of St. John. As you can see, there was even an antique wind machine! Wind machines continues in use until audio recordings for theatre made them obsolete. On the wall behind you can see a thunder machine – and she got to work a nineteenth century rain machine as well.
Now we’re back in Toronto, we’ll be spending the next couple of weeks putting together the camp schedule as staff confirm the exciting banquets, festivals and evening programs they are busy planning for the coming summer! Space on camp is now filling fast, with spots full or close to full in the whole of session two.
Only 12 weeks now until our seventeenth summer season begins!
Centauri Summer Arts Camp
We’ve been hard at work with our program directors this past month, designing a truly fantastic line-up of programs for you for the coming summer! For a sneak look at some of those programs,read on…
Gillian’s returning in the third session for an omega program focussing on Poetry and Prose, and for alphas we’re offering a terrific program in the first session exploring how we can use our life experiences for fact and fiction! For the first time ever there will be a Journalism program in the second session and, for alphas, a focus on writing comics in the fourth session. Oh – and both alphas and omegas will have a shot at Play-writing & Performance this coming summer!
For Artists and Photographers…
Aaron’s back all summer, and his programs include mixed media explorations, digital photography and more! There will also be an exciting ‘art & design’ program in the first session. We’re offering Comic Book Creation again, and we’ve added an animation component to the program.
For Acting Campers…
So many options!!! Long Form Improv, Clown, an advanced Theatre Styles program with Mladen, Acting for Film (with Valerie again!), Directing programs, Acting for Screen & Stage, and more!
For Dancers, Singers and Musicians…
There will be TWO music programs this coming summer, one run by Violet and one by J-M! We have musical theatre programs for alphas and omegas… and the alpha program gives you a chance to create your own musical! Veronica is adding contemporary dance and a new program: Let’s Dance POP! Finally, we have TWO singing programs. The new one is called The Centauri Glee Club!
For Film Makers…
Sofia is offering a focus on Japanese cinema and Matt’s running a movie-maker’s trip around the world for alphas, and a Real World Guide to Film-Making for omegas. We also have a film program inspired by Dreams, and Film Styles is back again by popular demand!
For Stage Combat lovers…
Between Ian and Hunter, we have combat on camp all summer long! From Viking invasions to Celtic cattle raids, Piracy to Peter Pan there is something for everyone… alphas and omegas, broadsword and rapier, found weapons and combat basics.
If you’re aged 11, 12 or 13 next summer, you’ll also be pleased to hear we’re offering several programs in the 11-16 or 12-18 age range, so you will have more choice than ever before!
Don’t forget… The 2011 website will go live by midnight on Sunday 31 October!
For 12 lucky campers, the summer did not end with the closure of camp! Together with Cheryl, Aaron and Julie, they journeyed to England, to sight-see and to attend our own Centauri writing retreat.
Our 16th International Tour was as thrilling as every tour before it – packed with new experiences, learning opportunities and terrific memories. The focus of this year’s tour was writing and art. We flew to Manchester, in the North of England, and travelled first to Haworth, a gorgeous village nestled in the hills of Yorkshire, and famous as the home of the Bronte sisters, who wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and many other novels. We toured their birthplace, read poetry in the location where it was written, explored the cobbled streets of this lovely village, and took two walks in the vicinity. The first walk was a short hike to Penistone Hill, where purple heather stretched across the hills in all directions. The second walk was more intense – a 6 mile hike across hills and open moors, to the famous waterfall where Emily Bronte was said to have written poetry. There, we relaxed in the most gorgeous scenery imaginable, ate a picnic, waded in the clear water of the stream and completed writing projects together.
By the time we left Haworth, all signs of jet lag were gone (the hiking helped with that!) and 15 strangers had become 15 firm friends. Then we moved on to the beautiful old city of York, which has a history stretching back to Roman times. There, we explored the gothic cathedral with its world famous stained glass windows, and journeyed underneath the cathedral to explore remains of the Roman fort it was built on. Some of us even climbed the tower of the cathedral for a terrific view out over the city. We took a trip back into Viking times at the Jorvik Museum, and walked sections of the old city walls. At York, campers also had plenty of time to relax and explore in groups. Some campers spent time in The Shambles, York’s medieval street, while others walked up Clifton Tower and learned of its gruesome medieval history.
By the time we left York, we were well into the swing of our England adventure, and ready to make our way towards the writing retreat for the second part of the trip. We left York by bus at 9am, and called at two places to explore, on the way to Robin Hood’s Bay. The first was the charming village of Hutton-le-Hole, where some of us visited the museum (which operated as a working village) and others sat writing by the stream for a couple of hours, disturbed only occasionally by the curious sheep! From there we headed towards the coast, and our first view of the sea! The afternoon was spent in the lovely seaside town of Whitby, with its Dracula connections and long sea-faring history. Campers explored the quaint shops and the beaches in groups, then climbed the Caedmon Steps (all 199 of them) to meet us at the ruins of Whitby Abbey, high on the cliffs. The views from the abbey were spectacular. This was the point where our writing tutor – Rommi Smith – joined our group. Rommi is a poet, playwright and actor who was also the first ever British Parliamentary writer-in-residence. So for the second half of the tour, there are 16 of us!
At the end of the afternoon we clambered aboard our bus again and headed the short distance down the coast to Robin Hood’s Bay. Perhaps the most beautiful of all the locations we visit on this trip, Robin Hood’s Bay is an ancient settlement of ram-shackle, red-roofed cottages that tumble hap-hazardly down a steep, cobbled hill until, from a distance, they seem to topple into the sea. The village is crammed between two high cliffs. It has a long history of smuggling, and many of the cottages still have underground passages dating from those times.
The tiny streets cannot be accessed by bus so we arrived on foot, carrying our backpacks down the steep hill into the village, then up towards the Old School House on the cliff, which will be our home for the next few days. It has an ideal location, looking down on the village on one side, and out towards the sea on the other. We settled in, unpacked groceries, enjoyed traditional fish ‘n’ chips for dinner, then began our writing adventure with an outdoor workshop, on a sloping patch of grass with the most inspiring view imaginable.
After that, our days took on a creative and very satisfactory pattern. We’d make our own breakfasts in the kitchen, then meet out on the hillside for a writing workshop that usually ran from 9.30am until around 1pm. After that, our campers made their own lunches. Some chose to eat a quick sandwich and spend the afternoon on their own writing, while others got creative in the kitchen, eating gormet lunches and relaxing with friends. We also planned activities in the afternoons. We explored Robin Hood’s Bay, with its lovely craft shops, spent time crabbing in rock pools and writing on the beach, and took short walks. On one afternoon, Julie, Cheryl, Aaron and Rommi offered a guided walk for our campers over the cliffs to Whitby (a total of 6 miles away). It was a walk crammed with spectacular views over the cliffs, ocean and fields.
Our evenings at the writing retreat were equally memorable. Every night, after we’d made dinner in cooking teams and enjoyed it together, we gathered outside or in the main lounge, to share more writing exercises or to read from our work. One night, we heard that Morris Dancers were in the village. Leaving dessert, we ran down to watch. In fact, several of our campers were invited to join the Morris dancers and got to share in a fun local tradition!
Before we knew it, the final day had arrived. On our last evening at the centre, everyone read from the writing we had created. Rommi was a fantastic workshop leader, and our varied creations included poetry, song lyrics, storytelling, novel excerpts, short stories, a radio play and children’s picture books.
Our final night ended in a very memorable way. We placed poetry in bottles, walked together down to the beach as the sun was setting, and slung our message-bottles into the sea. Then we stood in a close circle and Rommi read to us all.
Like camp, the tour this year was a spectacular experience which exceeded all expectations. We’re working, now, on the tour for 2011. If you’re interested in joining us for this, then watch for the information, which will be live on our website by the end of September!
To see more photos, go to http://www.centauriartscamp.com/media/Galleries/2010/index.htm and click on the England Tour album!
As session 4 draws to a close, there’s barely time to reflect on what an incredible, life-changing, inspiring summer this has been. For so many of us, session 4 is about doing things for the final time, which is why it’s a session filled with intense fun, as we make the most of every last event. Standing on our chairs singing Bohemian Rhapsody. Dorm cheers that stick in your head all day (“I am a B! I a a B-R…”). Memorable unit hours spent together. Bedtime programs under the stars. The last crazy evening programs. The last pajamaramas. Getting to participate in water games one last time. Final arts electives. Preparing for the last set of exhibitions and shows. Each day is packed with adventures, memories and friendships.
Then, before we know it, summer is over. It always takes so long for everyone to leave after the shows are done. There are too many people to hug. Too many final words to say. Too many photographs to take. And a line of parents standing in front of each of us, offering thanks for everything we did to make the summer the best their child had ever had.
And then, just when we think the tears and laughter will never end, the last camper has departed and the special, magical place we all share for weeks each summer is practically deserted. Our counsellors wander between the dorms and the dining hall, lost and strangely bereft. Wondering how a summer so packed with so many adventures could still be over so quickly. As the stars come out on the last night of camp, you can see us all, sitting in special places alone and with our friends, reliving memories in laughter and gentle conversation. Then, the day dawns and there’s an entire camp to pack up. Trailers to fill, sea containers to pack to the brim, stages, lights, sound, costume room, art room – all to dismantle and store away.
And departure is, as always, bitter sweet. It has been an incredible summer and we are sad to leave. Yet summer 2011 is now less than 10 months away…
Session 4 is moving along so quickly!
Yesterday we had our annual “Play in a Day” festival. Campers wrote, directed, acted and danced, did lighting, sound, props and scenery for 4 original plays, all from 9am to 7 pm!
The 4 plays were titled “Teenagers vs Werewolves”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, Pandora’s box, “Commotion, Emotion and Rap”! See the photos here!
Tonight is the Hawaiian Banquet, then in the next few days a talent show, the “Mythic Olympics” and much more!
Camp always has a different feel in August. Things are more relaxed. Laid back. No one is arriving straight from school – campers are generally calmer, and the pace is less frenetic. That’s not to say camp lacks spirit – far from it!! We have the usual cheering at meals, and loud singing of the popular camp songs.
It’s session 3 now and we’re one week in. This session’s banquet celebrated Peru. Dinner was an Inti Raymi celebration – which is the annual Inca festival to celebrate the sun. Atahualpa presided over the banquet, in which we ate traditional Peruvian food and offered gifts to the Inca King. Then, at the end of dinner, in stormed the Conquistadors. They took Atahualpa prisoner, and sent off all the campers (Inca villagers) to bring back gold – enough to fill the dining hall. Instead, we all decided to attempt to ‘win over’ the Spanish Conquistadors by offering them examples of Inca culture. We made beautiful clay pendants and head-dresses decorated with Inca symbols. We learned a traditional Inca dance, and prepared a retelling of the myth suirrounding the creation of the Inca empire by the Brothers Ayar. Then, we headed into the theatre and presented our cultural discoveries to the Conquistadors as our king, Atahualpa, lay bound at their feet. The Conquistadors, in our version of history, were so impressed with our rich culture that they decided to release Atahualpa and return to Spain. Of course, we had to end by telling the campers what really happened. The Conquistadors took to the stage and enacted the destruction of Atahualpa in a red spotlight, while the banquet host narrated the true history of the Inca conquest over the mic. All in all, it was not only a fun, artistic (and yummy!) cultural banquet, but a thought-provoking one, too.
Other highlights so far this session include a Grease Spirit Supper, Circus Night, Pajamarama, bizarre Science Fair and our annual Music Festival. On the day of the Music Festival, no less that SIX bands visited camp. Four of them consisted of Centauri alumni who are now making their way in the professional music world. Maddy Rodriguez opened the festival, a camper alumni, now doing some great music. One hightlight was a band called The Elwins, who were hugely popular with all our campers. Dozens of them stayed behind for autographs, and to chat with the band. Another was Aline Morales, who gave a Brazilian drumming workshop and performance just before Onoscatopeia, the University of Toronto’s Hart House Jazz Choir! The day ended with a concert by the Sweet Peas and Calvados. Campers burned off their energy in a bout of frenetic dancing before we all wandered off for a relaxing evening program.
Photos and video clips of the Centauri Arts Camp Music Festival are now up at http://www.centauriartscamp.com/media/Galleries/2010 click on SESSION 3!
Today, we`re inhabiting Camp Demi-God in a Greek Mythology Festival., As I write this, campers are getting to know their resident Greek God, building forts and shrines together, making flags and undertaking fun training activities such as archery, mosaic-creation and human chess. They don`t know it yet, but their training (and the information they unwittingly receive) will be essential later on in the festival, when monsters break into camp…