Providing youth with artistic avenues is the most recent focus for the Langley Arts Council now that the organization has moved into a new space at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre at 26770 29th Ave., in Aldergrove.
LAC moved to the centre last September from their old location at the Langley Events Centre.
Right now, the LAC is refreshing the space with new paint, a theatre room complete with a portable stage, and more.
“Langley needs an arts centre. Why should they have anything less than any other city,” said Lana Hart, president of the Langley Arts Council.
Hart explained much of the recent funding for the club has come from grants from the Rotary Club of Langley and Rotary Club of Aldergrove in support of youth initiatives.
“They’ve both been really generous,” she added.
According to Hart, the grants from the rotary clubs are to be used solely for youth projects and programming.
Kicking off the initiative is a program at LAC called the Youth Theatre Development program that runs from Feb. 7 to Mar. 4.
“There isn’t a lot out here for youth,” added Hart.
“There’s lots of sports stuff but there’s no arts scene and a lot of kids identify with the arts.”
The Youth Theatre Development program is set to be a starting point to develop a strong youth theatre scene in Aldergrove and the surrounding area.
After the program ends, the LAC plans on asking participants what they liked or disliked in order to best proceed with future classes and programming.
“We want the youth of the community to help us build a centre that reflects them. We want them telling us what they want to see and what their interests are so we can better meet their needs. The population is growing so there’s going to be more young people coming,” Hart elaborated.
The six-week Youth Theatre Development program will be hosted by Langley thespian and theatre teacher Lauren Trotzuk, who explained the program is open for youth with all levels of theatre experience, but is aimed at beginners.
“The Youth Theatre is going to entail a bit of everything. In the six weeks we want different forms of theatre,” said Trotzuk.
Trotzuk explained classes will consist of improv, musical theatre, body movement and miming, play making and script writing, and more.
“The first day is a drop-in and it’s free of charge so we’re going to do little tidbits of those little themes, and each week will focus on one of the main elements to figure out what there’s an interest in for future courses,” explained Trotzuk.
Trotzuk is new to the Langley Arts Council and has been with the organization for two months, although she’s been active in the community theatre scene including Bard in the Valley for many years.
“I think the youth age, the early teens, they’re starting to discover new ways to express themselves, and they’re really looking for a safe environment where they can see other people who are like them, and try on new skins,” Trotzuk added.
If the Youth Theatre Development course is successful, the LAC will continue to provide youth theatre programs throughout the year.
Hart said she’d like to establish an ongoing youth community theatre group, as well as a children’s community theatre group in the future.
Her other dreams for the new space include hosting a film festival, offering more classes for all ages, launching culinary classes, starting a lighting and sound program, offering portfolio building workshops, and more.
According to Hart, bursaries for the Youth Theatre Development course may be available at request.
The Youth Theatre Development course is aimed for youth ages 12-16, although Hart added older kids in high school are also welcome to join.
Class runs from Thursday, Feb. 7 to Mar. 4, and costs $99. The first class is free, and space is limited.
Register by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-534-0781.
For more information, visit http://langleyarts.ca/
The LAC is also offering a free hands-on workshop on Golden brand acrylic paints on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m with instructor Shari Pratt.
Spots are full, but if interested, contact the LAC to get on the wait list.