Kaleidoscope is an inter-cultural five-year program providing arts education to under-served school communities across Scarborough. The program was initiated and developed by Scarborough Arts after a year-long needs and capacity-building study which found that, despite the fact that Scarborough contains some of the most diverse neighbourhoods and schools in Canada, arts and cultural programs are limited particularly for newcomers, youth, and culturally-diverse communities. In response, Kaleidoscope integrates arts disciplines, including performing arts, digital arts, and traditional and contemporary cultural arts, to expose children to different ways of life and creative expression.
Kaleidoscope works in five Scarborough schools, namely: Warden Avenue Public School, Silver Springs Public School, Military Trail Public School, St. Boniface Catholic School, and St. Dunstan Catholic School. Sessions are led by professional artists including Juno-nominated Canadian actor and playwright Marvin Ismael, dancer and choreographer Jason Yorke-Best, Canadian Spoken Word Champion and artist Dwayne Morgan, clay artist Jessica Ing, veteran musician Keith Pascall, photographer Kat Rizza, and choreographer Sheldon Forde.
Kaleidoscope is made possible by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Kaleidoscope Steering Committee & Advisory Committee Members:
Scarborough Arts, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Catholic Cross Cultural Services, Harmony Movement, Diaspora Dialogues, Mural Routes
Feedback from Students:
Mural was fun because I really am not good at drawing but when I tried Mural it changed everything. Now I love to draw.”
— Student, Military Trail Public School, Scarborough
I learned to take proper pictures, manipulating light, etc. Also I learned a bit more about myself. I was surprised about what I am capable of. I understand myself more now. Thank you!
— Student, Military Trail Public School, Scarborough
Thank you for the amazing opportunity the Kaleidoscope Arts Program has provided our students. It taught them that art is a language that all people speak and it cuts across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers while enhancing cultural appreciation and awareness.
— Teacher, Warden Avenue Public School
“Kaleidoscope” – Newz4U, January 25, 2013
“Kaleidoscope Brings After-School Art Education to Scarborough” – Torontoist, May 7, 2013
“Program Brings Out Students’ Inner Artists” – Toronto Observer, December 18, 2013
“VIDEO: Scarborough Arts presents ‘Ak Waa ba’ exhibit at The Bluffs Gallery” – Toronto Observer, February 28, 2014
February 2016: The Kaleidoscope team has been hard at work with Mr. Turnbull’s Grade 7 class at Military Trail Public School! Everyone who has worked with this class agrees: this has been an awesome class to work with as they are enthusiastic, easy to work with and ready to embrace whatever artistic challenges we have thrown their way. So far they have worked on a drummology with Keith Pascall, photographic storytelling with Dion Fitzgerald Mayers, and photography with Kat Rizza. Next, they tackle dance with Sheldon Forde and put it all together in a showcase presentation for the entire school on February 26th as part of the school’s monthly spirit assembly. The excitement is mounting! — Tamla Matthews-Morgan
March 2016: On February 26, the Kaleidoscope team wrapped up six weeks of art programming at Military Trail Public School with Mr. Turnbull’s Grade 7 class. The class was invited to perform in front of the whole school, which made all of us nervous especially since the principal was going to be in attendance!
The students faced their fear, however, and presented a flawless thirty-five minute performance that showcased all the art forms that they explored in their Kaleidoscope sessions, including drumming, photography, and dance. Everyone was impressed, including their hard-to-please drumming facilitator, Keith Pascall!
The students started their performance with a bang by showcasing their drumming skills, led by drum artist Keith Pascall. They moved on to a photo story presentation that grabbed the attention of the crowd. Created under the guidance of artist-facilitators Kat Rizza and Dion Fitzgerald, the photo story focused on making visible the mundane and usually-invisible objects in the community.
The final component of the showcase was a Sheldon Forde-choreographed dance piece, which built on the photo story presentation and explored the theme of community further. The school crowd watched enthusiastically and sang along to the songs played during the performance.
The Kaleidoscope team would like to say a grand thank you to all the artists involved in the Military Trail PS program and an extra special thank you to Mr. Turnbull, the classroom teacher extraordinaire, who went above and beyond to ensure his students were well-prepared for the presentation. This was truly another awesome Kaleidoscope experience. Next up, St. Boniface Catholic School! — Tamla Matthews-Morgan
April 2016: The Kaleidoscope team continues to work with the carnival theme with the Mr. Kwok’s Grades 3 and 4 class at St. Boniface Catholic School. Artist Trish Besos—who is no stranger to the Kaleidoscope program—was one of our featured artists. Trish’s workshop focused on character development and how simple and cheap items like gems can be used to transform a face or create a character. Mr. Kwok’s students loved it, especially the boys who got very inspired and created all kinds of faces on themselves and others. Trish left the group in a sea of high fives and a promise to return before the end of the school year. For the next session, we are back to drummology with drum artist Keith Pascall and making room for dance and costume-making next week. Onward! — Tamla Matthews-Morgan
Check out the Kaleidoscope photos on our Facebook page!
November 2015: Kaleidoscope program kicked off its final year in style at Silver Springs Public School in north-east Scarborough. For the first time in the program, we engaged artists with disabilities as facilitators! The program will wrap up at Silver Springs in two weeks and will move on to Warden Avenue Public School, where the Kaleidoscope team will continue to deliver high-quality cultural arts programming and a unique customized approach to art education to children between Grades 2 to 8.
Stay tuned for more information about plans to celebrate the program and its achievements in the new year!
May 2015: The Kaleidoscope program wrapped up a great five weeks at St. Boniface Catholic Public School with a showcase presentation on Friday, May 1, 2015. Performing for a packed gymnasium of students, teachers, and parents, the students of Ms. Strelchuck’s Grade 5 class mustered up their courage, pushed through their fears, and performed with heart at the school’s monthly Spirit Assembly. The multi-disciplinary Pan-Am-themed performance comprised of dancing, singing, and drumming, and was proof of the amazing work done by veteran artists Keith Pascall and Rob Matejka.
The audience was warm and receptive, and enthusiastically showed their appreciation for the dynamic 30-minute performance. Another highlight of the showcase was the heartfelt introduction that was made by Principal Iafrate where he expressed his appreciation for the Kaleidoscope program. He spoke eloquently about its impact on the school, and how it has enriched the entire school community. It was a great way to be recognized and to cap off weeks of hard work and commitment.
Many thanks to Marianne Rellin, Program Coordinator at Scarborough Arts, for jumping in and providing musical support during the performance, and Brendan Hong and Amanda Rabey who continued to be invaluable in their roles as Program Assistants. An extra special shout out to Ms. Strelchuk, whose enthusiastic support of Kaleidoscope made our work easier.
April 2015: The Kaleidoscope Team is now working with Ms. Strelchuk’s Grade 5 class at St. Boniface Catholic School. With the theme of the PanAm Games, the students have worked on drumming and dancing. With the assistance of renowned visual artist Rob Matejka, each student created their own flag to represent one of the 41 countries that are participating in this year’s Pan Am Games. The flags will be used in a dance and drum piece choreographed by Kaleidoscope veteran artist Keith Pascall, and presented at the end-of-year showcase on May 1, at St. Boniface Catholic School. This is a very exciting program and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
January 2015: The Kaleidoscope 2015 program is off to a great start with an ambitious PanAm inspired program at Military Trail Public School. We are once again working with the always-awesome and quick-witted Mr. Haydock and his Grade 7/8 class. Our work at Military Trail Public School this year is dubbed “Faces of The Community” to align with a larger Mural Routes program of the same name. We will create a mural composed of faces of each student in the class. In this multi-layered program, students took photographic portraits, recreated these portraits as visual art pieces, and then transformed these visual arts pieces into stencils. These stencils will then be a part of a larger community mural to be created by Mural Routes around the time of the Pan-Am Games in the summer at a downtown location. — Tamla Matthews-Morgan
The 2013-14 school year Kaleidoscope Program has wrapped! Read program manager Tamla Matthews-Morgan’s thank-you here, click here and here to see photo albums of the amazing wrap-up event on May 9, 2014 at 918 Bathurst, and check out our video of the day below:
PAST KALEIDOSCOPE PHOTOS: