Festival of the Arts celebrates creative students

Acting, singing, painting and more on campus next week

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Festival of the Arts

If you heard the acoustic performances in the University Community Centre Atrium this week, then you’ve only had a taste of what’s to come during next week’s Festival of the Arts.

The student performances in the Atrium were an effort to promote the University Students’ Council Festival of the Arts. The festival, which runs Nov. 13-15, will highlight a variety of art forms. Visual art, music, singing, dancing, acting, photography and filmmaking will all be featured, but what sets the FOA apart from other arts festivals is its focus on student performances.

“[The FOA is] a chance for students to showcase their talents,” Claire Van Wyk, USC Festival of the Arts commissioner, says. “It gives them a chance to get exposure on campus ... [The goal is] to allow as many students as possible to participate, so that they have a chance to show their art and get appreciated for that.

“On the other side, [we want] to expose students to forms of art that they might not otherwise be exposed to on a regular basis.”

One of the FOA’s major events is its Singer/Songwriter Competition, which will kick off Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. The winner of the competition will get to record a five-song CD at CHRW and perform at the Alex P. Keaton on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Van Wyk says there are already some serious contenders.

“One of the girls we had [performing in the Atrium] had someone come up to her and ask if she already had a CD. So that’s really great, that builds excitement.”

If the success of last year’s winner, James Arthurs, is any indication, the winner of this year’s competition has a lot to look forward to.

“Now [Arthurs] is playing on weekends at Jack’s and at the Barking Frog,” Van Wyk says. “So we’re kind of building some superstars here on campus!”

Festival organizers have also planned some unique events, including caricature drawing, live painting, and a drop-in photography session for aspiring photographers.

“If photographers want to drop in and take pictures, or if people want to drop by and have their picture taken with the backdrops we’ll have there, they can,” Van Wyk says. “It’s an opportunity for photographers to get a chance to practise live in front of an audience ... instead of taking still life [pictures]. They get to do it live for people.”

Although non-students will provide some entertainment " Sabrina Jalees, the youngest comedian ever hired by Second City, will be performing " students will be putting on the majority of activities.

Van Wyk is impressed with the response she has received from students so far, and attributes the successful turnout to the increased breadth of this year’s festival.

“We’ve made great improvements in trying to reach different forms of art and increasing student participation. So far, even before we were really starting to promote, we already had people emailing us [to ask] to participate.”

Even if you don’t get a chance to check out the lineup in advance, it will be hard to miss the FOA’s events as they take over the UCC next week.

“We tried to touch on everything so that there’s something for everybody, and really tried to make it accessible by [holding the events] mostly in the UCC,” Van Wyk explains. “Everybody usually stops by there ... so you should get to see something.

“So far we’ve got a nearly full schedule. The Atrium’s booked for almost the entire day, every day.”

To get involved, email Claire Van Wyk at usc.foa@uwo.ca. For more information, visit the Festival of the Arts’ Facebook group.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette