ArtsSmarts is the largest education initiative in Canada dedicated to improving the lives and learning capacity of Canadian children by injecting arts into their academic programs.
The New Horizons Project
The population of the Outer Gulf Islands in British Columbia (Pender, Mayne, Galiano, and Saturna) is aging. There are relatively fewer school-aged children every year, and opportunities for school aged children and senior citizens to interact and form the constructive relationships that infuse and support healthy communities are diminishing.
Schools on the four Southern Gulf Islands are experiencing slow but steady enrolment decline and, as a consequence of that decline, they find it increasingly difficult to offer Fine, Visual and Performing Arts and Applied Skills Programs, particularly in the Middle Years where students aged 12-15 typically experience, in larger schools, “Electives” programming.
We believe the growing population of retirees and semi-retirees on these four islands represents an increasing wealth of experience, knowledge, skills and wisdom that might be utilized to enrich school programming at the Middle Years level. We believe that, by connecting generations in meaningful work where each participant can both offer and be offered something of value, the community can only grow stronger as a result.