Reach workshops for youth get Telus support

Program in Abbotsford designed to help kids grow their confidence

The matches of Big Brothers Big Sisters create clay pieces with instructor Jake Stelpstra recently.

The matches of Big Brothers Big Sisters create clay pieces with instructor Jake Stelpstra recently.

A series of Creative Confidence Builder Youth Workshops in Abbotsford has been granted funding support from Telus.

The project has been developed by The Reach Gallery Museum’s education programmer in collaboration with local service agencies.

It is tailored to meet the specific needs of their young clients to grow their confidence, character and team-building in creative hands-on opportunities.

“The Telus funding allows us to shape and deliver quality critical thinking, hands-on workshops, developed in consultation with non-profit community groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters Fraser Valley, Abbotsford Hospice Society and others,” said Laura Schneider, executive director and curator of The Reach.

“The youth that are supported by these organizations experience a variety of challenges, and the workshops are intended to build their self-esteem, team skills, creative potential and to provide formative and positive experiences in an environment of compassion and understanding.”

Some of the workshops include pottery with artist and instructor Jake Stelpstra, and drum-making and drumming with Sto:lo artist and educator Carman McKay.

“The clay pieces the matches made at a recent workshop were very creative and allowed each of them to make their very own work of art,” said Cheryl Unger, director of programs with Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Fraser Valley.

“These classes provide our young people with the opportunity to engage in unique activities that they would not have had the chance to do. Exposure to art and culture enables children and youth to explore self-expression, their creativity and imaginative side. It was also a treat for our volunteers to get their hands working with the clay for the afternoon.”

The Telus Vancouver Community Board provided $5,000 to the Reach Gallery Museum for their Creative Confidence Builder Youth Workshops.

In addition to the Telus funding, the Edith Lando Charitable Foundation (Vancouver) and a private local donor provided financial support for this Creative Youth Reach project. Vist thereach.ca for more information.