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MONTREAL, APRIL 22, 2009-   A fabulously exciting Vernissage at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts recently was the culmination of a joint project between Carlyle Elementary School in Town of Mount Royal and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The event was attended by approximately 300 Carlyle community members to acknowledge and celebrate the artistic achievement of every student  from pre-kindergarten to Grade 6. The community members viewed the masterpieces, socialized and enjoyed a sumptuous meal prepared by the many volunteers. The remaining food was then given to a women's shelter.

Carlyle has multicultural student population and its aim is to encourage respect and appreciation for all our members. Every year the school explores its diversity and teaches each other about the different cultures so that all students may gain a deeper understanding of their differences and similarities.  In the past this has been accomplished through music, dance, a cultural bazaar and a fair. It is our hope that through these endeavors, we will build bridges to peace and our children will no longer witness the ravages of war. “This kind of project demonstrates the attitudes we want our students to demonstrate towards people, the environment and learning and are the essential elements of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program  (PYP) program that we are working towards at Carlyle,” said Principal Joan MacMillan.

The International Baccalaureate PYP is designed for students aged three to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.

This year  the school decided to display its many cultural expressions through art and  chose the theme of animals as they felt it was a topic that would fire the imaginations of students. “We felt like pioneers exploring new territory, as a project exactly like this had never been done by the museum and certainly not at Carlyle,” said Judi Ottier who was coordinating the project.   

The first step was a visit to the museum by every class This motivated   the students. They commented on the height of the ceilings, the art work, the explosion of colour from one room to another and even on the sounds and smells of the museum.  They were captivated and ready to learn! The very talented museum educators took them on a guided tour. They were introduced to artists from around the world and saw how various cultures portrayed animals. The educators then taught them how to make a quick sketch of an animal of their choice and with this in hand, into a workshop they went. Here they were taught artistic techniques which were used to begin their own personal piece of art.

At a later date, more excitement ensued. A fabulous team of educators from the Museum visited each class at Carlyle school for a morning or afternoon. They guided and inspired the students through the final stages of their work. Then the older students wrote about their museum experience which appeared along with their art work. As this project was so enthusiastically received by our students, and they exhibited such amazing talent, Carlyle  decided to initiate a scholarship fund to further their art education. The museum runs a summer art camp and   14 students have been awarded a Carlyle Scholarship to attend. The museum has also funded a Carlyle student. The recipients to receive the awards are: Lisbel Mijares Leon and Saim Siddique (Grade 6), Abirami Saravanamuthu and Melissa Thambithurai (Grade 5), Anjali Patel and T’Keyah Riley (Grade 4),  Valerie Doan, Anuntha Elayathamby, Kishor Nandakumar and Vithusan Velichore (Grade 3), Thuvaraga Seevaratnam (Grade 2) and Nurakin Cobran,   Emmanuel Hil-Pitt,   Celeste Hodges and  Anosan Velichore (Grade 1).


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213