Amber Academy students from the 2017/2018 season. This year’s season begins on Sept. 10. (Photo co

Amber Academy arts program prepares for second year

Buoyed by its inaugural success, the Amber Academy arts program is preparing for a second year in Sooke.

“Our first year was absolutely amazing with almost 100 students participating in our program,” said program founder Kelli Dunn. “We’re very excited to be preparing for another amazing season.”

Amber Academy is an “all-encompassing” after-school arts program, which allows children of all ages and from all walks of life to learn about fine art and theatre production.

Last year some students had to be wait-listed for classes due to the popularity of the program, but this fall, Amber Academy is expanding, adding new classes and instructors to accommodate more students.

Dunn decided to put the program together last year, following the tragic death of her sister, Amber. Dunn explained that her sister was a kid who had a lot of challenges growing up, including a learning disability, which led to her struggling socially.

Amber was bullied in school, and turned to drugs and alcohol by the time she reached her teens. Eventually, the addiction and the lifestyle that accompanied it, led to her death at the age of 39.

“Amber Academy is dedicated to engaging youth in pro-social activities focused on the fine arts to encourage positive youth development, which may aid in the prevention of high-risk problem behaviours and help young people become confident, productive and healthy adults,” said Dunn.

“If Amber had had the right person in her life at the right time, things could have been so different. So this program is really about building up the kids’ self-esteem and giving them the courage to realize they have something more to contribute.”

Although the program is expanding this fall, fees will remain at $50 per year for a single child, and $75 for multi-child families.

“In addition to participating in classes up to three times a week, students will also be provided with healthy snacks and most of the supplies that will be needed for their projects,” said Dunn. “It’s important for us that our program is financially feasible to everyone, especially families with limited financial resources.”

Students from K to 12 participating in the program will have the chance to be involved in three performances in the 2018/2019 season.

“Last year’s musical, Fraggle Rock-a-Thon, was a huge success and attended by more than 700 people. The set, props and costumes were created by the students themselves, and sound and lighting was also designed by Amber Academy students,” noted Dunn.

To learn more about Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society, register for classes, or make a donation to support the program please visit amberacademy.ca, contact admin@amberacademy.ca or call Kelli Dunn at (250) 888-1921.

Classes begin Sept. 10, 2018 and advanced registration is required.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scholarship launched to honour three men who died in Sooke River

Sooke School District award will be given annually to a student graduating from EMCS

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read