Youths involved in Project Reel Life

Project Reel Life participants show off their hard work tonight (Dec. 17)

Project Reel Life hosts Community Celebrations Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at Ladysmith Secondary School and Dec. 18 at Stz'uminus Community Centre.

Project Reel Life is hosting its Community Celebration tonight (Tuesday, Dec. 17) at Ladysmith Secondary School.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m., with doors opening half an hour prior, and it will showcase a wide variety of digital compilations, which were produced by local youths over the past year.

“On Tuesday night we’re having a community celebration where we’ll be highlighting all the hard work the youths have been doing over the past year since Project Reel Life started,” said mentor Joshua Raven.

The project has allowed youths the opportunity to use digital media to express stories from their life or the community, with Raven and company acting as knowledgeable aids along the way.

“It’s a digital media program but there’s no constraints,” said Raven. “There’s spoken word, interpretative dance and lots of video projects like documentaries, music videos and short films. It’s all filmed and composed by the youths.

“From a mentorship perspective, we are just removing any technical obstacles that might get in the way of their creativity, then all that remains is that creative flow. Sometimes it’s just which button to push.”

Project co-ordinator Bill Taylor, who teaches drama at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS), believes the prospect of youths finding a voice to express themselves is vital in modern-day society.

“We’re encouraging them to take an active role in telling their own story,” said Taylor, who has also been involved extensively in the mentoring process. “It’s our job as mentors to connect them with resources to help them tell the stories. It’s about being able to have time to think about your story when you’re stuck, and get unstuck. However you access that, whether it’s through art or dance or video work, that’s what we’re here for.”

All the technology used in the lead up to the celebration and on the night has been provided by the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA), a gesture for which Raven and Taylor are very grateful.

“Stories operate in multiple levels,” said Taylor. “The power in recording the stories and to tell them as media is a very powerful thing. These projects are making youth feel better about the world and suggest there’s better choices to work through the struggles they’re facing and not use drugs or alcohol. It’s about listening to youths’ voices and helping them find their power as human beings.”

Raven believes the variety of art forms that have been used and not limiting that has been key.

“Not limiting the art form was one of the most interesting and powerful parts of this project — otherwise you’re projecting on them,” he said. “We asked them what they wanted to do. It’s about engaging at-risk youth in a creative environment.

“It’s not about what the kids are doing in five years — it’s in the moment. The result is the process; it’s not about the finished product.”

Taylor is an advocate of creative platforms and agreed that being a mentor was more about advising, rather than actively teaching.

“We live in a consumer-driven society based on money,” he said. “Kids are given devices [such as cell phones] to consume and are taught to buy stuff. We’re encouraging them to turn that around and tell their stories about the community. It’s a transformative act.”

A similar showcase is also being presented tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 18) at the Stz’uminus Community Centre at 6 p.m.

Just Posted

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Ladysmith, Stz’uminus celebrate ‘Salish Wind’ unveiling

Ladysmith and Stz’uminus residents gathered together last Wednesday night to witness the… Continue reading

150 flags to be raised at Ladysmith’s Aggie Hall for National Child Day

Ladysmith Family and Friends leads project to have children, but also a few adults, paint 150 flags.

Heavy rainfall causes sinkhole along Ladysmith street

Heavy rainfall and the resulting erosion caused a sinkhole to form early… Continue reading

Second boat sinks in Ladysmith Harbour in less than a month

A boat has sank in Ladysmith Harbour marking the second such incident… Continue reading

UPDATE: More searchers out looking for missing senior near Nanaimo

Search and rescue personnel from all over the Island are looking for 73-year-old Faye Hanson

Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Heavy rains, winds hit B.C.’s south coast

Localized flooding, gusts up to 70 km/hr expected for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

LIVE: BC Liberals kick off leadership debate in Nanaimo

Candidates’ forum is at noon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Most Read