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

Ladysmith children get behind the wheel for Public Works Day

Ladysmith marked Public Works Day on Thursday with over 600 children getting… Continue reading

Ladysmith author honours late sister in new children’s book

Sarah de Vries disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1998

Chemainus ‘Mountain Man’ joins search for Ben Kilmer

Kevin Shiell has been putting his extensive outdoor skills to good use

Search for missing Cowichan man moves towards Hill 60

Volunteer searchers are moving westward

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read