A reason to celebrate
Wolfville Children’s Centre flourishing for 45 years
There certainly was a party on Sept. 30 at the Wolfville Children’s Centre to celebrate 45 years in operation.
For a non-profit in the childcare realm, director Laurie St. Amour says every anniversary is worth marking with face painting and cake.
The centre began operation in the Acadia Student Union building in 1972. It was one of the first centres in Nova Scotia to incorporate as a registered, non-profit charity.
St. Amour says the non-profit model works and for her one important reason is a committed board. The centre has four parents and four community members serving on its board.
She pays tribute to longtime members Mike Townsend, Oonagh Proudfoot and Suzanne Stewart for their essential service.
Currently at capacity, the centre has 44 pre-schoolers and 21 school-age children in its after school program. Ironically, that program is operating out of the old students union building at Acadia, where the centre started.
Certainly the facility has moved a fair amount in more than four decades. It finally landed in the old Fundy Mental Centre on Earnscliffe Ave. in 1999. A decade later the centre was able to purchase the building.
Now all the infrastructure wear and tear challenges the board, St. Amour said. Any time the roof needs repair or an appliance should be replaced, “we wonder (if) we’ll come up with the money” because operational funding hasn’t kept up.
In some ways provincial funding to operate non-profit daycares has improved and staff with credentials “earn more of a living wage,” she notes, however, the province doesn’t recognize years of service.
She acknowledges senior staff members Alice Taylor, who began in 1991 and is now assistant director, and cook, Melissa Whitehead, who has run the kitchen for 17 years.
“I’d love to list them all,” says St. Amour, looking around the busy centre filled with cheery voices.
When asked if kids have changed much in 45 years, she thinks it is perhaps parents who are different.
“Parents are very concerned. They ask a lot of questions about diet and behaviour, more than they did 30 years ago.”
She also has observed children today are technology savvy at a young age. They operate swipe phones and use digital platforms.
The daycare director believes kids need guidance to develop a sense of self-regulation rather than always opting for instant gratification with the flick of a switch or a phone.
“None of us are born with social skills,” says St. Amour. “They develop in community. There are so many labels now. People want to diagnose everything. They tend to want to put a name to everything.”
“Early childhood education is not just about preparing children to attend school, it is about developing the social, the emotional, all the pieces that make up human beings,” she contends.
Fundy Cinema starts up again
The fall Fundy Cinema season continues Oct. 11 with Afterimage.
Renowned Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s final film is a passionate biopic about avant-garde artist Władysław Strzemi ski, a double amputee and restless force of nature who refused to bend to the Stalinist orthodoxy of social realism and superficial positivism in postwar Lodz. Showtime is 7 p.m.
All screenings are at the Al Whittle Theatre, 450 Main St., Wolfville. Tickets are $9 and go on sale 30 minutes before each screening.
Berwick attracts talent
The Union Street Café has Matthew Byrne lined up for Oct. 6 on a CD release tour. The Mike Bochoff Band will bring an EP release concert to Berwick on Oct. 21.
Sherwood holding CD release party
Well-known Nova Scotia musician Ian Sherwood is holding a CD release concert on Oct. 7 in Wolfville
He will release his new recording, Bring the Light, at 8 p.m.
Ready to grow with art
Grow with Art workshops have resumed for the season. Peter Gordon is the artist lined up next. He will be at Kingstec on Oct. 7.
The classes run from 1–3 p.m. for ages six to 14 years. Cost: $2 per child.
See some children’s theatre
The Travelling Trunk Theatre Troupe and Inquisitive Toy company present Storybook Theatre on Oct. 7 at the Al Whittle Theatre.
Three fun, fast-paced shows are lined up for the young and young-at-heart and they will feature many favourite children’s stories.
Come see the Pigs and Pals collection at 10 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. The Munsch and More collection goes on stage at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 7, or stay for both.
Tickets are $5 (for youth 12 and under) and $10, and are available at Inquisitive Toy Company in Wolfville.
See comedy at Centrestage Theatre
A Fine Monster You Are is another wild and hilarious Monk Ferris play on stage at Centrestage Theatre in Kentville.
Sweet old Emily Holbrook is interviewing naive young Suzette Larson for a job as secretary companion. But how sweet is dear old Emily?
The lunacy extends to a mindboggling climax that delights audiences of all ages. Those of you old enough to remember
The Carol Burnett Show will recognize some of the characters.
A Fine Monster You Are is directed by Susan Monro and Bryen Stoddard. The cast, in order of appearance, is Carole Ball, Chérie Zinck, Ashley Hurlburt, Ethan Vanmeekeren, Peter Booth, Chelsea Russell, Mindy Vinqvist-tymchuk.
The featured artist on the theatre wall is Alice Cochrane.
The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:45 p.m.), until Oct. 14. Cost: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students. Cash or cheque only. Call 902-678-8040 for reservations. Reservations are held until 15 minutes before the show begins.
Go online For more information, www.centrestagetheatre.ca
In the Galleries
is showing a collection of works by Dr. Avery Vaughan, from Oct. 1-29. The surgeon, who passed away in 2014, was a self-taught painter and spent about 40 years helping to inspire other artists. He produced more than 300 paintings and donated many to charity. The Bread Gallery is located at 7778 Highway 14 in Brooklyn and is open Tuesday to Sunday.
new paintings by F. Scott Macleod, has opened at Harvest Gallery in Wolfville. The show runs through Oct. 8.
centre in Annapolis Royal, has Mathieu Léger as the artist showing currently in the main space. His exhibit, Plausible Space, will remain on through to Oct. 7.
Gallery in Wolfville are a series of drawings by Gillian Baldwin. Un-noticed, Assemblages of the Everyday. It will be up until Nov. 5. Send arts news to firstname.lastname@example.org