Cut­backs shut down Bad­lands Per­form­ing Arts Camp

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa sub­mit­ted

Af­ter 18 years, the Bad­lands Per­form­ing Arts Camp has been can­celled.

For years the camp, held at St. An­thony’s School, al­lowed stu­dents to earn 10 high school cred­its, as well as a chance to pur­sue act­ing, singing, and danc­ing. It has been a valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents.

“This pro­gram has changed lives. As a 20-year teach­ing vet­eran, I don’t get many phone calls from my class­room par­ents, but I have done this for 16 years and ev­ery fall, par­ents will con­tact me,” said Tim Stolz who has run the camp. “This is no ex­ag­ger­a­tion, they will call and say ‘that pro­gram has just changed my kid’s life, what an in­cred­i­ble pro­gram.’”

He ex­plains that Al­berta Ed­u­ca­tion has gone to block cred­it­ing. This means schools are able to award a cer­tain amount of cred­its for the stu­dent each year. The Bad­lands Per­form­ing Arts Camp was able to of­fer a

stu­dent 10 cred­its. Not only was this an en­tice­ment to have the stu­dent sign up, but also Al­berta Ed­u­ca­tion would pro­vide the fund­ing based on the cred­its of­fered.

“Stu­dents used to be able to get un­lim­ited cred­its in the school. Lit­er­ally, these have been cut it in half. So now my stu­dents are com­ing in and spend­ing 175 hours in three weeks and can maybe get five cred­its and even less - when be­fore they used to be able to get 10. A soon as that hap­pens there is no fund­ing,” said Stolz.

The camp av­er­aged about 35 stu­dents each sum­mer and it part­nered with the Rose­bud School of the Arts. Each year stu­dents par­tic­i­pated as ac­tors in the Cana­dian Bad­lands Pas­sion Play. This may leave a hole in the cast next year that would need to be filled.

Stolz said that Christ the Redeemer School Di­vi­sion went to bat for the Bad­lands Per­form­ing Arts Camp, but about two months ago he re­ceived a let­ter stat­ing that it was one pro­gram it would be cut­ting from its sum­mer pro­grams due to fi­nan­cial in­vi­a­bil­ity.

The Bad­lands Per­form­ing Arts Camp orig­i­nated at DVSS and Stolz met with Prin­ci­pal Cur­tis LaPierre to dis­cuss a pos­si­ble fu­ture, but it didn’t work out.

At this point he says they could turn the camp into a pri­vate pro­gram, how­ever, the stu­dent would not get any cred­its, and there would not be any fund­ing be­yond the tu­ition from the stu­dents, mak­ing it un­af­ford­able.

“It is all be­cause of Al­berta Ed­u­ca­tion mak­ing this change to block cred­it­ing. We can­not get fund­ing,” said Stolz.

“It is just a ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion.”

The Bad­lands Per­form­ing Art Camp en­dured for 18 years how­ever, fund­ing changes from Al­berta Edu- cation has forced it to can­cel its pro­grams.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.