BY LINDSAY BRISCOE
The Red Lake area is about to join communities from coast to coast in the country’s largest celebration of youth and the arts.
It’s National Youth Arts Week’s (NYAW) second year in Red Lake, and locally-raised artist Patrick Hunter – who now resides in Toronto – is excited to return to his home turf to run the week-long event. He’s got a diverse line-up of events planned, aiming to have a little bit of something for everyone.
“Everyday will be a different event to get people thinking outside the box. I think in Red Lake, people are used to just one form of art – that being the visual arts,” he says. “National Youth Arts Week is trying to highlight each section of the arts. So it’s everything from music, to dancing to painting and drawing – which is what I do – as well as culinary arts.”
He’s even organized an event where musicians can sign up for a recording session with a local producer.
“I think live music and people who are musically inclined don’t really have an outlet or a venue in Red Lake to go out there and try playing live so I’ve tried to create an opportunity for people to do something cool.”
He says having grown up in the Red Lake area, he’s constantly heard people say there’s nothing to do, and he hopes NYAW will encourage young people to start seeing their community through a different lens.
“Growing up in Red Lake, you have to take advantage of what’s available so with this I’ve tried to create opportunities for youth to get out of their shell and try something new. I had a lot of opportunities like that growing up and if I didn’t just take them I would never have gotten to where I am today.”
“I’m trying to make sure people are learning something, that they’re engaged and hopefully meeting new people.”
NYAW runs from May 1-7. Live-streaming will allow local participants to view what other Canadian communities are doing as well as show off some of their own events.