At P.A.C.E. we believe the study of the fine arts (theatre, music, and visual arts) provides students with a unique opportunity to explore not only the art in question but also themselves, others, their relationship with others, and humanity in general. By assuming roles, creating imaginary worlds and examining behaviour and the human condition through time, students gain knowledge of the world around them.
As the theatrical process is a collaborative art form, students indirectly and directly explore communicating, listening, problem solving, creating, negotiating, risk taking, reflection as well as personal and cultural differences and similarities with others through a series of cooperative activities. At P.A.C.E. the students have the opportunity to become involved not only through classroom theatre endeavours but also through Musical Theatre, a One Act Play Festival, an annual Improv Competition, as well as student written and directed submissions at The Sears Drama Festival; P.A.C.E. students have been awarded technical, directorial and production awards at the regional level in each of these competitions.
The neighbouring department to this is our flourishing Music programme. From the classroom, to our World’s Most Dangerous Band (the high school concert band), to P.A.C.E’s Jazz Ensemble, our students will regale you with their musical talent. Our music programme provides students with instructional training in three families of instruments: Percussion, Brass and Woodwind. Students are educated in rudimentary theory based on the standards of the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition, discussions and analysis through different eras in the history of music and cultural backgrounds allow students to experience and a appreciate music on a personal level.
P.A.C.E. students are also exposed to a Visual Arts programme that consists of three years of both studio and theoretical study. It begins with an introduction to art history via Impressionism; the students’ colourful paintings depict what is immediately seen and experienced by the senses. Next, the students study art as expression: of feelings, dreams and fears. Finally Canadian art is celebrated – landscapes and Group of 7 (Margaret Atwood’s “determining geography”). Following this the students are taught about the achievements of the Renaissance and the Baroque. Portraits, carvings and imitation are the artistic means and techniques explored. Finally in their last year the students examine Modern Art and its culmination in abstraction. Students complete a year-long study of abstraction in the medium of their choice. Gallery visits, artists’ biographies, and criticism are an integral part of each year. Students’ work can be seen proudly displayed throughout the P.A.C.E. halls and on the covers of our Yearbooks.
P.A.C.E.’s fine arts programmes promote self-discipline, self-expression and teamwork; such characteristics that enhance and strengthen personal growth.