Principal and Administrative Information
We recognize that schools are constantly seeking out innovative and exciting methods of meeting curriculum goals. Having worked with our school board partners, teachers and principals can rely on the quality of KITS programming and will be able to choose the performance that best matches their school’s needs. As the Aurora Cultural Centre has established relationships with renowned professional artists, local schools will be able to rely on our expertise to coordinate with performers and providers of arts programming so that the program comes seamlessly to your school. Each year will feature different performance options so that the lessons learned are not repetitive. The performances will be multi-arts based so that students are exposed to many genres, including Francophone productions and Indigenous-created content.
Examples of how the programming is tied to the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Elementary Curriculum:
- Language arts, storytelling, oral communication, mythology, folk tales, reading, animals and habitats, care for the environment, First Nations studies, dance, drama, choreography and movement, music
Character Building connections:
- Respect, kindness & caring, teamwork, cooperation, fairness
- Conflict/conflict resolution, survival, emotions/feelings, communication/language barriers
KITS I: Njacko Backo
Dates: October 25-28 & November 1-4
In this interactive performance, students will learn the important role that music, dance, and storytelling play in everyday life in Cameroon, Central Africa. Students will experience traditional dance and drumming, listen to a traditional story, and learn about the importance of community in Centre Africa. This program demonstrates to the students the true way that traditional music is played in Cameroon; percussion is not just drums, it includes a variety of instruments. The students will learn that this tradition is made up of different parts that have to be played together, everyone finding their own place in the music.
Entertainer, musician, composer, dancer, choreographer, author and educator Njacko Backo shares his uplifting music, energizing dance, and hope-filled stories with audiences of all ages and all walks of life. Njacko was born in Cameroon in 1958 and raised in the hills in a small village called Bazou, which means “The Walkers.” Musically and spiritually Njacko draws on the lessons he learned in Africa from his musical family, mentors and village life. Although he loved life in the village where he was immersed in music, his dream was to discover the world and to learn all he could about people and different cultures.
Equity and Inclusion, Well-Being, French Education dance, drama, choreography and movement, and music, Experiential Learning
KITS II: Puzzle Théâtre
Dates: November 22-25 & November 28th – December 1
Meilleur spectacle jeune public
(Best Show for Young Audiences)
Prix de la Critique 2021 – 2022, Section Montréal
A green leaf that grows on a dead branch, pieces of wood that come together to form strange creatures, some hostile, some comical… A curious world that surprises, amazes, and inspires. A world that also makes you think and wonder. Through the magic of puppetry, a tabletop landscape of a single tree surrounded by fallen branches, roots, and sticks, transforms into a world of strange and sometimes silly creatures all determined to claim one delicious green leaf! In keeping with its artistic approach, Puzzle Théâtre is once again drawing inspiration from a whole new medium to create an atypical, colourful puppet show, full of humour and unexpected situations.
Founded in 1996 in Bulgaria and established in Montreal since 2004, Puzzle Théâtre has a unique style by combining various types in the traditional and the contemporary: drama theatre, object and puppet theatre, Puzzle Théâtre distinguishes itself by the coloured amalgam of styles and the great diversity of means of expression that it proposes.
KITS III: Hogtown Brass
Dates: February 21-24 & February 27 – March 2
NO FUN ALLOWED! is designed to break down preconceived notions of how we should attend and participate in musical performances, particularly within the culture of stuffy Classical concerts. Performers Hogtown Brass focus on basics like rhythm, melody, dynamics, and pitch, but also touch on the physics of sound and how it relates to instrument families and music. Students are encouraged to applaud when they feel like it, to clap along with jazz and Latin tunes, and to be engaged, rather than passive listeners.
Hogtown Brass is a dynamic Canadian ensemble comprised of accomplished musicians from a variety of diverse artistic backgrounds. Featuring the trumpet, horn, trombone, and tuba, they are known for their unique arrangements and new compositions, collaborations with vocalists and instrumentalists, along with an affinity for both standard and non-traditional performance spaces, Hogtown Brass is on a mission to reinvigorate the entire concert experience for their audiences.
Classical Music and Brass Instruments, Music as a means of learning, Experiential Learning
KITS IV: Little Pear Garden Dance Company
Dates: March 28 – 31
In this story exploring the creation of cave paintings along the Silk Road, audience members follow the Chinese Empire’s best painter as he travels and is inspired by the many cultures along the way. This visually stunning performance introduces the history of the Silk Road through classic Chinese storytelling and dance, and includes audience participation to learn some basic movements from a number of ethnic dance styles.
Started in 1994 as a Peking Opera collective, then transformed into a professional dance company in 2007, the Little Pear Garden Dance Company is one of the most sought-after dance troupes in Canada. Inspired by the rich and diverse tapestry of Chinese dance vocabularies, the Company has created an acclaimed and powerful body of work that encompasses both classical and contemporary productions, warmly received by audience of all ages and cultures. The Company is actively involved in many projects of dance development and promotion, and has enjoyed a consistent presence in festivals, performing seasons and tours. Their current artistic director is Ms. Emily Wing-Mei Cheung.
KITS V: Bon Débarras
Dates: April 11 – 14
Bon Débarras takes you on a whirlwind musical journey through various communities from which they have drawn their inspiration, including Québec, Acadia and Louisiana. Feet stomping, hand clapping, leg slapping, and full-on singing are to be expected from both performers and the audience alike. Presented in schools and various children’s festivals throughout Canada and France, this show, with its songs, tales, lilting and called dances, will not fail to move you and give you a spring in your step.
Bon Débarras unites the worlds of music, dance and poetry through a collaboration between Montreal artists Dominic Desrochers, Jean-François Dumas and Véronique Plasse. On guitar, banjo, violin and harmonica, the group carries an identity, a style and an energy-filled zest for life quite unique and beautifully served by the versatility of the musicians as well as their daring jigging and vivid body percussion. Bon Débarras’ energy taps into the rhythms of today and ventures boldly on the multi-faceted road to tomorrow’s dreams, in an atmosphere that transcends boundaries and ages.
KITS VI: Carousel Players
Dates: May 2-5
Language: English with Cree
About the Playwright Tomson Highway, award-winning playwright and the author, was born in a tent near Maria Lake, Manitoba in 1951. A member of the Cree Nation, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet. He grew up in the spectacularly beautiful natural landscape that is Canada’s sub-Arctic, an un-peopled region of hundreds of lakes, endless forests of spruce and pine, and great herds of caribou. His parents, with no access to books, TV or radio, would tell their children stories, and Tomson fell in love with the oral tradition of storytelling. Internationally recognized and beloved for his play The Rez Sisters, Tomson Highway was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994.
Carousel Players is an award-winning professional theatre company for young audiences based in the Niagara. Guided by their mandate: “We believe live theatre develops artistic awareness, learning skills and a sense of well-being in children,” their work is committed to ensuring that young people engage with theatre, and how it transfers into their everyday lives.”
Professional Development for Educators
The KITS program also includes free preparatory professional development workshops for educators and school administrators in advance of their school’s show which provides them with the tools to discuss artistic themes with students and develop teaching methods to integrate artistic and creative ideas in the classroom. These workshops have been created and delivered by professional theatre practitioners who have a formal dramatic arts background. The professional development workshops are designed to help elementary school teachers who are largely generalists deliver on the drama curriculum and create a more meaningful and long lasting impact on the student viewing the performance. Advance workshops provide professional development to approximately 150 teachers in Aurora.
This workshop will help teachers prepare for their KITS performance by providing:
- Pre & post-show activities and discussion questions related directly to your KITS performance
- Simple methods for implementing the drama curriculum to your students
- Ways in which to use the performer’s Study Guide as a jumping off point