2020/2021 Season

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

General Themes:

  • Conflict/conflict resolution, survival, emotions/feelings, communication/language barriers
Curriculum Overview

2019/2020 Kaleidoscope in the Schools Teacher Feedback

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

Upcoming KITS Performances

In 2020/2021 we are looking forward to some incredible upcoming performances featuring music, dance, theatre and puppetry. To learn more about the performances currently being offered please read below. To skip directly to to a specific performance please click the corresponding links below.

Hurry Up!
Kattam and his Tam Tams
Visions of Turtle Island
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito

Dépêche-toi! (en français)
Hurry Up! (in English)

Puzzle Théâtre
Clown Theatre
Available in English or French
In Aurora Schools: Dates to be confirmed once in-school performance is permitted

Montreal’s Puzzle Théâtre returns to Aurora schools after their highly entertaining presentation of Plastic/Plastique in our inaugural year.

In a country called HURRY-UP! lives a set of bizarre creatures who just run, panic and waste their time in complaining that they have not enough time. The result: time just slips through their fingers! Fusing clowning with seriousness, reality with absurd, this colorful ensemble of actors and puppets, with a musical backdrop. What do we do with all the time given us? How are we willing to spend our time? And what do we lose by always being in such a rush? Told with humour and beautiful visuals, this show brings us on an unexpected adventure that both amuses and makes us think and question.

Puzzle Théâtre was founded in Bulgaria in 1996, then moved across the Atlantic to its new home base in Montreal in 2004. The two-person artistic team of Pavla Mano and Csaba Raduly bring a unique theatrical approach to object and puppetry theatre, exploring the relationship between the actor and the puppet, and encouraging the audience to engage in a rich and imaginative process that invites questions, curiosity and wonder. Puzzle Théâtre has toured extensively across Canada and around the world, including the Chicago International Puppet Festival, Shanghai Int’l Children’s Art Theatre, Int’l Puppet Festival in Czech Republic, and the Festival of Silliness in Yellowknife.

Curriculum Connections

  • French Language Arts
  • Drama/movement Storytelling
  • Visual Arts building projects (workshop)

Student Workshop

Making Cuckoo Clock: Pavla & Csaba will lead a small group in the creation of cuckoo clocks and a cuckoo bird, using reclaimed materials (cardboard box 12” X 12” or larger, craft paper) they bring from home. They will guide on how to make the cuckoo pop in and out of the box, and inspire ideas on creating more characters using the materials. Students will be encouraged to take their puppets to create the basis of their own play.  Workshops adapted for Grades 1 – 3.

Kattam and his Tam Tams (in English)
Kattam et ses Tam-Tams (en français)

Music & Dance Performance
Available in English or French
Touring Dates: Dates to be confirmed once in-school performance is permitted

To the sound of the n’goni, balafon, djembe, naffar, derbouka and dhol, percussionist Kattam invites students to discover Africa, the Middle East and India through rhythm, song and dance! From African rap and desert dance to trance Sufi rhythm and Bollywood dance. Accompanied by his monkey, Takoum, Kattam engages his audience through participation, rhythm and captivating storytelling. His high-energy shows invites the audience to watch, listen and, above all, participate!

Kattam’s aim is to foster a taste for music, discovery and self-expression amongst children, to partake in celebrations specific to different cultures, and to make both popular and spiritual music accessible—ultimately in order to teach children that beyond cultural differences lies a shared humanity. An incredible multicultural and global adventure awaits!

Kattam – who is part Québécois and part Morrocan – describes music as his passport to discover different cultures. Guided by his passion for percussion as well as for dance and theatre, the Montreal-based musician is constantly setting a course for new horizons that bring out the depth of the human experience. He has studied with international percussion masters around the world, including the djembe and doum doum in Guinea, the derbouka in Morroco, and the dhol and tabla in India. He’s even perfected his pop percussion skills with Céline Dion’s percussionist Paul Picard. Nominated for a Juno and Canadian Folk Music Award, he has performed with the Cirque du Soleil and at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A frequent contributor to Quebec variety and awards shows, he is part of several musical ensembles, and has recorded soundtracks for Montreal-based filmmaker Phillipe Falardeau. Performing close to 200 youth and family audiences per year with his solo show Kattam and His Tam-Tams, his original pieces place children front and centre.

Curriculum Connections

  • Music, dance and percussion instruments of Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia

Student Workshop

Kattam offers an initiation to African, Arabic, Indian and pop rhythms through the djembe. A total of 30 djembe drums are provided to the students.

Visions of Turtle Island

Tribal Vision Dance
Music & Dance Performance
Available in English
Touring Dates: Dates to be confirmed once in-school performance is permitted

Explore First Nations history and traditions and confront stereotypes in this high-energy, multidisciplinary and multi-media performance. Visions of Turtle Island includes live singing, dancing, and video and image presentations to help explain the dances and illustrate the cultural experience of First Nations peoples in Canada.

Featuring live singing and dancing in contemporary Powwow & traditional Haudenosaunee styles, this highly interactive presentation invites audience participation to help bring the dance to life. The performance ends with the traditional Hoop Dance, which embodies a message of interconnectedness.

Tribal Vision Dance is a family dance troupe from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The group is comprised of champion singers and dancers with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with young audiences and families to build a deeper understanding and appreciation of First Nations culture.

Curriculum Connections

  • Meaning and symbolism of First Nations stories, dance and regalia
  • Respect and responsibility for the natural world

Cross Curricular Connections

  •  Equity and inclusion
  • Experiential learning
  • Indigenous education

Student Workshop

Students will be moving and dancing for the duration of this high-energy dance workshop, learning about the history and meanings of each participatory dance.

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito

Carousel Theatre
Theatre Performance
Available in English
Touring Dates: This show has been postponed until 2022.
Please check back for updated information.

In this story of a misfit searching for her place in the world, Mary Jane is a mosquito who doesn’t have wings. At home in Petit Petit Le Paw she is teased by the other mosquitos, who won’t be friends with her. She is sent off to school, and then to live with her auntie in the city, as she searches for a place where she can fit in and make friends. After many adventures, Mary Jane learns to make friends sharing her language, her kind heart, and her songs with the world.

This musical show explores themes of feeling like an outsider, dealing with bullying, moving to a new place, and feeling different from what is considered normal. As Mary Jane tells her tale through song and story, Tomson Highway has woven in Cree words and phrases that are taught to the audience through playful interaction. With live music throughout, and supported with puppetry and fanciful costumes, this is an engaging piece for younger audiences.

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.

Curriculum Connections

  • First Nations languages, visual arts, storytelling

Student Workshop

Carousel Players, together with their Play Links arts facilitator, offer adaptable school workshops around the themes of Indigenous languages, visual arts and social studies. Workshops can be adapted for grades JK – 4.

Booking Inquiry

Are you a school Principal and/or Vice-Principal interested in booking a school performance? Please fill out the brief booking inquiry form below and our Education Manager will contact you to discuss booking a performance at your school.

Booking Inquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Kaleidoscope in the Schools (KITS) is a unique school-based program created by the Aurora Cultural Centre. The program elements include fully subsidized in-school performances and workshops by professional performing artists, as well as professional development resources to enable pre- and post-show activities.

The Aurora Cultural Centre is a not-for-profit charitable corporation delivering community arts and cultural services on behalf of the Town of Aurora. Since 2010, the Centre has welcomed the community to create and participate in diverse arts experiences for all ages. We proudly program vibrant gallery exhibition spaces, a range of instructional classes for children, teens and adults, an eclectic live music series, special family events, and summer arts camps, The Centre is a registered charity, generously funded in part by the Town of Aurora. We are proud to have earned the Imagine Canada Trustmark, demonstrating excellence in not-for-profit operations. Our professional staff is supported by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and enthusiastic team of volunteers. Learn more: auroraculturalcentre.ca/our-story.

Presently, the Kaleidoscope in the Schools program is offered to all publicly funded elementary schools in Aurora. As the program grows, the Aurora Cultural Centre’s long-term goal is to grow to provide the program to JK to grade 4 students in performance plus and underserved schools throughout York Region.

The Aurora Cultural Centre believes very strongly in keeping the Kaleidoscope in the Schools program free to the parent/guardian so that all children can have access to this program regardless of their family’s financial situation. The program was launched with the generous support from the Town of Aurora, the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Seed Grant, and individual donors including a major gift from Aurora residents Isobel Ralston & Jan Oudenes.

The 2020/21 season is funded through the Town of Aurora, the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Grow Grant, the Aurora Optimist Club and individual donors.

The Kaleidoscope in the Schools program has been specially curated to serve those students from ages 4-9 as countless academic research studies have proven that it is a uniquely pivotal time in development of young minds. Creativity with no inhibitions flourishes and shared experiences like watching an impactful performing arts presentation breeds understanding, tolerance and personal expression.

The Aurora Cultural Centre has reviewed the school board director’s objectives, and worked extensively with your school board’s superintendents and curriculum consultants to learn and understand the curriculum. Artist groups provide a review of the performances and its ties to the curriculum for programming consideration. Learn more about curriculum connections HERE.

Principals/vice principals are invited to rank their performance selections and provide information about their school HERE. You will be contacted by the Aurora Cultural Centre to inform you of what performance your school has been provided.

Performances are approximately 40-60 minutes in length, including student Q&A.

Workshops are approximately 40-60 minutes in length.

The performance takes place in your school’s gym.

The space requirements for the workshop vary based on the performers’ needs. Generally speaking workshops will require either a classroom, or a large space such as the library, media room, or gym. Exact details will be provided by the Aurora Cultural Centre once your school’s performance has been selected.

Time and budgetary constraints mean that performers can only provide workshops to a select number of your students. It is our hope that as your student body moves through the program, every grade 4 student will be able to experience a workshop through the KITS program.

The technical requirements for the performance vary based on the performers’ needs. As part of the KITS program, the Aurora Cultural Centre will provide all of the required tech either by a contracted technician that we host, or by the artist(s) themselves. Exact details will be provided by the Aurora Cultural Centre once your school’s performance has been selected.

We may need access to your stage, however this varies based on the performers’ needs. Exact details will be provided by the Aurora Cultural Centre once your school’s performance has been selected.  We also ask that you provide chairs/benches for teachers, administrators, and Centre staff during the performance. A microphone will also be needed for the teacher/administrator introducing the performance and facilitating the post-show Q&A. Everything else will be set up by us as part of the KITS program.

The equipment requirements for the workshop vary based on the performers’ needs. Generally speaking workshops will require tables and chairs. Everything else will be set up by us as part of the KITS program. Exact details will be provided by the Aurora Cultural Centre once your school’s performance has been selected.

As part of our need to document this program, the Aurora Cultural Centre will take photos and videos of students from behind without faces showing during the performance. We will work with the workshop teachers to seat students strategically who have photo/video permission so that we may capture faces on photo/video during the workshop. Exact details will be provided by the Aurora Cultural Centre once your school’s performance has been selected.

Thank you to our program supporters:

Founding donors:

Isobel Ralston & Jan Oudenes


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