For the first time, the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum’s (EAGM) summer camps took place in both July and August. Usually, camp activities run in July, leaving the end of the summer open, but this time the EAGM decided to try something different.
“So many people are doing camps in this city, which is wonderful, and this is probably my eighth year running art camps at the gallery. So I was just trying to switch it up to see what works and where there are holes, and what works for people in the community,” said Karly Garnier, the EAGM’s education, outreach and programming co-ordinator.
So this year they offered a week-long summer camp in August. And seems that it worked really well.
“We had a lot of last-minute sign-ups at the end of July. People are home from holidays and looking for stuff to do. So I would definitely offer something in August again,” said Garnier.
The theme of the week was Out of This World, and 15 children were creating artwork inspired by space and nature. Throughout the days of the camp, they were experimenting with a variety of media, painting using oil pastels, chalk art, splatter painting and more. There was something different every day.
This year the EAGM couldn’t get summer students, so the hours were changed to 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and groups were kept a bit smaller, but Garnier said they still saw a lot of interest from the community.
All together this summer EAGM held three weeklong camps for kids ages 7-12 and a pair of day camps for children ages 4-6. Day-long camps were morning or afternoon sessions. The first time the EAGM offered one-day camps was during the Easter break, and they proved to be quite popular.
But week camps still remain the main summer program. Kids really enjoy the activities and quite often stick to the camp throughout summer.
“It’s a really great group. All of my camps have been really good. And I had kids that have been to all of the camps and came out all weeks. And it’s nice. They’ve made friends and they are familiar with each other,” said Garnier.
“We always have kids that are really interested in art that come to our camps, so it’s really fun for me. And we usually get a lot done and have a lot of fun, do recess outdoor time weather permitting, we play games, we usually have a little movie afternoon on the last day and they are here for the whole day, so we bring lunch, have snacks. It’s been really fun.”
Planning for future camps, Garnier hopes to keep being flexible and offer more options.
“I am going to look into maybe partnering with some other organizations hosting camps for them. Just again, switching it up, seeing what works for times, ages. Keep staying flexible so we are offering what the community needs, so we are not all competing against each other because other places are running great camps as well,” said Garnier.
And in the meantime, the EAGM is getting ready to the beginning of a new year of regular activities. The programs will resume in September and some bigger community events are coming up as well. The EAGM also received a grant to have two artists in residence.
All updates are published on their website.
“Stay tuned for our fall programming,” said Garnier. “People also can call me or email me if they want to get added to our email list.”