Valerie Allan | May 29, 2019

On May 14, several girls and staff from Granite Ridge Education Centre and Sydenham High School tried their hand at blacksmithing. This event was arranged to show the girls that there is no job they cannot do. Stefan Duerst, Artist Blacksmith from Godfrey, Ontario, led the students through a logical sequence of techniques including forging, twisting, scrolling, and bending.

After covering safety and the basic techniques, Mr. Duerst let students work on their own to plan and make items. Mr. Duerst stressed that with the proper techniques and equipment, anyone can work with metal – it is not necessary to be built like Thor.

Students worked hard all day, and came home with several items they had made. A Grade 8 girls’ group will be going to Duerst Artist Blacksmith in June, from Land O’ Lakes Public School, Granite Ridge Education Centre, and Prince Charles Public School.

On May 15 and May 23, David Francey led songwriting workshops at Sydenham High School in the morning, and Granite Ridge Education Centre in the afternoon.

Many students participated in these intensive sessions, working alone or with partners.

David Francey has won three Juno Awards, the SOCAN Folk Music Award, the Grand Prize in the International Acoustic Music Award and the Grand Prize in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.

These events are part of the initiative focusing on the Arts, Indigenous Learning, and non-traditional pathways funded by various combinations of AIREE, GREC Parent Council, Live Wire Music, Blue Skies, Gillianne Mundell, and Pez.

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