Walk through the front doors of Georges Vanier Catholic Fine Arts School and, aside from the fact its recent renovations give it a bright, spacious and more modern look, there's little that might differentiate it from any other school.
But then you hear music wafting through the halls. Still, not all that unique; other schools have band and music. But when a student gleefully glides out of the dance studio practicing the moves he just learned in class, you start to get a sense there's something different and special about this school.
When staff, students and parents at the school sought to define the things that make the fine arts school special, feedback inspired a song written and composed by Rhonda Gallant-Morari, a teacher-librarian at the school. (What else would you expect from a fine arts school?)
"When we compiled all the feedback, one repeating theme really stood out for me: this is the second home for our students, and that became the title of the song," said Gallant-Morari.
"The song celebrates the community that we build," said Alyssa Deacon, the drama teacher at Georges Vanier. "This is a safe, happy place that encourages students' God-given gifts and talents to flourish in an artistic environment."
A video was recently created to give new life to Second Home, the song that was unveiled at the school's grand re-opening after renovations in 2015.
Principal Don Remizowski added, "We're unique in Saskatchewan in that we bring the four pillars of the arts—music, dance, drama and visual art—under one roof for elementary-age students. That, along with our faith, allows us to build a distinct sense of community. Like Rhonda captured in the song, this is a 'safe place to learn and grow in many different ways; a place where we belong, free to be ourselves… in our second home.'"
A special thanks to Riley Deacon and Sound Lounge by T-Bone for offering their gifts and talents in producing the video.
Georges Vanier Catholic Fine Arts School is a K-8 school located in the southeast part of Saskatoon with high standards for achievement in the arts, academics and social responsibility. The school uses inquiry methods of teaching that focus on creation, exploration and inspiration.