Opera and dance as tools for intervention to facilitate inclusion
The CNDT, in collaboration with Espace Transition and the Opéra de Montréal, has recently launched an arts intervention initiative for young people in the integration program of Calixa-Lavallée High School.
In 2018, the Opéra de Montréal implemented its Impact Opera Program to raise awareness of opera among diverse audiences. This program includes various cultural activities in the community or schools, carried out by a team of artist-mediators and dedicated collaborators. The program's goal is to raise awareness and introduce opera in a way that makes it a lever for social transformation and an essential educational tool.
Espace Transition is an innovation project of CHU Sainte-Justine (CHU SJ) aiming for the recovery of young people facing mental health challenges by leveraging the potential of art and the creative process. Born from a collaboration between doctors and professionals from CHU SJ, patients and their families, artists, and university researchers, the project started in 2009 and has since greatly expanded, both in terms of the diversity of artistic modalities and its implementation in various regions of Quebec.
The CNDT, the Opéra de Montréal, and Espace Transition share these values of community service. The young participants in the ET Dance Opera: New Horizons project build relationships with other young people and flourish in a creative context free of prejudices, where they can strengthen a sense of belonging to Quebecois culture without their identity and cultural experience being ignored.
The sessions are led by a team of professionals from the fields of dance therapy, opera, and art interventions. With this project, we aim to prioritize and encourage their participation, reduce language barriers, diminish cultural stigmas, and enhance the psychological well-being of the participating students.
Calixa-Lavallée School has 23 classes with 17 students per group. The number of classes at the school has increased in recent years, and it could accommodate up to 28 groups by the end of the school year.
Mrs. Marie-Claude's group has been selected for the ET Danse Opéra: New Horizons project. In this group, 17 students are participating in dance and singing sessions over the course of 10 weeks. To provide a performance experience for these young individuals, 8 sessions are dedicated to the creation, and 2 sessions are reserved for the final practice of the showcase, which will be presented to the rest of the school at the end of June.