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School of Performing Arts

College and Confederation Centre announce SoPA

Prince Edward Island will be the home of Atlantic Canada's new school of performing arts. Confederation Centre of the Arts and Holland College are partnering to form the Holland College School of Performing Arts, officials from the two institutions announced today.

The two partners are uniquely qualified to create the new school. Confederation Centre of the Arts is an award-winning national arts centre with the pedigree of one of the country's oldest musical theatre festivals, The Charlottetown Festival. Holland College is an innovative and internationally recognized post-secondary educational institute.

"The establishment of a School of Performing Arts, in partnership with the Confederation Centre of the Arts, adds a new and exciting dimension to programs offered at Holland College. In combining the significant strengths and national reputations of two well-established institutions, we are seeking to create an entity with both credibility and profile within the field of post-secondary arts education. We are very excited about this initiative and the opportunities it offers for future Holland College students and the arts and culture sector," said Michael O'Grady, Vice President, Innovation, Enterprise & Strategic Development at Holland College.

P.E.I. has a rich tradition in the performing arts. From music to dance to theatre, the province has excellent youth and secondary school programming which produces students eager to pursue post-secondary education and training on their way to professional careers. Until now, the regional options for this training have been scarce.

In September of 2011, the School of Performing Arts will offer aspiring performers a two-year diploma program in Contemporary Music Performance and a one-year Performing Arts Foundation certificate program, followed in September of 2012 with the addition of a two-year diploma in Dance Performance.

"The Confederation Centre's education and youth programming reaches several hundred young people every year, nurturing their creativity and developing in them a love of the arts. We envisioned a time when we could offer more and committed to this goal in our strategic plan. Becoming involved in post secondary education is a natural progression for us. This collaboration with Holland College will create new opportunities for our youth, our artists and our community. And by community, we mean Atlantic Canada, because this new school is unique to the region," said David MacKenzie, CEO of Confederation Centre of the Arts.

The programs, under the leadership of Peggy Reddin, Director of Arts Education at Confederation Centre of the Arts and Alan Dowling, Director of Music and Learning Manager at Holland College, will draw on the strengths of Confederation Centre of the Arts and Holland College to provide students with a strong foundation in their field, as well as in the business aspects of their chosen profession.

In this picture: (L-R) David MacKenzie, CEO of Confederation Centre of the Arts; Dr. Brian McMillan, President of Holland College; Michael O'Grady, Vice President of Innovation, Enterprise and Strategic Development for Holland College; and Wayne Hambly, Chair of the Confederation Centre of the Arts Board of Directors, discuss plans for the Holland College School of Performing Arts, a partnership between the college and Confederation Centre of the Arts.

For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010