Happy almost Spring! This has certainly been one of the coldest winters on record in Calgary and I know the staff and students are looking forward to warmer weather.
This time of year, is of particular significance to our school community, as much of February and the remainder of March, has taken us into the most sacred time in our liturgical calendar, the season of Lent. During the past month, St. Augustine Fine Arts School has done much to prepare our students for this sacred time, first by celebrating the “Shrove” Tuesday breakfast on February 13th which was followed by our Ash Wednesday celebration on February 14th. Both events help to prepare ourselves for this sacred time, as Lent is traditionally seen as a time of giving things up, reflection and preparation for Easter. The Shrove Tuesday celebration was observed by the staff and community, as they prepared over 1000 pancakes for all the students in the school. Shrove Tuesday is traditionally seen as a chance to indulge ourselves and use up the foods that aren’t traditionally allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs, which were forbidden in Lent. The next day, we celebrated the beginning of Lent with our Ash Wednesday Liturgy. All staff and students received blessed ashes which reminds us to be reflective and seek forgiveness for our sins. Both events are a celebration of community and of our faith.
Many thanks to those staff and parents who volunteered their time and the ATCO Gas for use of their grills in making our Shrove Tuesday celebration such a success. We are also very grateful to Father Jack for helping us celebrate as a community during our Ash Wednesday Liturgy.
Planning and work continues for our Outdoor Learning Café with hopes to have our fundraising complete by the spring. This initiative has been over a year in the making as we plan to make some necessary upgrades to our playground, but also endeavor to create an area that will serve as a place to collaborate, learn and celebrate the arts. Plans for the Outdoor Learning Café include creating an area for music making, an art gallery and a stage area where theatrical and dance performances might take place for up to 40 audience members. Additionally, we are designating areas where students might enjoy the sunshine and eat their lunch outdoors, or work on a group project during class-time. The design uses modern materials but makes efforts to retain the natural beauty of the existing trees and surrounding greenspaces. This space promises to offer something for the entire community and we will provide additional information when it becomes available.