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Grade three students Embark on Artistic Journeys of Kindness and Imagination

In a fusion of creativity and compassion,  87 grade three students at Elizabeth Rummel School in Canmore have been exploring the impact of kindness through an innovative art program called Right From the HeART that partners artsPlace, and the Canadian Rockies Public School’s Right from The Start (RFTS) program.


Kat Wiebe, a Success Coach with RFTS, and artist Lucie Bause from artsPlace inspired students to express the theme of kindness through mixed media art. The lesson was designed to show how one act of kindness can lead to a many more, ultimately empowering students to see their potential to make positive impact for themselves, their community, and the world.


“Despite the starting point being fixed, the differentiation was profound,” said Wiebe. “Each student explored the theme, and the art uniquely and finally produced a composition that they could hold up with self-respect and satisfaction. It was an opportunity that will support their personal growth—both artistically and emotionally.”

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Using a variety of mediums and inspired by the words of the Dalai Lama, students worked closely with Bause and Wiebe to create vibrant artworks symbolizing the spread of kindness. While some students chose to use a big and bold colour palette, others selected more subtle and subdued colours.  


“Art education and experiential learning empower children,” said Bause. “It gives them time and space to find their voice, to express themselves, to have fun exploring and be proud of their discoveries, all while building creativity and self-confidence.”


This program underscores the belief that art is not just a subject to be taught; it’s a vital means of fostering understanding, kindness, and the importance of imagination. By exploring and embracing kindness through art, this initiative moves well beyond a mixed-media art project and becomes a lesson in empathy that is shared outside of the classroom.

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“Thanks to the generous funding from the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, we have the invaluable opportunity to integrate mental health capacity building and the arts in Canadian Rockies Public Schools,” said Eileen McCabe, Program Manager for RFTS. “Students can explore their emotions, reduce stress, and develop crucial coping mechanisms while exploring different art mediums.”


Initiatives like the Right From the HeART underscore the transformative power of art education in fostering mental wellness, empathy, creativity, and a broader understanding of the world.


“Doing something nice for someone makes them happy, and then they want to make someone else happy too,” one student said. “I love painting smiles because it shows how easy it is to spread joy.”

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Star 6 Ranch

Since 2022, the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation has donated $40,000 to artsPlace to enable the Right from the HeART program. By supporting initiatives like Right From the HeART, this funding helps build an engaging and well-rounded educational journey for students in the Bow Valley.

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"Supporting a more active, vibrant, happy community"