Gibson School of the Arts is an exciting new program for the youth of New Tecumseth! We will provide quality arts education to our diverse and growing community. Many facets of the arts will be explored, including theatre, vocal, piano, visual arts, drumming and even the culinary arts! This program will be a haven for children of all levels of education, household incomes and abilities where they can learn in an inclusive, safe and nurturing environment.
Our programming is for the young community of New Tecumseth, grades 1 - 8, and will be suited to children of all backgrounds and abilities. We will strive to include the art of differing cultures, so that our expanding and diverse youth community will be able to identify with their art and in turn identify with each other.
The arts are how many people identify with others and indeed how they find their own identities as well. In an area like ours that is rapidly changing, expanding and diversifying, using the arts to help our youth connect with each other could not be of more importance. The arts provide a safe space for youth to explore their likes, dislikes and to grow their confidence. This confidence can be seen not just on the stage, but in every aspect of their lives!
Theatre Program Director
Chandra Pepper brings years of experience as a professional actress and accomplished director, in addition to years of working in the educational system. Chandra has been bringing opportunities in the theatrical arts to the youth of this community for many years, and has become a beloved member of the education and theatre community in this area. She strives to teach the fundamentals of the craft of acting to her young actors, so that they have the building blocks they need to continue in the theatre world. With a focus on inclusivity, confidence building, and the belief that every child deserves their moment in the spotlight, Chandra has led her students to the completion of many impressive productions. There is much to learn and much fun to be had in all of Chandra's programs, and the Gibson School of the Arts counts itself very fortunate indeed to have her as the founding facilitator on staff!
Sherry O'Connor (Culinary)
Sherry is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist whose enthusiasm for healthy eating and educating are a perfect match for Gibson School of the Arts. She currently works at both Tottenham Foodland and Orangeville Sobeys as a Wellness Being Counsellor. Sherry has lived in Tottenham for 23 years and is happy to work with old and new friends who want to improve their quality of being.
Nanette Seaman (Vocal)
Christina Luck (Visual Arts)
Christina Luck’s paintings place the people and objects of ordinary life in a buoyant new world of her imagination. She has a BFA in Visual Arts from York University, and since the early 80’s has shown her work at numerous public and commercial galleries including Leo Kamen, Prime Gallery, MacLaren Art Centre and David Kaye Gallery. Her art is found in the collections of CIBC, Four Seasons Hotels, Labatt’s, Trimark, DFAIT, Canada Council Art Bank, Royal Victoria Hospital and many others. She teaches art to all ages at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie. Christina is represented by David Kaye Gallery in Toronto and has a studio in Cookstown, Ontario.
Carlina LaLomia (Piano)
Carlina is an enthusiastic young piano teacher, certified with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She enjoys teaching private lessons, as well as group piano lessons. She has run several successful summer music camps. Carlina believes that the benefits of music study go beyond the ability to play! Children who learn to play piano are also developing their cognitive ability, creativity, personal expression, focus and perseverance. She is truly looking forward to sharing her love of music with the students of the Gibson School of the Arts.
Janet Hayward (Drumming)
After falling in love with the djembe 13 years ago, Janet combined that passion with 30 years of classroom teaching experience, to drum with children, teens, adults, and seniors at elementary and high schools, day camps, YMCA programs, festivals, libraries, conferences, community drum circles, long-term care facilities, a tourist resort, and charity fundraisers. She has learned West African, Afro-Haitian, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, Brazilian, and Middle Eastern rhythms, and drumming facilitation skills from Arthur Hull, Njacko Backo, Famadou and Billy Konate, Amadou Kienou, Catherine Veilleux, Jamie Andrews, Terri Segal, Shara Claire, Phil Shaw, Rudy “Quammie” Williams, Doug Sole, M’bemba Bangoura, Terry Cowan, Ron Rully, Anna Melnikoff, Ubaka Hill, Fule Badoe, Aly Traore, Fode “Lavia” Moussa Camara, Fara Tolno, Dede Alder, Ron Cross, Mario Melo, Charlie Cooley, Altaf “Bwana Moto” Vellani, Marcus Chonsky, and Prince Bamidele Bajowa. Janet also enjoys the Native frame drum, dunun, ashiko, doumbek, timba, and cajon. She values the drum’s ability to foster creativity, self-expression, team-building, mood improvement, and listening skills.