For a little more than an hour every day Hana Burdge gets to forget about the stress of being a teenager.
The Grade 12 Royal Bay Secondary student walks into jazz band class, picks up her alto saxophone and begins to play. The problems and issues of every day life begin to melt away with every note.
“I feel like it’s an escape from everything else,” said Burdge, who also plays the violin with the Victoria Symphony. “Especially this week with exams and being so stressed about that, when I go to my jazz band class I forget about everything else and just have fun.”
Burdge, along with more than 150 other arts students, will be participating in the school’s Behind the Raven’s Wing event next week where the public is invited to come and celebrate the visual and performing arts programs at Royal Bay.
The evening begins with performances in the Teechamitsa Theatre, followed by a walk up to the arts studios where there will be a gallery walk and food, as well as interactive arts activities. Participants will then move back to the theatre for drama and dance performances from various classes.
Students from the culinary arts program will also be making the dessert platters.
“The arts are integral to so much of who we are as human beings,” visual arts teacher Regan Rasmussen said. “We celebrate through the arts, but we also inform through the arts. This is really a celebration in showcasing what we do, what our students do, what they love to do.”
Senior Sam Westhaver is part of the cast that will be performing a scene from the school’s recent adaption of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s tale, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
“It’s just nice to be involved and to show other people what they can do,” Westhaver said.
Cassidy O’Keefe, who is also involved in the school’s art programs, hopes participants of all ages walk away with a new perspective on the arts.
“I hope that they just see that art is fun. I think most people think it’s boring or you can only do it if you’re good at it. But you can come in here and you can do whatever you want and just have fun with it,” she said.
Behind the Raven’s Wing takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at the school (3500 Ryder Hesjedal Way). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event itself runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.