Last week Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School students and employees took part in numerous activities for the 37th annual celebration of Marti McKay Week. Founded in 1984, Marti McKay Week promotes the creative arts, honouring the memory of Marti McKay, an STS student and gifted poet who passed away in 1981.
The legacy of Marti McKay includes an annual Artist in Residence program which brings enrichment to the students of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School through highlighting speakers with backgrounds in the creative arts. Over the years, Marti McKay Week has featured various guest speakers from puppeteers to poets, including educators, authors, writers, artists, illustrators, and musicians. This program is generously supported by the McKay family and the many benefactors and friends of Marti McKay.
The Peter B. Ditchburn Library showcased works by both STS alumni authors and past Marti McKay speakers in the form of a special display. Books by this year’s guest speakers were also available for sign out from the library.
This year's guest speaker line-up included Canadian children's book author Bree Galbraith who spoke to our youngest authors and artists in Kindergarten - Grade 4. STS Elementary School Teacher-Librarian, Morgan Chapman said "Students loved the opportunity to ask [Bree] questions about her life as a writer, and especially loved her invitation to contribute ideas for her next picture book and novel. Our students were full of creative ideas and look forward to seeing if those ideas show up in a real book soon!".
Bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown "wowed our Grades 5 and 6 students with the backstory from the beloved book, The Wild Robot" said Ms. Chapman, "He shared a quick art lesson with the classes that had everyone creating their own “Roz” in the forest. [...] STS students asked thoughtful questions and especially loved the clues he gave us as to what Book three in the series might contain!".
Young adult author Anna Priemaza, author of Kat and Meg Conquer the World, Fan the Flame, and The Forgotten Memories of Vera Glass, captivated the Middle School. While, STS alumna, author Sabrina Uswak '07 shared with Senior School students the enemies of the creative process, "fear, perfectionism and self-doubt", before reading an excerpt from her novel, All the Night Gone. Ms. Uswak was followed by STS alumna artist and author Mackenzie Roth '17, who inspired students by sharing her own creative process and journey through making Do Not Seek the Infinities Below, an art exhibit turned short story. After their presentations, Ms. Uswak and Ms. Roth engaged in a lively Q&A and panel discussion facilitated by Zubair Kassam, STS's Director of Library Services.