Juvenis Festival looking for Kingston youth

Over 100 positions available across various disciplines

The Journal spoke with co-managing director Kate Seip.
Credit: 
Supplied by Juvenis Festival

The Juvenis Festival is back and recruiting Kingston residents aged 13-30.

The festival has over 100 positions available across various arts disciplines, including acting, singing, dancing, and performing. They’re also offering free workshops and masterclasses to build interest and skills in the arts.

In an interview with The Journal, Co-Managing Director Kate Seip offered insight into the festival and discussed the importance of making artistic opportunities available during the pandemic.

“The Juvenis Festival is a project of Blue Canoe Theatrical that began in 2016. Our goal is to showcase the talented Kingston youth aged 30 and under,” Seip said.

Young people’s artistic ventures have been Blue Canoe’s focus since its 2006 inception.

“There’s a gap between things adults put on for youth and things youth put on because they want to see it put on,” Seip said.

“All the events that happen at [Juvenis] happen because people 30 and under came to us and said, ‘Hey, I want to see this musical put on,’ and we let them do it.”

Beyond the productions, Juvenis offers mentorship opportunities and free workshops to help young people realize their artistic visions through hands-on experience.

Workshops are often hosted by the festival’s partners, such as the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Many are multidisciplinary and offer rewarding learning opportunities for various skill levels.

“An example of a workshop we had last year was embroidery—we felt it was something people wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn [outside of] YouTube,” Seip said.

Rehearsals and meetups will be online until March in adherence to COVID-19 restrictions and to accommodate the many students currently living at home. After the pandemic forced the previous two Juvenis Festivals online, Seip is excited about the organization’s plans to deliver its 2022 offerings in a hybrid format.

“When we are able to gather in person, we’re going to have small groups. We’ve already talked to the musicals—which are our bigger projects—and they’ve said they will only have who is necessary at their rehearsals.”

Seip said artistic endeavours like the Juvenis Festival are important during the pandemic when everyone needs some happiness and excitement.

“Art is a way for people to express themselves in a way that’s safe.”

“A lot of high school and university students need an outlet right now,” Seip said. “I think [art] is something that can give people some joy, whether you’re a participant or an audience member. [Building] a sense of community is a huge goal of mine for this festival.”

Anyone interested is welcome to bring their ideas to the table.

“We do our best to make opportunities for everyone. If there’s something someone wants that they’re not seeing, we’d love to find a way to implement it.”

Registration is now open online for the 2022 Juvenis Festival.

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