The night was filled with music, art, and memories on 16 January 2020 as students, staff, family, and friends gathered for MGCI’s biannual Arts Night. Artists were happy to finally be able to showcase their hard work and display their creativity. 

MGCI Arts Night had originally been scheduled to take place in December 2019, however the work to rule job action taken by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) caused it to be delayed to January 2020. 

“Having an interrupted semester definitely made it harder to get things done. We weren’t able to have the teacher band this year due to the strike, which was a bit disappointing, but we’re definitely happy with the way things turned out,” said art teacher Ms. Masemann. “Putting on Arts Night is one of the things that makes us happy as teachers. The whole semester is given meaning when we get to display our students’ work. We get to see students be proud of their work. They bring their friends and family, and we get to see the smiles on their faces. And that’s what art is all about. It’s supposed to make us happy and connect us. And putting it out in a public space like this allows us to see that in action.”

The event had been advertised through announcements, social media, and posters around the school. Tickets were sold at the door and cost three dollars for one ticket or five dollars for two. Emcees began the show at 6:30 pm, with the first half featuring performances from the choir club, Grade 10 piano class, and Grade 9 band. The performances were followed by a twenty-minute intermission, during which audience members made their way to the galleria where visual art pieces were on display. These included graffiti art by Grade 9 ESL students, watercolour print pieces by Grade 10 students, and photography from Grade 11 students. The photography studio was also opened up to display pottery done by Grade 9 students and sculptures by grade 11 students. Attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favourite piece. The artists with the most votes were later awarded prizes.

Sculptures made by MGCI students were on display in the studio. Photo: Laura Lu.

After returning to the cafeteria, Arts Night continued with more musical performances from the piano club, the ESL music class, and a piano soloist performing the hit song “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes. The night concluded with a thrilling performance of “Pirates of the Carribean” from the wind band club. 

The cafeteria was filled with smiles and applause when the show ended at 8 pm. Grade 9 Student Anmal Munawar commented on how much she enjoyed Arts Night, saying, “I thought the performances were really great. There were so many different types of music and art and seeing them made me realize how powerful art is. I really enjoyed the show and I can’t wait until the next one.” Vice Principal Mr. Haid also praised the efforts of Garneau’s art students on the morning announcements the following day. 

Four months of hard work paid off for MGCI art students as their creativity was appreciated by all. Although they faced a few challenges, their passion and perseverance led to the success of the year’s first Arts Night.