April 17, 2014

On Thursday, April 24, and Friday, April 25, some 130 Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) high school students will unleash their passion for music and art at the 6th edition of the Mélomanie cultural-artistic event. During this educational and identity-building experience, Catholic secondary school students with a strong interest in the arts will take part in a unique French language activity designed to complement the top-quality musical and arts programs offered in CSCNO high schools. The activities will take place on the Laurentian University campus. Members of the media are most welcome to attend all activities.

On Thursday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., visual arts students will participate in interactive workshops in Laurentian University’s Alphonse-Raymond Building. Between 1:15 and 4:45 p.m., interactive music workshops, featuring well-known francophone artists, will be offered to arts and music students at Laurentian University’s Alphonse-Raymond Building.

The following artists have agreed to share their expertise with students during the scheduled workshops:

 Darquise Poulin, singer and vocal coach

In the workshop led by Darquise Poulin, students will learn to sing with confidence, understand the importance of posture, control their muscles and improve sound projection and resonance. Voice control and finding the right level of energy will be featured, as will the importance of song lyrics and emotions. Musical Director of the Les Troubadours choir, Darquise has taught voice and piano for more than 15 years. She has been involved in many shows and productions, such as La Nuit sur l’étang, L’Écho d’un peuple, Northern Lights Festival Boréal and the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario’s production of Huit Femmes.

Marianna Lafrance, artist and photographer

A self-taught artist working on Manitoulin Island and in Sudbury, Marianna Lafrance will hold a workshop exploring natural dye colouring. Attendees will learn how to prepare different dye colouring through the use of natural plants. They will afterwards create a miniature banner made from recycled fabric. A photographer since the age of 13, Mariana is artistically fascinated by urban spaces and social phenomena. She was awarded an Ontario Arts Council emerging artist grant in 2011.

 Jean-Yves Bégin, saxophonist

An accomplished saxophonist, Jean-Yves Bégin will describe the use of the lead sheet in his workshop. This É.s.c. Franco-Ouest (Espanola) teacher is an independent musician and a crowd favourite at La Nuit sur l’Étang, the Sudbury Jazz Festivaland the Northern Lights Festival Boréal. Over the years, Jean-Yves has played on many big stages, such as Montréal’s Place des Arts and Toronto’s Harbour Front as well as at events like Montréal’s Francofolies. Jean-Yves has produced records with local artists as well as with his Broche à Foins jazz band and worked on studio productions involving electro-acoustic and popular rhythms, as well as on CBC radio and television productions.

Chuck Labelle, Franco-Ontarian artist

Jean-Guy « Chuck » Labelle will offer an interactive overview of the process of composing music and writing lyrics, as well as the relationship between both components. Participants will benefit from Chuck’s expertise as the “Franco-Ontarian cowboy” who continues to exert an influence on the musical scene across French Ontario. Since 1992, Chuck Labelle has produced three new country rock albums, three Christmas albums and one English-language album. He has taped 162 songs and melodies during his career and has performed on a variety of stages across Canada and in Europe.

 Mélanie Smits, Métis educator

Mélanie Smits is a Métis who takes great pride in her First Nation and Francophone identity and seeks to promote her dual cultures. Having already completed her Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies and Education, Mélanie is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Native Education. Truly motivated by her work at the CSCNO as Aboriginal Education Consultant, Mélanie devotes a great deal of energy to her work and to her volunteer activities in the Native communities in her efforts to promote Métis and Francophone cultures. Students taking part in her workshop will be initiated to rhythm and song through the use of Native drums.

 Cindy Doire, Franco-Ontarian singer

In her workshop, Timmins artist Cindy Doire will offer insight into stage presence and how to overcome stage fright. Cindy Doire is appreciated for her rich and unique voice. Her jazz-influenced folk music reminds us of the cabarets, dim lights and nostalgic intimate encounters of another age. Very natural on stage and holding a guitar, singer-songwriter Cindy Doire sings about her daily life, the poetry of the human soul and the beauty of the present moment. She has performed in Canada, as well as in France, England and South America. Since 2007, Cindy has composed and produced three albums: La Vie en Bleu, Chapeau de Pluie and Sticks and Mud.

 Mélomanie will wind up on Friday, April 25, with a set of performances at Laurentian University’s Fraser Auditorium for some 600 CSCNO grade 8 students from Greater Sudbury area French Catholic schools. Students from the following high schools will be on stage between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to share their musical talents with the audience: ESC Franco-Ouest (Espanola), ES Notre-Dame-du-Sault (Sault Ste. Marie), ESC Jeunesse-Nord (Blind River), Collège Notre-Dame (Sudbury), ESC l’Horizon (Val Caron), and ESC Champlain (Chelmsford). Invited guests will also be able to view an art exhibit showcasing the creative talents of our students.

The Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario offers a French Catholic Educational Program that is widely recognized for its excellence. The CSCNO provides a quality learning environment and academic program that runs from early childhood to adult education, with some 7,000 students enrolled in 27 elementary and 10 secondary schools. 


Paul de la Riva
Communications and Community Development Coordinator
Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario
(705) 673-5626, ext. 294
(705) 677-8195 – cell phone