Maggie begins engagement with Grade 4/5 class at Moberly Elementary- Vancouver Biennale BIG IDEAS project

This post is written by Ms. Soga, teacher for the Grade 4/5 class at Moberly Elementary school. Content provided by the class blog site.

It’s Biennale time!

Lucky Division 8 has been selected to participate in the 2012/2013 BIG IDEAS Arts in Action sponsored by the Vancouver Biennale. The Vancouver Biennale BIG IDEAS Education Program is a “cross-curricular, multi-grade and inquiry based learning program. BIG IDEAS is designed to nurture and encourage active engagement and inquiry based learning experiences through public art installations.”

Our class has been selected to work with local professional artist, Ms. Maggie Winston. Ms. Winston will lead us through 10 workshops. We will take inspiration from the art installation, “Walking Figures” by Magdalena Abankanowicz. Please visit: to find out more about the art and the artist.

Please check back often for progress updates of our time with Ms. Winston. Thank you!

“Just Enough- A Puppet and Clown Show” at Poppins Preschool

Maggie performed her solo show, “Just Enough- A Puppet and Clown Show” at Poppins Preschool located within the South Vancouver Neighborhood House on Thursday, November 8, 2012.
“Just Enough” is a 40 minute show designed for ages 3 and up. The story is based on a traditional Yiddish folktale which has since spread, transformed, and been retold in many cultures around the world. “Just Enough” gives a whole new spin to the notion of recycling, as beloved objects find new uses. The story involves a grandmother who makes a quilt from the materials she has collected over the years, and gives it to her granddaughter. With each piece of fabric a memory is shared. It’s a story about growing up and change. Although Grandma may not have much, she will always have ‘just enough’ for a great story.

The pictures show me sharing the grandma puppet with the kids. They always enjoy touching her face and figuring out how she works.

It was such a great audience of 3 and 4 year olds. They each had their own little plastic chair to sit in. And once they realized that this show was going to be hilarious, they opened up a lot and started interacting wonderfully. I could even see the preschool teachers laughing and playing along too!!

Thanks to Caleb Vallevand for operating the music cues.

Thanks also to Poppins Preschool and South Vancouver Neighborhood House. I look forward to more engagements in the future!

Puppetry Workshops for Early Childhood Educators at Sunset Community Centre Preschool

Maggie facilitated 2 puppetry workshops for ECE teachers at Sunset CC preschool. In the first workshop on October 3, 6-8pm we ate Indian food and then dove right into making puppets. Using my massive piles of fabric, foam, and of course, hot glue. I think we all got stronger skin on our fingers after that workshop. See what the teachers made below.

After the puppets were completed we discovered how to use them in the classroom. We played some clowning exercises. We learned about focus, holding moments, and sharing moments. Then we split up into groups and created our own puppet scenes.


Thanks so much for your participation and enthusiasm. I hope to see all the teachers at Sunset CC again soon.

These workshops were made possible by the Neighborhood Small Grants Program (Vancouver Foundation). Thanks to them too!!


Interactive Map and House Printmaking at South Hill Festival May 26, 2012

Something Collective unveiled the first interactive map for the South Hill and Sunset Communities at the South Hill Festival on May 26, 2012. Using a similar format to the mapping exercise at the Sunset CC Board Visioning meeting, the public was invited to contribute information about the neighborhood and community on a large-scale map.

As festival goers entered our Something Collective/MACC tent they were invited to choose colored sticker icons (designed by Juliana Bedoya) which represented different aspects of the neighborhood. They were:

1. Green spaces

2.Gathering places

3. Places to find information about your neighbourhood

4. Art Spaces (where you can find public art, or make art)

5. Favourite shops and restaurants

6. Play spaces

7. Bike routes

8. Traffic issues

9. Unused spaces

10. Things that need to be fixed

 11.Where you contribute/ would like to contribute to your community

12. Ideas to improved your neighbourhood

13. What you’d like to see grow

As the day went on we could see our map filling up with colorful and important information. We learned many new things about our neighborhood including community spaces we didn’t know existed and at least 5 icons were placed at Sunset CC asking for a community garden.

In addition to the large-scale map we also provided an activity where you could draw your house on a tiny styrofoam square and make a printed image. We collected dozens of prints of residents houses in the neighborhood. These prints will be included on our map.


The large-scale map will continue to be an interactive installation in Sunset CC. Come into Sunset anytime and YOU can see what has already been identified in your neighborhood. YOU can also contribute information with a note to us and we will add the appropriate icon to our ever growing picture of our neighborhood!

Shiny Kids Family Festival- May 5, 2012

Shiny Kids Family Festival was an event that took place on May 5, 2012 at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, featuring a stage show, puppets, music and dance and an interactive Eco-Maze, which is a giant inflatable sculpture you can walk inside of.

The festival also featured costume parades, face painting, collaborative art making with Zee Kesler (The Bright Red Crayon), roving performers, organized tom-foolery, and storytelling by some of Vancouver’s best story tellers. Including Naomi Steinberg, Renee Iaci, Lisa Sars, and Lori Sherritt. It also featured the Arts Umbrella Youth Theatre Outreach Actors as a gaggle of clowns who performed and roved throughout the day.

The Festival is a collaboration of The Shiny Collective (local award winning children’s entertainers; Gogo Bonkers, The Lost & Found Puppet Company, and The Ta-Daa Lady and Juno award winning Peter Puffin ) in partnership with the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre.

The highlight of the Shiny Kids Family Festival  was a live stage performance of “Save the Sea”. The stage show featured live music by GoGoBonkers, dancing and puppets by the Ta Daa Lady and Maggie Winston (Lost & Found Puppet Co.). It told a very important story about the ocean, environment, community and helping each other. Children and Parents were welcomed into this magical world to learn about the importance of protecting the ocean, how garbage effects everyone, how rewarding it is to eat healthy and locally and how planting seeds will provide what we need to better our lives.

Watch a video of the show!!!

‘Save the Sea’ performed at Moberly Arts & Cultiural Centre, May 5, 2012

This Festival’s goal is to become an ongoing family event that could take place anywhere. It aims to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families by helping them connect and interact with artists and individuals in their community about sustainability and socially conscious ideas, concepts, and growth. Oh, and have a whole bunch of fun doing it!

We, in the Shiny Collective, have been working tirelessly since September of 2011 to realize this festival and now it has become a reality thanks to the Incubator Residency. It was a huge success. Almost 200 people attended the festival as audience members and festival goers; we enlisted over 25 volunteers, and over 15 performers!!! We hope to make The Shiny Kids Family Festival an annual Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre event.

Big Thank You to Cyndy Chwelos, all the Volunteers, and all community members who made this event a huge success!!!
To find out more about the Shiny Collective visit

We Are Here-Miniature Play Places


Miniature Play Places

Toy Theatres Depicting Favorite Neighborhood Places to Play

An initiative of “We Are Here”-  a mapping project for the South Hill and Sunset Neighborhoods; a project of the 3-Year Incubator Residency at Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre

Something Collective member Maggie Winston (Puppet Theatre Artist) worked and played with 30 Grade 4 students from Ms. Dana Soga’s Moberly Elementary School class. The style of puppetry the students engaged with is called “Toy Theatre”.

Toy theater, also called paper theater and model theater, is a form of miniature theater dating back to the early 19th century in Europe. Toy theaters were often printed on paperboard sheets and sold as kits at the concession stand of an opera house, playhouse, or vaudeville theater. Toy theaters were assembled at home and performed for family members and guests, sometimes with live musical accompaniment. Toy theater saw a drastic decline in popularity with a shift towards realism on the European stage in the late 19th century, and again with the arrival of television after World War II. Toy theater has seen a resurgence in recent years among many puppeteers, authors and filmmakers and there are numerous international toy theater festivals throughout the Americas and Europe.

Example of Toy Theatre from 19th Century Europe

Students were paired into groups and invited to decide where they most enjoyed playing in our neighborhood. Together, they sketched designs from memory of their favorite playgrounds, backyards, parks, alleyways, ice rinks, and living rooms.

Drawing of Moberly Park by Grade 4 Students at Moberly Elementary School

They realized these drawings in 3 dimensions and in miniature by using a variety of recycled materials including cardboard, plastic containers, toilet paper rolls, fabric, plastics, foam balls, and many more found objects.

Students working with Found Materials

The final stage of the project involved photographing each student and recreating themselves in miniature, as 2-D puppets to be animated in the miniature worlds. Each group wrote a script and filmed their miniature scenes which will be archived in our online interactive community map. Eventually, anyone will be able to see their Toy Theatre plays by clicking on an icon where the play places are located.