Byng was busy in the New Year. Roughly 364 elementary students were visiting the school to audition for 90 spots in the Byng Arts program, a popular mini-school that supports students who wish to focus their energy and passion on performing arts, fine arts and music.
Principal Annette Vey-Chilton says Byng is lucky to benefit from the energy and engagement of the mini-school, which is infused throughout the school community.
"The beauty of it all is that nothing is exclusive about Byng Arts," she says "It is a great program and all the kids are proud of it and connected with it even if they aren't directly enrolled."
Vey-Chilton says this benefit is evident everywhere. Be it the high level junior and senior symphonies, bands, choirs and string shows, the incredible art adorning the school's walls (and specialty art gallery) or the impressive series of plays, coffee houses and productions put on by the school's theatre company.
"High achievers are definitely attracted to this program," she says. "Byng Arts is a great environment for creative and innovative thinkers."
But no matter how creative you might be, auditioning can be tough. It is a nerve wracking time for many of the young artists preparing for their moment in the spotlight. And Lisa Shopland-Black, a Byng teacher, who was supporting the intake says many of the parents are more nervous than their kids. She says she spends some of her time at the registration desk calming parents and kids down and explaining that no matter what happens with the audition, their child is in for a wonderful educational experience.
"Vancouver schools are like ice cream," says Shopland-Black. "There are countless different flavours of ice cream - but they're all awesome. It is really key for them to know that all the options are amazing. We are really lucky to have a system where there are so many choices."
Click here to learn more about Byng Arts.