Painted Turtle Arts Camp

The Painted Turtle Arts Camp is a summer arts based program designed specifically for children who live in remote First Nations communities throughout Ontario and Manitoba.

Engaging the child’s expressive and authentic spirit by drawing on the artistry of the performing arts and the magic of creative play, Painted Turtle Arts Camp provides communities with a dynamic creative program during the summer months so that their children are busy and active in dance instruction, drama games, songs, visual arts projects and performances for their family and friends. The Painted Turtle Arts Camp hires local artists, educators, community mentors and youth workers to help support this imaginative and creative summer initiative.
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Since its inception in 2012, Painted Turtle Arts Camp has successfully implemented 38 different arts based initiatives in 32 Northern Canadian communities. The Painted Turtle curriculum is based around the following arts and play based modalities:

Painted Arts Camp Curriculum

Visual Arts

Young children love to paint, cut, draw, glue, and design pictures. Children receive an immediate sense of accomplishment and reward with the engagement of their creativity in the visual arts. In this workshop, participants will explore colour and shape, and develop skills for making a variety of project that are inspired by their imagination. The crafts they will work on will include masks, creation of costumes and sets, painted rocks, necklaces and bracelets, identity scrap books. The focus of these activities is on encouraging manual dexterity, imagination, and creative skills.


These workshops will emphasize the importance and value of chants, sing-songs, and singing in the round. Chants and songs are an important and valuable teaching tool, which provide the child with the basic foundations upon which language and grammar structures can be built. Children will take the chants and songs they are playing with, and create something new with them. This act gives a feeling and sense of ownership.

Dance and Drama

The imagination of the young child is a garden of creative potential. Children are given an opportunity to cultivate those qualities as they discover enchanted worlds through, stories and dances from magical lands. This workshop will give participants fun and spirited ideas that help unleash the creative spirit of the child, through dance, drama games and performance.The focus will be on teaching children various skills and techniques to stimulate and develop their perceptual motor skills and their imagination. These workshops will include: Hip Hop Program, Creative and Expressive Dance, Improv, Drama Games, Tableau, Mask and Body Work, Mime.

Energetic Games

The purpose of these workshops is to offer children a group of outdoor and cooperative games that will not only promote teamwork, but will also develop the child’s physical capabilities and appreciation for the environment. These games are a way to have fun, express, allow them to build self-esteem, and develop a better sense of the world around them. These workshops will include: Sensory games, Cooperative, Low Organizational, Outdoor, Educational, Memory

Fitness and Health

These workshops will include a fitness program and healthy snacks that nourish the body.

98% of children surveyed wanted Painted Turtle Arts Camp to return to their community

• “We would love for you stay longer!”

• “The youth are willing to do more than I thought!”

• “The program was artsy, uplifting, gave new perspectives.”

• “The program was nurturing, inspiring and positive!”

• “You got everybody involved.”

• “To see our youth engaged, participating is powerful.”

• “Your passion for your project rubbed off on us!”

• “Your program was great and well structured!”

• “I love this program; it works!”

• “The visual arts program allowed youth engage in unseen skills.”

• “Your program was awesome, inspiring, and phenomenal!”

• “I just can’t wait until next year!”

• To nurture every child’s creative spirit through creative expression and play

• To build a cohesive sense of community through educating artists, teachers, summer staff and community leaders on ways to integrate the arts through performance celebrations and art based experiences for summer camp

•  To offer opportunity for youth to be leaders in an arts based environment and enhance  their knowledge and interest in arts based activities

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