DoorWays 2001

A 6-month Syncretic Art project commissioned by HRDC — Human Resources Development Canada — for 16 youth deemed to be "at risk" in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

DoorWays also empowered the youth to believe in themselves, discover hidden talents and engage more fully with their community.

Through a series daily workshops in a wide range of artistic disciplines, the youth were empowered to give voice to their concerns and develop a series of multi-disciplinary performances — integrating sound, voice, movement and sculpture — which toured to over 25 different venues including seniors' homes, festivals, fairs, parades and art galleries across Central Ontario. 

DoorWays even won a medal for "Best Musical Float/ Best Music" in the City of Kawartha Lakes — RiverFest parade.

DoorWays 2001 fostered a symbiotic relationship between youth and seniors, presented a vehicle for self-discovery and encouraged the development of work-related skills.

Participants developed increased self-esteem and self-confidence; and learned essential creative, collaborative problem-solving skills … through the successful completion of projects, resolving conflict, working as a team, leading a group, developing high quality, entertaining performances, and performing at the many venues. 

bridging the age gap between youth and seniors

Performing for seniors proved to be one of the main highlights of the program. Youth were initially apprehensive about interacting with seniors, and, judging by comments heard from seniors in the community, the seniors were just as doubtful. Neither group really knew what to expect beyond their initial preconceptions. Depending on your perspective, walking sticks and wrinkles can be just as daunting as fluorescent hair, chains and army boots. Nevertheless, the DoorWays youth participants went to the seniors’ homes, over-came initial stage fright and performed for what turned out to be wonderfully forgiving, interested and gentle audiences.

For the seniors, there was no text dialogue to worry about hearing and no storyline to try to follow. They were entertained with interpretive movement, song and visual art; and they loved it. The youth discovered that the seniors were open to everything. Following performances the youth enjoyed chatting with seniors, discussing their work and listening to seniors recount stories of their own lives.

Seniors in residences crave outside stimulation and attention. They need to feel that someone still cares and that they're not just shut away and forgotten in a home. Similarly youth need positive reinforcement, they also need to feel that someone cares and is interested in what they have to say. Doorways addressed these needs and provided an opportunity to improve seniors' perceptions of youth while increasing youths' understanding of seniors in our community.

life & Work skills


The youth also learned a number of transferable life and work skills:

  • Budgeting
  • Resume writing
  • Dance
  • Meditation, yoga
  • Theatre
  • Voice
  • Mask
  • Welding
  • Sewing
  • The basics of starting a small business
  • Introduction to business in the arts
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Communication skills
  • Anger management
  • Conceptualization
  • Construction
  • Stage presence
  • Introduction to web design
  • Proposal writing

Participants were drawn from the communities of: Little Britain, Omemee, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Bethany, Kinmount, Curve Lake, Cannington, Blackstock, Woodville, 
Peterborough, Port Perry, Orillia and Lindsay.

additional ARTS events

Doorways participants attended a total of 11 arts events: in theatre, visual arts and dance; and took part in 8 workshops with visiting professional guest artists

Highlights of the DoorWays programme included:

a trip to Toronto:

  • Ontario College of Art, Open House,
  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • School of Toronto Dance Theatre's annual student performance

a trip to Stratford: with theatre tickets generously donated by Stratford Festival

  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Costume Warehouse and Archives tour

a trip to Academy Theatre

  • Kawartha Lakes Summer Playhouse donated tickets to 4 productions of 2001 summer season

A total of 40 sponsors and community partners contributed to making DoorWays a success. Laidlaw Transport generously provided transportation throughout the programme. We would especially like to thank Ken Louie, of the Spectrum Centre, Ms. Emma Thomas, and the Academy Theatre for donating studio space to make DoorWays possible.

Leading Tone Arts Productions hosted an open house event for the public and sponsors on August 29th 2001. From noon 'til 7 p.m. fascinated audiences of all ages viewed the exhibition of sculptures and drawings and enjoyed a series of energetic solo, group and ensemble presentations by the youth.

Leading Tone Arts Productions gratefully acknowledges the support of:

Human Resources Development Canada • Adobe Systems
AGO Industries • Academy Theatre • Aprons n' More
Binney & Smith Canada (Crayola) • Black's Photo
B & W Sewing Machine Co. • Centennial College
Color Your World • Emma Thomas • Lindsay Boys' and Girls' Club
Laidlaw Transport • Loyalist College • MinCom Plus Realty
Optimists' Club of Lindsay • Polito Ford Lincoln Sales Ltd
Rogers AT&T Wireless Express • Spectrum Centre
The United Way of Victoria County • Victoria County Career Services