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The Arts Department

Welcome to the Visual Arts Department at Holy Cross.  

The foundation for all studies in the Visual Arts is based on exploring the elements and principles of design.  Senior studies allow students to use their understanding of how to effectively manipulate these elements and principles of design as a means for personal expression.

Students of all ability levels and strengths are welcomed.

Students who are open to experiment with a wide range of unfamiliar materials are encouraged to investigate their inner artist.

  • Drawing-initially targets strengthening students’ ability to accurately describe what they are observing.  They utilize a wide range of media including graphite, water soluble graphite, charcoal, conte, pastel and pen and ink.
  • Painting-includes colour theory and medium handling.  Students are first introduced to watercolour techniques, then acrylic painting.  Senior students have the opportunity to develop large scale oil paint on canvas compositions.
  • Sculpting- students explore a wide range of media and techniques that allow them to play with 3 dimensional space.  Both additive and subtractive methods are used.  Holy Cross has its own kiln so students are able to develop and then explore their clay building skills texture including glazing.  Students also sculpt using paper mache and soapstone.
  • Printmaking- students are introduced to relief printmaking using softoleum as the medium to respond to studio challenges.  Students with greater studio experience are invited to use the dry point etching process and the Art Studio’s two printing presses.

Students regularly participate in competitions and have experienced some very satisfying results!  Senior students are expected to participate in the Best of High School Art Show that occurs every spring.

While some Holy Cross graduates certainly continue their Visual Arts studies at the post-secondary level, all students are encouraged to join in the fun, and grow in the creative, totally inclusive, welcoming Arts Studio.

Instrumental Music

The Music program at Holy Cross focuses on the development of performance skills on traditional band instruments: flute, clarinet, alto & tenor sax, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion.  Notation and basic theory are studied to develop note reading and as an introduction to composition.  An introduction to music history is done in grades 9 and 10. Through listening and discussion, common elements of music are traced from the earliest music to the music of today.  Music is available from grades 9 to 12.  Beginner students are able to join at the grade 9, 10 or 11 open level.  Senior music classes are offered at the university, college or workplace level. 
There are lots of perks for being in the Music department at Holy Cross.  There are 3 concerts performed for family, friends and future HC students, trips to see a musical each year (eg. Wicked, Matilda, Aladdin, Grease, Phantom of the Opera),  extra-curricular ensembles: concert and jazz band, concert and liturgical choir, and pit band.  Out of school performances take place at the Kiwanis and Wonderland music festivals alternate years.  
Arts trips to New York, Boston, or Chicago happen alternate years.  These 4 day excursions feature concerts, stage shows, art gallery visits, performance workshops and general sight-seeing. Not to mention, loads of time with friends. 

From the students

  • "I had so much fun with this class! Mrs. Kraus did a great job teaching us and made the lessons interesting. Band is also fun. We meet new people.  I’m definitely coming back next year."     A.  gr 9
  • "Over the past 4 years it became like a second home. It’s a place where you can find a passion, and share it with your friends."    J. gr 12
  • "It isn’t just a room, it’s a community, a place I will always remember." B gr 11
  • "Being part of the music room has really taught me to be myself, and to be around people who do the same."  T.  gr 12 

Musical Productions

Musical Productions are done every other year.  The drama, visual arts and music departments unite to put on full scale musicals.  Past shows have included, Nifty 50’s, Damn Yankees and the Addams Family Musical.  It provides students and staff with a wide variety of ways to participate: on stage (large and small roles), in the pit band, dance, choreography, stage crew, lighting and sound, set building and painting, costumes, hair and make-up, advertising and poster design, and front of house.  The Holy Cross community comes together to put on a great show.