E.T. gets an orchestra

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National Leasing partners with The Winnipeg Boldness Project to sponsor art and culture events for Point Douglas families

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial won the 1982 Academy Award for Best Original Score, and last Sunday families were treated not just a screening of E.T. but also the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performing the iconic score as the movie played.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra played in unison with the movie E.T. playing above them on a giant screen.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra played in unison with the movie E.T. playing above them on a giant screen.

The special day for 25 kids and their family members from The Winnipeg Boldness Project was thanks to National Leasing, which sponsors many arts and cultural organizations in Winnipeg.

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Since 2014 The Winnipeg Boldness Project has worked towards innovative and parent-informed strategies to improve early childhood development and outcomes for children in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas community, which includes the North End.

This year National Leasing decided to partner with The Winnipeg Boldness Project to give families, many facing severe socio-economic challenges, access to cultural experiences.

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“Research has shown repeated exposure to arts and cultural activities from a young age often has a positive impact on a child’s path in life,” said National Leasing public relations coordinator Janet Seniuk.

Janet said National Leasing had been looking for a way to get involved with The Winnipeg Boldness Project for a while.

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“We think what they’re doing for Winnipeg families is very important.”

National Leasing’s eight sponsored events for Boldness families this year included places like FortWhyte Alive, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba Children’s Museum, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Dip-netting for marsh creatures at FortWhyte Alive.

Dip-netting for marsh creatures at FortWhyte Alive.

“It’s been really fun, interesting, and a lot of education,” says Darrin Richard, whose son Ayden, 8, and partner Miranda Pullman attended the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s screening of E.T.

Miranda, Darrin and son Ayden try out some percussion instruments backstage at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Miranda, Darrin and son Ayden try out some percussion instruments backstage at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

“They’ve been good experiences we would not have been able to do without National Leasing.”

Winnipeg Art Gallery

Winnipeg Art Gallery

Darrin and Miranda are part of the Parent Advisory Group that helps guide The Winnipeg Boldness Project’s initiatives. Darrin says many of those initiatives make him and Miranda feel like their two children have opportunities equal to families living in other areas of Winnipeg.

Building cars to learn about motion at the Manitoba Children’s Museum.

Building cars to learn about motion at the Manitoba Children’s Museum.

According to a Peg indicator report 40% of children are not ready to learn when they enter kindergarten in the Point Douglas community.

“It’s finding ways to improve the North End and families there. It’s giving children opportunities…children are our future, so I’m trying to do my part,” said Darrin.

“It allows us to take the initiative.”