Wingspan Disability and Deaf Artist Residency Program Takes Flight in Delta

Category: District

On Friday, May 31, students from Seaquam Secondary and Elsie Roy Elementary performed at a special showcase to highlight their learnings from working with Jugpreet Bajwa, an Indo-Canadian classical, folk and rock singer, over the last few months.

As part of the Wingspan program, Jugpreet worked with Jesse Costello’s Grade 4 class at Elsie Roy Elementary in Vancouver. At Seaquam, he worked with Andrew Robinson’s Grades 11 and 12 English and Literature classes, as well as Grades 9-12 Fine Arts classrooms from music to theatre.

The Wingspan program is Canada’s first accessible and inclusive Disability and Deaf Artist Residency Program. Led by Dr. Leslie G. Roman, UBC Professor of Educational Studies, its aim is to place awareness of Canada’s Accessibility Act, which aims to identify, remove and prevent barriers facing people with disabilities, in the hearts and minds of students, teachers, and staff in K-12 schools. This year, the Wingspan program is in schools in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario.

The showcase featured songs, musical performances and spoken word poetry by students. It also featured the musical talents of Winnipeg musician Connor Derraugh and jazz vocalist Cordelia Donovan. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Physical Activity, provided opening remarks. The showcase was recorded as Wingspan is documenting the journeys of all the artists and students in this project in a documentary.

Many Canadian audiences may be familiar with Jugpreet Bajwa from his performances of the national anthem at Vancouver Canucks and Whitecap games, as well as the U.S. anthem for the Stanley Cup playoffs. A graduate of Seaquam Secondary, he was delighted to return to the school as a role model and a barrier-breaker for individuals that are differently-abled.

Please click here to read an article about the program in the North Delta Reporter.