Shine Your Light

5 March 2024

A festival of creative self-expression

📍 Canadian International School of Hong Kong

“This has really developed confidence, team building and connection among the groups. I have seen my daughter for the first time, go on the stage with such confidence. The ISTA festival really achieved their goals and shone their light on our kids, which was so evident throughout the whole performance!”

Parent of student participant

The Canadian International School of Hong Kong recently hosted an exciting creative learning event celebrating the power of creative self-expression and personal discovery. We collaborated with Anne Drouet, the Director of Visual and Performing Arts, to develop a customised event through ISTA. The goal was to assemble an artist team that would highlight the various skills with the young people and learning outcomes CDNIS aimed to achieve during this learning experience. Titled Shine Your Light, the festival was about encouraging students to explore their passions, take risks, and embrace the diverse voices and perspectives around them.

At the heart of the event was Grade 5’s Primary Years Programme Exhibition*, which focused on celebrating different voices and perspectives. The exhibition concepts set the stage for the festival by fostering a mindset of global understanding and inspiring students through the arts to become change-makers in their communities.

The festival aimed to inspire students to take risks, trust the process, and celebrate diversity. Through workshops and performances in drama, dance, film, visual arts, and music, students had the opportunity to explore their passions and discover new talents.

One of the key elements of the festival was the ISTA™ Ensemble Method, which encouraged students to start with self-discovery, connect with others, and share their stories. By acknowledging the “I,” connecting with the “We,” and sharing their “Story,” students not only learned about themselves but also about others, their traditions, cultures, and their own personal stories.

The festival’s focus was on facilitating students to discover their personal light, whatever that meant to them. Whether it was overcoming a challenge, expressing their voice, or finding something new about themselves, it aimed to open up channels of expression and communication through creativity.

It wasn’t only the students who were inspired by the experience. Parents who came to watch the final sharing of student work were also deeply moved and uplifted by the experience. A parent whose child was one of the Grade 5 participants shared, “‘Shine your light’ is reminding us parents to be true to ourselves and spread our positive energies onto people around us … this will lift us and people around us and make the world a better place. I found the themes extremely impactful with profound meaning.”

The festival created a bright and vibrant world for the Grade 5 students where creativity, self-expression, and personal discovery were celebrated and embraced. It was a testament to the power of creative self-expression in fostering personal growth and understanding.

Want to see how this event turned out? Watch the wonderful video created by CDNIS to celebrate the event.

Shine Your Light (because what you do matters)

We look forward to our next bespoke festival experience with CDNIS with their Grade 7 students in May 2024!


*About the PYP Exhibition: The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition or PYP X is a culminating project undertaken by students in the final year of the PYP, typically aged 10 to 12. It is designed to showcase the students’ development as internationally-minded individuals and to celebrate their learning throughout the programme. The exhibition encourages students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry into real-life issues or problems, culminating in a presentation to the school community. The exhibition aims to develop students’ skills in research, communication, and critical thinking, as well as their attributes as caring, principled, and reflective learners.