Caught in the Act

April Tranter & Tabono Youth 

Volunteer with Grande Prairie  Performing Arts Guild

by Fringina Mukaga, Communications

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In 2009 the John Howard Society of Grande Prairie launched the Tabono Centre. A centre which provides alternative, community based learning opportunities in a strength-based flexible environment, for youth ages 12-17. At the centre, youth are supported to define and achieve success. For various reasons, the youth who attend the Tabono program, are unable to access traditional systems of education. In combination with virtual learning this program promotes community involvement and self-expression through regular trips to community

organizations. As program coordinator April Tranter explains: “Our group is involved in our community. We use our community as a classroom, taking advantage of teachable moments in order to build self-esteem for youth.” Through her own volunteer involvement with the organization, the Grande Prairie Performing Arts Guild (GPPAG) has been a beneficiary of the programs community involvement initiative. Miranda Caine, a representative of GPPAG explains:

April and group have made a HUGE difference in working with us when big jobs need to be done. She and the youth are always willing to help. We depend on volunteers and without their help the set / take down would be such a long process. Multiple times they have taken down chairs and put up tables. They did all of our Christmas decorating and un-decorating…anything from setting up for shows, sorting, organizing, and even building props!

            Tabono Centre staff encourage youth to get involved not only by “saying” but by “doing” as well. April has been a volunteer performer in several of the GPPAG productions as well as volunteering with organizations such as the SPCA, Friendship Centre, and the Golden Age Centre. She describes her volunteer efforts as “self–satisfying” and has found it to be a self-esteem boaster for the youth in Tabono. Indeed when asked what their strongest beliefs are about volunteering the Tabono youth reported that “it makes me feel good”. Additionally, some of the youth made it known “that just because we are teenagers doesn’t mean we don’t care about our community”. Tabono Centre staff and the group of youth who attend encourage all to get involved in the community by volunteering stating: “don’t just think about it…do it!”    


Grande Prairie Perfroming Arts Guild

Organization Profile


THE SHOWCASE CENTRE is located at 10112 - 102 Avenue (Building “D”) in the Community Village, Grande Prairie, Alberta. The venue is operated by the Grande Prairie Performing Arts Guild and is the home to Ovations Theatre Productions, GP HomeTown Music, as well as GP Arts.

Offering a variety of entertainment choices from Theatre/Dinner Theatre to Live Musical performances including monthly All Ages shows to Film presentations, Training and Skill Development Courses and lots of other great events in between, there is something for everyone!

Phone: 780-897-9200

Adress: 10112 102 Avenue Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0C2





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