Vol. VII No. 7 - Tuesday
February 12, - February 18, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Thailand - UK Education Exhibition Reception 2008

“Band In A Day” - innovative idea a great success

“Give Shade to the World” dance contest held at Airport Plaza

British Council sponsors student visit to Environmental English Camp

Paint for the elephants

The Thailand - UK Education Exhibition Reception 2008

Students to discuss study plans with UK alumni

Mr Jon Glendinning, British Honorary Consul Chiang Mai, in his other role as the Director of the British Council, hosted a reception to commemorate the opening of the eighth annual Thailand-UK Education Festival, held on February 4 in the grounds of the British Council. The reception was attended by both Thai and UK academics and a number of UK alumni, many of whom are now in senior positions in universities in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Host of the evening Jon Glendinning, the Honorary British Consul, chats with Pradit Takerngrangsarit, Th. D., the President of Payap University, at the Education UK Exhibition Reception 2008. Jon is also the Director of the British Council.
The festival, which runs in Chiang Mai from January 24 to February 15, includes a University Exhibition under the name of the “Study in the UK 2008 Exhibition”, where Thai students can meet face to face with representatives from 20 UK universities. This is being held at the Amari Rincome Hotel on February 5; at the time of writing more than 1,000 students have attended and indicated an interest in studying in the UK. A workshop where Thai and UK Universities can explore possible partnerships and links, and a series of events for Thai teachers of English to further develop their teaching skills using ICT have also been presented by the British Council as part of the Education Festival.
Under the theme of ‘Global Citizens: United Futures’ the British Council sees its role in Thailand as developing and offering opportunities for people to realise their roles as global citizens. The three current British Council projects, linking together schools from different countries, promoting climate change awareness and encouraging knowledge sharing in digital animation, all play a role in helping individuals to reach this goal.
Talking about the impact of the Thailand-UK Education Festival, British Council Director Jon Glendinning said, “Providing links between people in Thailand and in the UK is what we are all about”.
Creating Opportunities Worldwide
IELTS - The International Education Language Testing System
is a key element of the British Council’s English Language work overseas. The IELTS test is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP-:IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examination Board, and is taken by over 938,000 candidates a year globally. Tougher university entrance requirements, new immigration policies, and professional recognition of IELTS throughout the English speaking world have meant that the number of people taking the exam has almost doubled in the last 3 years. The test is a recognised English language assessment test for candidates applying for admission to higher educational institutions and immigration to the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The British Council currently offers IELTS tests in approximately 400 locations in 101 different countries and, until recently in Chiang Mai, there were two test centres, one at the British Council and one at the Australia Centre. Unfortunately, the Australia Centre had to close in December 2007, after more than 12 years of operation, but the British Council test centre continues to offer IELTS tests once or twice a month. To obtain more information or register for the IELTS test, please contact the British Council by telephone on 053 242 103, or email on [email protected] Alternatively, visit in person at 198 Bumrungraj Road, Chiang Mai. (Open Monday - Friday 1 pm - 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday 8 am - 7 pm) or at their website, www.britishcouncil.or.th.

Heather Glendinning (left) is pictured with long term resident Clarence Shettlesworth, along with Cheryl and Dechavudh Charutamra.

 

“Band In A Day” - innovative idea a great success

Vincent Leutwiler, Laura Spector (back row), Rob Handley, Bradley Dean Whyte, Raphael (back row), Rebecca Zelcower, Mic Barotheleny (drummer), Chadwick Gray, John Schmidt, Holm Meihlbradt.

On Saturday morning, February 2, at 9:30 am, a group of 12 strangers met at ArtSpace on 7 - musicians with instruments, writers with notepads, and the curious who looked forward to playing music for the first time. They shared the goal of writing a set of original songs to practice and perform that same evening. The ambitious “Band In A Day” was formed.
The vision was conceived by songwriter/performer, Bradley Dean Whyte, of ArtSpace. The concept, not even a month old, was shared with the community at large by asking anyone interested in participating to contact ArtSpace. Several aspiring artists from across the world, each with varied experiences in music, contacted ArtSpace, eagerly seeking to create fresh culture and to participate in a mind-expanding opportunity. Over breakfast, Bradley asked each participant what they hoped to achieve throughout the day: some wanted to write a song for the first time, others wanted to try out a new instrument, and some were looking to make new friends. The morning was a frenzy of warm-ups, improvisational exercises, and writing workshops. After lunch the band split into smaller groups so that several songs could be written at the same time. Ninety minutes later and just three hours before the show, everybody congregated to share the songs and teach the parts to one another.
At 6:00 pm, the band loaded up and headed for the sexy, ultra-hip venue, River Ping Palace, for a Rock n’ Roll performance that made Chiang Mai history. Fans enjoyed a set of inventive songs - one about a cowboy with an ice cream addiction, another about aliens that found the last letter written by a dying race of humans, as well as a creepy theatrical collaboration that sounded like the lost song from the Threepenny Opera. The songs covered a wide range of styles and finally ended with the epic “Chiang Mai Blues”.
This is just one of the art events recently inspired by ArtSpace on 7, the space where art happenings seem to be pumped out at an ever-increasing pace. Laura Spector and Chadwick Gray created the concept for ArtSpace years ago and now, with the additional location (Sirimongkalajahn Soi 7), there seems to be no stopping them. Everything from a singer/songwriter night, which helped to raise money for the famed Rooftop Charity Event, to “Band In A Day”, and the “Square x Square” art show which has challenged over 50 local artists to share their collective interpretation of everything possible, basing their artwork on the theme, “Time, Vision and Invention”. This show will run through February.
Upcoming events include workshops on art making techniques, a theatre performance, teahouse singer/songwriter nights, and more to come. If it’s new and innovative, lots of fun and a place for the community to gather and create culture, it’s happening at ArtSpace. E-mail ArtSpace to get on their mailing list of upcoming events or to share your new culture-expanding idea!


“Give Shade to the World” dance contest held at Airport Plaza

“Kids Only” TV programme sponsors prizes

The winning team, Rom Ngao from Prince Royal College, perform their routine.

On Saturday afternoon, February 2, the popular TV program “KIDS ONLY” sponsored a dance contest for Chiang Mai school students at the Central Airport Plaza Mall. The contest was part of an ongoing project to involve children in the fight against global warming. Twelve dance teams from Dara Academy, Prince Royal’s College, Varee International School and Anuban Chiangmai competed for scholarship money and other prizes.

“Kids Only” hosts Turbo & Pun Pun present the “Give Shade to the World” dance contest.
Each participating team danced to an original song called “Give Shade to the World,” written by “KIDS ONLY” staff musician Sarowit Intapan and sung by producer Nich Sansawansajakun, both of Chiang Mai. The programme was MC’d by the “KIDS ONLY” programme hosts, Turbo, Pun-Pun and Nan.
First place, (5,000 baht scholarship plus gift bags), went to “Rom Ngao”, a team of 7 girls from Prince Royal’s College. Two teams, “We Love the World”, from Varee International School and “Gang Rom” from Prince Royal College, tied for second place (3,000 baht scholarship for each team plus gift bags). Third place, (2,000 baht scholarship plus gift bags) was awarded to team “TC405”, all of whom are in the 4th grade at Prince Royal College.
Each participant went home with special gifts and a “Give Shade to the World” T-shirt. They will also have the opportunity to travel with the “KIDS ONLY” team to Huay Hong Krai to learn more about caring for the world at His Majesty, King Bhumipol’s project. “KIDS ONLY” is a production of CBN Siam, the production arm of the Operation Blessing Foundation, based in Chiang Mai. Activities of the foundation include Thai language TV production, humanitarian services and counselling.


British Council sponsors student visit to Environmental English Camp

Fun-filled outdoor education encourages environmental awareness

On February 2 and 3, the British Council of Thailand generously sponsored the visit of 20 Thai students, aged 14 to15 years, to an Environmental English Camp at the Pang Soong Lodge Outdoor Education and Research Centre. Students from both Kawila Withaylai School and Navamindarajudis Payap School in Chiang Mai attended the camp.

Students enjoying their British Council sponsored visit to the Environmental English Camp.

Soong Lodge is located 50 kilometers from the city, near Mae On, and is designed to maximize students’ opportunities to access the forest for recreation as well as for environmental education. Nearby trails wind through spectacular forest settings, reflecting Thailand’s natural beauty and encouraging awareness of its fragile ecology.
During their visit, the students enjoyed fun-filled, active and outdoor education about the environment, climate change, and other ecological issues. The programme included a nature walk, poster creation, puzzles, scavenger hunts and evening games.
Four students from Chiang Mai International School joined the group and served as peer-translators for the weekend’s activities. They were Jonathan de Hoop, Thientitas Udomsiri, Paloch Srivichai, and Napon Vananup. Their thoughtful and helpful service was a significant addition to the success of the program.
Focusing on the environment, this month’s English Camp served as a pilot for Pang Soong Lodge’s new summer camps, due to begin later this year. Created and managed by Track of the Tiger, T.R.D. Co. Ltd, their aim is to spread positive environmental messages, learning experiences and education to young students in Northern Thailand in a fun and active setting that also encourages the use of the English language.


Paint for the elephants

Artist and host Galen Garwood with electric cellist Jamie Sieber.

On Sunday evening, February 3, artist, filmmaker and writer Galen Garwood introduced his 10,000 Elephant Project at his studio space with a special recital by internationally know electric cellist Jamie Sieber (www. jamisieber.com) along with a reading of his poetry and an exhibition of small abstract landscapes by artist Chang Lek.
The walls of the studio were also festooned with over a hundred paintings of elephants by children from the Santori School in Hang Dong, Rongrian Khun Hunua and Rongrian Wat Changtien in Chiang Mai.
The ultimate goal of the project is to produce the 10,000 Elephant Book, the purpose of which is to raise awareness about the plight of the elephant as an important, viable species.



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