A popular arts workshop program for northern Saskatchewan youth has been put on hold.

The Northern Spirits workshop was supposed to take place in Prince Albert this weekend but has been cancelled due to a lack of funding.

Sheryl Kimbley is with Northern Spirits and she said the workshop teaches youth a number of skills in performing and producing a showcase.

Youth learn skills such as how to design a stage set or record a radio commercial.

However, she said the lifelong friendships that are formed is perhaps the most beneficial part of the program.

“The kids really seem to enjoy it but what they got out of it the most, after the three days, was the sense of belonging, the sense they’re not alone,” Kimbley said. “Kids were talking and networking from across northern Saskatchewan. If we look back at the program, all these years, those kids that met back in the first year are still friends today and in today’s world that’s really important.”

The workshop is open to youth ages 12-18.

From the workshop, a group of youth was selected to participate as part of the Voices of the North show at the Prince Albert Winter Festival.

The Northern Sport, Culture and Recreation District, Musqua Entertainment, Prince Albert Grand Council and MBC Radio are all sponsors of Northern Spirits.

The workshop was founded in 2006.

(PHOTO: Youth in the Northern Spirits workshop at the MBC Radio studio in Prince Albert in 2018.)