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Big Heads Building Workshops

Centre d'arts visuels de l'Alberta
9103 95 avenue NW
Phone : (780) 461-3427


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School year/Age

Grades 2 to 12

Language level

French as a First Language
French immersion

School subject (primary)

Fine Arts

School subjects (secondary)

Knowledge and Employability
Social studies
Health and Life Skills

Links with the curriculum

  • Students will build their creative style while working on a project that will stimulate their imagination
  • Students will develop their papier-mâché, sculpting, drawing and paint skills.
  • Students will participate in the creation of an art project from start to finish
  • In groups of six, students will share the production of a Big Head in collaboration with their classmates.
  • Students will reflect on the link between their art creation and their community.
  • With their classmates, students will study their own history then identify and describe important historical and contemporary Franco-Albertan figures
  • Students will consider the significance of images in our society.


One teacher supervisor per group of students

Number of participants

No more than 18 participants


Three workshops 45 minutes long and at least one week apart. 


$ 1500


The Big Heads art project playful papier-mâché artworks that can be worn for festivities such as parades, parties and festivals.

The Big Heads illustrate the diversity that is alive within Alberta and Alberta’s Francophone Community. They are a great success in Edmonton having been featured at various Canada 150 celebrations. The success of the Big Heads is due in part to its innovative character in Alberta and also to the way it brings out inclusiveness and unites participants in highlighting their diver’s heritages to serve as symbols of Alberta’s Francophonie. In this way, the Big Heads are a visual way of promoting Franco-Albertan identity.

In collaboration with schools, new Big Heads will be designed in 2018 with the goal of offering schools a visual aid, a symbol of identity, to enhance school and community celebrations. In 2017 and 2018, the Big Heads were featured in the Edmonton Pride Parade, the Works Festival, Edmonton Chante, Canada Day, Heritage festival, Marché multicultural de Noël and the Franco-Albertan Flag raising ceremony on March 1, 2018.

The construction process for the large heads are composed of 3 workshops that each last around 45 minutes. The first workshop discusses the papier-mâché technique; the second is based in sculpture and the designing of shapes. The last workshop finishes with colour and painting. Each workshop must be spaced in time to allow the materials to dry out. We recommend a week between each workshop. The artist will be in residence at the school for two and half hours for three sessions with the students. During each 45 minute workshop, a maximum of 6 students will collaborate to construct one big head. The onus of selecting symbol or a person to be incarnated as a big head is on the school and its students. We recommend that teachers take the time to reflect on symbols and important figures with their students and come up with a choice before the start of the workshops.




Alberta Education