Campcasters rock PA

St. Mary High School student Sophia Blahut was one of several students who put her construction skills to the test as part of a guitar building workshop in Prince Albert on Saturday. Marjorie Roden/Daily Herald.

Marjorie Roden
Special to the Daily Herald

A few doors down from Tigger’z Convenience, you will find the Lemon Yellow Art Studio. Designed as a place for artists to work independently or in a well-structured classroom workshop setting, it is set in an ideal location for musical creation within the city of Prince Albert.

Kirk Pilon, an industrial arts teacher in Shellbrook, is leading the workshop in building electric guitars, which are, surprisingly enough, constructed of mostly wood. How did this course wind up being taught in the Lemon Yellow Art Studio?

“I actually wanted to do a guitar building class, but it was just too expensive, and too difficult for that many students,” he explained.
However, a friend of his suggested an alternative.

“I was chatting with a friend of mine, Joel Rohs, and he said, ‘why don’t we run a workshop like that?’ So we started off last year and ran a couple of workshops, and this is what it’s grown into.”

Student James Graves (left) gets some advice from instructor Kirk Pilon (right) during the Campcaster Guitar Building Workshop. Marjorie Roden/Daily Herald.

The current workshop has 6 participants in it, 4 male and 2 female, which lends itself into quite the diverse mix. It also features students coming in from all across Saskatchewan just to take part and learn during the experience, which sees each person building their own very functional electric guitar to take home.

James Graves was one of several out-of-town students. He drove in from Estevan for the course.

He already plays the guitar, but admits “I’ve always been scared to work on my own guitar by myself because I don’t really know what I’m doing. This workshop gives me the perfect opportunity to learn, and I can use this knowledge on other projects. If I want to build another guitar in the future, I can do it.”

Sophia Blahut, a St, Mary’s High School student, was advised by her band teacher Julie Watt to take the workshop. Like Graves, Blahut has a similar disposition about the workshop.

“It’s fun,” said Bluhut. “It’s a great environment. It’s not easy, but he (Pilon) makes it easy just because he’s a good teacher. It’s a good environment with good people.”

Instructor Kirk Pilon leads the Campcaster Workshop on Saturday, April 30. Marjorie Roden/Daily Herald.

The next workshop will be starting in June. The minimum age is 14 years.

“Just because then the students are able to use soldering irons and stuff like that,” Pilon explained. “They have the strength to screw into the hardwood here, but we just say we accept students from 14 to 99!”

What does the course cost, and what would the results of it be?

“For this workshop, it’s $300,” Pilon added. “With that, you get the guitar, and you also learn how to set it up. A lot of people will buy a guitar, and not too sure, or scared, to work on it. We also teach you here how to set it up properly, how to string it, and teach you all the parts of it.”

To learn more about the workshops, or to register for the next workshop, check out their website at Space is limited, so register early!