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Algonquin ‘Takes 5’ event is more than singing

Staff from Algonquin piled into salon-D Jan. 30 to attend a workshop about the benefits of taking breaks — specifically singing breaks.

Roughly 60 people started out sitting on chairs listening to Carolyn Côté sing while her fiancé, David Cutler, played the guitar. By the second song, the couple had everyone standing on their feet singing along and swaying to the music.

Côte and Cutler are a part of the Ottawa rock band Arms of the Girl and they know some of the key physical and emotional benefits that come from belting out tunes.

“One of the biggest ones (benefits) is you’re taking in a lot of air, so that’s really helpful in getting you to relax, usually has a good feeling on your overall well-being,” Côte explained.

“it has an overall mental health and physical health wellness aspect to it. And it’s fun.”

Côté and Cutler had the crowd on their feet and the room was full of applause. Even Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen attended the event and was singing along to the music.

“Well I love to sing, even though I’m not a very good singer. I love to sing,” Jensen said.

The event was held during Mental Health Awareness Week at Algonquin and Jensen recognized it as an important time to get together and have some fun.

“It was just a nice way to get everybody together at the end of January and do something fun. Good for it to be during Mental Health Awareness Week because we know when you pause and reflect and have time together it does help your mental health. So it was a very nice fun thing to do for the celebration,” Jensen added.

That wasn’t the only highlight of the event. Côté announced that for the fifth year in a row Algonquin has been named one of the National Capital Region’s top 25 employers.

A white banner was brought out from behind a curtain and staff members were invited to sign the banner.

“That’s very important for us. It really does reflect the great work that happens at this college everyday and the fact that we’re recognized for that,” Jensen said.

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