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Call for Submissions by Sept 2nd!: Youth Arts Pitch Contest (ArtReach, ON)


APPLY BY SEPT 2nd to win $5000 to support your community youth arts project, start your arts-based business or take your career to the next level!

Call for Submissions
ArtReach and City of Toronto Arts & Culture invite you to participate in our 2016 Pitch Contest. If you are a young artist or a group of artists, between the ages of 18 and 29, we want to hear from you!

We want to support Toronto’s innovative talent and encourage community participation through the arts.
ArtReach and City of Toronto Arts & Culture want to support youth aspirations in the arts. We invite you to submit your ideas, which could land you a spot in front of an esteemed panel of judges for a live and interactive pitch contest!

To Apply:

  • You must be an artist or part of a group of artists
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 29
  • Developing an artistic project or are serious about your arts initiative

In addition: The Pitch Contest prioritizes the needs of youth and communities that are excluded from mainstream arts opportunities. We ask applicants to self identify their eligibility understanding that this event is intended for communities, artists and arts practices facing systemic barriers, and with few alternative venues for support.

Artists working in a broad range of art forms are encouraged to apply, including dance, drama, music, carnival and circus, film and video, TV and radio, new media, fashion, creative writing, visual arts, crafts, hip hop, design, multi-media, urban arts and more.

Eight lucky applicants will be chosen to pitch their ideas live on October 6th for a chance to win one of two $5000 prizes. There are two categories that you can apply for – please read the following descriptions carefully to determine which category is the best fit for for your idea:


“Investing in your community through the arts” This category is for individuals and groups whose creative work meets a need or addresses an issue in their community and who invest their profits back into their work. Applicants must show how a $5000 investment in their project will help them to meet a need or address an issue in their community. Projects could include:

  • Creation and/or presentation of creative works that address an important issue
  • Creative projects or programs that meet an important need (ie: workshops, classes, support programs, etc…)
  • Capital investments that enable you to do your community arts work more effectively (ie: equipment, tools, space, etc…)
  • Professional or artistic capacity development that will improve the impact of your community arts work (ie: strategic planning, administrative support, artistic skill development, etc.)

Some example projects include:

  • The production of a film about gender equity in your community
  • Youth hiring an artist to help them develop a mural in their neighbourhood
  • A dance crew offering classes to youth with disabilities to explore movement
  • A one-person play exploring identity and migration
  • A recording arts mentor requiring audio equipment to better support participants

APPLY for Community Arts Projects and Productions


“Investing in your arts business/career”. This category is for individuals and groups whose goal is to develop or invest in their business and/or career in the arts/creative sector. Applicants must show how a $5000 investment in their project will positively impact the development of their business or career. This could includes:

  • The creation and/or presentation of creative works to advance your arts business or career
  • Capital investments that will enable you to enhance your business or further your career (ie: equipment, tools, space, etc…)
  • Professional or artistic capacity development that will help you to advance your business or further your career more sustainably (ie: business planning, administrative support, artistic skill development, etc.)

Some example projects include:

  • A fashion design group looking to expand production of their clothing line
  • An independent artist developing their portfolio with new works
  • A photographer upgrading their equipment
  • A creative entrepreneur looking to hire a mentor to develop a business plan

APPLY for Creative Business and Career Development

Process for contestants:
• Complete the online form by the deadline of Sept 2nd.
• The eight lucky finalists chosen to make their pitch will be announced on Sept 19th! ALL finalists are required to attend a two-part workshop series: How To Make a Pitch. Dates will be announced to all applicants in advance. 
• Finalists will then pitch their ideas LIVE on Thursday October 6th making a creative, energetic, inspiring and convincing pitch in 5 minutes or less!
• A panel of knowledgeable, high-profile judges will provide on the spot feedback to all finalists and award two winners with the grand prizes of the PITCH CONTEST!”

-from ArtReach’s newsletter
Read ArtReach’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-engaged Arts Directory & Map

StArt Youth Presenting Art Festival (Aug 9-13, Scarborough)


The 6th Annual StArt YPA Festival: August 9 – 13, 2016
StArt Youth Presenting Art looks at the connection between the Arts and community.
We are creating an environment where residents from Scarborough’s diverse communities can come together,
be engaged and celebrate the talents of Scarborough’s young emerging artists. The festival will provide youth with a platform from which they will be able to express themselves and truly speak to their community.

For more information, please visit StArt YPA’ Festival’s website.

-from StArt YPA Festival’s website

Youth Artists Call-Out! Transform a transport into street art, Aug.15-19 (NORDIK Institute, Sault Ste. Marie, ON)


“NORDIK Institute is providing a free youth artists workshop that will provide young adults (14+) an opportunity to create an outdoor mural for the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center. The week-long workshop (Aug. 15-19) will provide skills exchange and entrepreneurial development through peer mentoring with the final result being a youth-driven waterfront cultural attraction in Sault Ste. Marie.”

Contact or (705) 949-2301 ext. 4377 for more info.

Posted with permission from Jessica Mooney, Communication Officer, NORDIK Institute

Outside Looking In’s 9th Annual Performance (Toronto)



Outside Looking In offers a high school accredited dance program providing the opportunity to Indigenous youth and their communities to engage in long-term intensive education through dance. Should youth fulfill the academic and attendance requirements of the program, youth get the opportunity to join other Indigenous youth from across Canada for two weeks in Toronto, preparing for an ultimate performance on stage to show off their talents and abilities before hundreds at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.”

They have kindly extended their offer of complimentary tickets to their May 18th performance (at the Sony Centre in Toronto) to ArtBridges’ community partners. If interested, please get in touch with us by Friday April 30th, 10:00pm EST: For more information about the show, please visit

Posted with permission from Outside Looking In
Read Outside Looking In’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Profile Highlight: Paint A Smile (Markham, ON)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at Artbridges.

Art Workshop 1Logo (white background)

Paint A Smile brings art workshops into schools, hospitals and other facilities for kids and youth who are struggling in life. The workshops are taught by professional artists and the programs are custom-made to fit the art curriculum of different grades. Art helps kids and youth develop their confidence, personal-awareness, and self expression. Our workshops allow kids and youth to believe in themselves and see life in a different way that they might not have experienced before. We provide them with a medium and an outlet to embrace their inner artist and explore their dreams.”

To read more about Paint A Smile, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map.

Call for Nominations: 2015 National Fresh Voices Artivism Award / Appel de candidature : Les prix nationaux Fresh Voices Artivisme

2015 National Fresh Voices Artivism Award / Les prix nationaux Fresh Voices Artivisme

Only a Few Days Left to Make Nominations for the New Award!

As the world is being shaken by images of thousands of refugees seeking sanctuary, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Vancouver Foundation have teamed up to launch the first awards to recognize excellence in using the arts to facilitate the integration of refugee, migrant and immigrant youth in Canada. Two $1,000 bursaries will be made available to two young people who have used the arts to significantly improve the quality of life for newcomers in Canada.

Deadline for nominations is 4:30 pm PST (1:30 pm EST) on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015. For more information: 2015 National Fresh Voices Artivism Award.”

“Alors que le monde est ému par les images de milliers de réfugiés en quête d’asile, la Fondation Michaëlle Jean et la Vancouver Foundation ont joint leurs efforts pour mettre sur pied le premier prix viPrixsant à récompenser l’excellence dans l’utilisation des arts pour faciliter l’intégration des jeunes réfugiés, migrants et immigrants au Canada. Deux bourses de 1 000 $ seront offertes à deux jeunes individus qui ont utilisé les arts pour améliorer de manière considérable la qualité de vie de nouveaux arrivants au Canada.

La date limite pour soumettre une candidature est le mardi 22 septembre 2015 à 16 h 30 PDT (13 h 30 HNE). Pour plus amples renseignements : Les prix nationaux Fresh Voices Artivisme

-posted with permission from Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation

Youth – pitch your community arts idea to ArtReach! (Toronto)


ArtReach’s Annual Pitch Contest is Coming Up!

ArtReach’s annual Pitch Contest is happening October 8th and we want you there!

Think you have a winning pitch for your community arts project or creative enterprise? Click here to read the details, find more info on the rules, or apply for your chance to win!

Complete the online form by the deadline Monday, Sept 14th, 2015″

-from ArtReach’s newsletter
Read ArtReach’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-engaged Arts Directory & Map

Call for Expressions of Interest: Youth Arts Ambassador Program (Culture Days)


Ontario Culture Days is now accepting expressions of interest from young and emerging, community-engaged artists working in any artistic discipline in all regions of Ontario to participate in Ontario Culture Days’ inaugural Youth Arts Ambassador Program (Pilot Project, 2016-2018).

Would you like to:

  • Present your own community arts creation as a featured 2016 Culture Days event?
  • Develop your professional practice and receive mentoring on a range of topics related to community arts?
  • Attend the 2016 Culture Days National Congress?
  • Connect with a broad network of arts leaders from your region, province and across Canada?

If so, we’d like to hear from you! Tell us how you will explore the potential of community arts to strengthen your own artistic practice and to grow audiences for your work. Get more details and the application form here.”

-from Culture Days newsletter

Art Show uses the creative process to break down barriers and allow youth to express themselves (Youth Agencies Alliance, Winnipeg)


“When I Grow Up…”

The Art Show uses the creative process to break down barriers and allow youth to express themselves.

“The question youth hear from adults all the time is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Why don’t we ever ask, “WHO do you want to be?.” For this year’s Youth Agencies Alliance Annual Art Show we have!  Through an innovative series of art workshops, we have discovered the types of people Winnipeg youth want to become; the types of characteristics they will have and how they will demonstrate those characteristics.

 140 youth came together during the workshop sessions to illustrate WHO they will be. There were several components to the workshops including drawing, costume design, photography and film, so there was something for everyone! Local artists from Art City, Graffiti Art Programming and the North End Arts Centre facilitated the workshops and ensured that every youth’s vision was achieved.

To share the artwork that the youth have created, YAA will be hosting an exhibition opening on Tuesday August 11. The youth will be returning to the gallery to see the finished product for the first time, and their reactions are sure to be full of excitement. Funders and special guests have been invited to attend, and the exhibition is also open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibition opening will be held at Graffiti Gallery, 109 Higgins Ave. beginning at 1:00PM.

The exhibit will be up at the gallery until Friday August 21st and can be viewed during operating hours. 

This program is possible thanks to the support of The Winnipeg Foundation, United Way of Winnipeg, Manitoba Children and Youth Opportunities – MB4Youth, and Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection.

 Youth Agencies Alliance (YAA) is a group of 18 different after-school and community service agencies. YAA values the development and implementation of a wide range of safe, constructive, inclusive and meaningful programs. Through participating in programming, youth will have the opportunity to develop important life skills and develop a sense of belonging to their community.

-from YAA press release

ArtReach Grants (Deadline June 19, Toronto)



ArtReach is distributing $270,000 in the form of grants to youth arts projects in Toronto. If this sounds like something that could support your work, or the work of someone you know, we want to hear from you! Request an application by June 15th!

Please help us get these funds to the young people who can make the biggest impact by sharing this opportunity with those in your community, or contact us now to get started on an application.

We want to hear from young people running projects in Toronto that:

  • Increase access to quality arts opportunities that encourage creative expression and involve meaningful engagement of youth (ages 13 – 29) in Toronto
  • Promote social inclusion and provide opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills, capacity and opportunities within their communities and the initiatives they lead
  • Provide opportunities for youth to benefit from both the intrinsic (e.g. enjoyment, creative expression) and instrumental value (e.g. community engagement, skills development, social change) of the arts
  • Involve youth in project development, implementation and evaluation
  • Involve artist(s) with relevant experience and reach into participating communities

Available funding includes:

  • $5,000: Pilot Projects (funds to try out a new idea, or a smaller-scale or first-time project)
  • $10,000: One Phase Projects
  • $15,000: Two Phase Projects (Available to previous ArtReach grant recipients)


Once you’ve read them over, contact Paulina O’Kieffe, Director/Grants Manager at to get an application.
This funding is available thanks to ArtReach Toronto’s partnership with the Toronto Arts Council. For more info, click here.

-from ArtReach’s newsletter
Read ArtReach’s profile
 in ArtBridges’ Community-engaged Arts Directory & Map