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Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Profile Highlight: Art with Heart (ON & Canada-wide)

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 With Heart is a pending non-profit that aims to improve mental and physical health using original photography. Our goal is to bring otherwise barren community environments to life with our photo books. We also hope to run photography lessons for youth in the future, to help raise awareness for mental health issues and also help alleviate its effects.

To read more about Art With Heart, please see their profile in our Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map.

80 Indigenous youth will take to the stage! Outside Looking In: FREE matinee tickets for students ages 5-25, May 13 (Toronto)


FREE Student Matinee Performance!
Over 80 Indigenous youth will take to the stage!

In celebration of our 8th Annual Show moving to the SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, on Wednesday May 13th at 12 NOON we are offering FREE tickets on a first-come first-serve basis.

Please see brochure below for details, and submit your registration form to us to reserve your tickets before it is too late!



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

Antyx Community Arts collaborates on video with Forest Lawn High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (Calgary)


Forest Lawn High School students invite Albertans to change the way we treat each other

“Students of Forest Lawn High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and Antyx Community Arts have produced a video that highlights the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students in their high school, and the difference a GSA can make.

Grade 11 student Sam Dyck says the benefits of having a GSA at Forest Lawn High School are transformative. “It’s a completely different world. Instead of us being invisible in the school and hiding out, it has a changed the whole perception of our school. It makes the whole school vibe more inclusive.”

The video was written, filmed and designed by the students. It is supported by a hashtag campaign (#safeAB) that encourages Albertans to share their ideas or thoughts on how to keep schools and communities safe and supportive for all students.

The students asked people from local theatre companies, religious organizations, social activists, teachers, students and other community members to participate in the video, called “#safeAB: Changing The Way We Treat Each Other.” It launched at a special screening at Forest Lawn High School on Friday, Feb. 6.

See the video here: student created Extended Version & Short Version
More information about this campaign, along with the video, can be found at

This project was funded by The Calgary Foundation and supported by Calgary Sexual Health, Calgary GSA Network and Emmedia Gallery & Production.

Antyx Community Arts is funded by United Way, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary Arts Development, Family & Community Support Services and Calgary After School.”

-submitted by Kevin Jesuino/Antyx Community Arts
Read Antyx’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

SHINE! – annual concert that celebrates, remembers and raises funds for a bursary for young musicians, March 1 (Toronto)


“6th year and better than ever!

Mark your calendar for the annual concert celebrating music, remembering Jim Fay and James Gray and raising funds for a bursary for young musicians.

WHEN: Sunday March 1st 2015, 6:00–10:00pm

WHERE: Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas West (one block west of Dufferin)
Book tickets on-line at Tickets $25ea
Dinner reservations guarantee seating – call Lula Lounge: 416.588.0307

WHO: Performers: Big Tobacco and the Pickers, New Country Rehab, the 2014 Bursary Winners, and more to come…”

-posted with permission from Marie MacCormack

DAREarts First Roots Feast: Support Art for Aboriginal Kids, Feb.26 (Newmarket, ON)


From DAREarts’ Cathy Elliott:

“What I do is take the traditional ingredients and I apply modern cooking techniques and my creativity, but it still falls in line with storytelling and our traditions. It all makes sense on a plate. I don’t randomly throw stuff in a pan. There’s a story behind it.” – Rich Francis

Rich will be sharing his wisdom with Culinary Arts students from Huron Heights SS in Newmarket. Together they will be preparing a Traditional feast with a twist and you will be helping us to answer the growing requests to work with First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and their communities.

Any way you can help will further empower the children that need it most. You saw the McLean’s Magazine article about racism towards Aboriginal people. You see what these kids are up against. You can help, too.

1. Buy a ticket for $50.00 for the First Roots Feast. You’ll meet Rich Francis, see traditional dancers, hear the drum and sample a fantastic meal. There will be live musical entertainment by local musicians Cathy Elliott and Glenn Marais (and who knows who will come out of the wood work from in and around Newmarket)!

2. Make a donation. Go to First Roots Donate or call the office and make a donation over the phone. We give charity receipts for donations over $20.00.

a) If you can’t make it to the Feast, you can buy a ticket and donate it back so that someone else can fill that seat.

b) You can donate cash to sponsor either Rich Francis or the Sacred Spirit Dancers. Contact me for a sponsorship form and response form and you will get a key sponsor mention in our program, print and on-line materials.

c) Donate an auction item for the Silent auction. If you or someone you knows has a business you’d like to promote, contact me at and we’ll inform you as to where to deliver or arrange pick up if you’re in the Toronto, Newmarket, Orangeville, or Alliston areas.

3. Donate your time. We’ll need people to help with serving a buffet style meal, greet guests, pick up donated items, etc. If you’re in high school, we can give you volunteer hours.

4. Pass this message on! Even if you can’t make it to the Feast in person, your support will help us out greatly by spreading the word about what we do! You don’t have to live in Toronto, or even Canada to make a difference for ALL of our children!

Please send any questions to me, Cathy Elliott, at or (905)729-0097.

Meegwetch, Wela’lin, Thank You!

Posted with permission from Cathy Elliott, DAREarts
Read DAREarts’ profile in our Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Acting OUT program auditions for trans and genderqueer youth! (SKETCH, Toronto)

WinterSession-Acting Out copy

SKETCH’s program Acting OUT is auditioning and hiring genderqueer and trans* youth!

We have two auditions coming up:
Thursday Jan 29, 1:30-3:30 pm
Monday Feb 2, 5-7pm
Both are in SKETCH’s studios at 180 Shaw Street, lower level, in the Movement Studio.

For more information, contact Kerry at, or call 416-516-1559, x. 2201″

-submitted by Sonya Reynolds, Program Administrator, SKETCH
Read SKETCH’s profile in our Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

SKETCH increases youth access to arts engagement with new parent relief program (Toronto)


Child’s Play!
Parent relief available on Tuesdays

“In partnership with College Montrose Children’s Place, SKETCH is increasing youth access to arts engagement by offering parent relief to SKETCH participants interested in attending Tuesday programming.

Spots are available for young children ages 0 to 4. We’ll engage your child with art activities on site while you participate at SKETCH!

To reserve a Tuesday 1PM to 4PM childcare period:
Visit our program calendar to see what’s offered Tuesdays from 1PM to 4PM,
One week before you want to use the Tuesday childcare opportunity, reserve your spot by emailing with the subject heading “childcare”,
In the email, tell us the name and age of your child, your drop-off and pick-up times, or ask us any questions you may have about the service.
Arrive at SKETCH with your child 30 minutes before your program starts, and we’ll offer you a tour and orientation of the childcare space before you begin your day participating at SKETCH!
Visit SKETCH to learn more about what we do! SKETCH and our childcare service are both located at 180 Shaw Street (map here), in the Lower Level.”

-from SKETCH Working Arts newsletter
Read SKETCH’s profile in our Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Sistema-inspired: Symposium on Instrumental Change (Feb. 12-13, Ottawa, The Leading Note Foundation)


The Leading Note Foundation’s OrKidstra program will be hosting a Sistema-inspired Symposium on Instrumental Change on February 12 & 13, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada! For more information on registration and the registration form click here!

For daily outlines, speaker bios and workshop information click here! Please note that this is a work in progress and information will be updated daily.”

-submitted by Sistema Toronto

Opportunity: Aboriginal Arts & Stories Contest – DEADLINE MARCH 31 (Canada-wide)


“This year’s deadline is March 31, 2015. The contest is open to Canadians of Aboriginal ancestry (Status, Non-Status, Inuit and Métis) between the ages of 11-29.

Create a writing or art piece that explores a moment or theme in Aboriginal history or culture.

A 200-400 word Artist’s or Author’s Statement that explains how your piece reflects or interprets the moment or theme you selected must accompany your entry into the Aboriginal Arts & Stories competition.

You may enter online with your desktop computer, or by e-mail, mail or fax.”

Visit for more information.

Posted with permission from Alicia Dotiwalla, Historica Canada

You’re Gonna Save the World: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator

Webequie students creating foley for show

Webequie students creating foley for show

Cathy Elliott is an artist educator with DAREarts’ First Roots program. Once a month, Cathy shares her stories and experiences working with our First Nations youth in remote northern communities such as Webequie (ON), Marten Falls (ON), Sioux Lookout (ON), Attawapiskat (ON) and Indian Brook (NS). It’s an honour to be able to share these stories with the ArtBridges community and I want to thank Cathy and Marilyn (the founder of DAREarts) not just for their amazing work, but also for their willingness to share. I hope you enjoy!
- Cora, Indigenous Community Arts Coordinator & Communications Assistant, ArtBridges

“You’re gonna save the world.”

I’ve said those words to countless kids over the past seven years, in classrooms, stages, talking circles, pow wow grounds and gyms.

No one ever said that to me as a kid.

Sure, I knew I had a responsibility to take care of my little piece of the planet. I was the product of a generation of hippies telling me to not use aerosols and DDT. To turn off the light and not waste water. To put my trash in the garbage and not out the car window. (cue tear coursing down generic Indigenous Chief’s cheek)

Now, as I place this mantel of care on the shoulders of young people, I wonder: do I have that right? How dare I?

The kids are already painfully aware that they live in a violent, beautiful, confounding world. What, they’re going to have to save it, too?

For FNMI youth, there is a double responsibility. They have their Chiefs as well as their parents telling them to heal their families and communities. They are being designated as Keepers of the Future.

They are already being charged with the responsibility of saving their cultures, languages and sovereignty. Now they’re going to save the world from destruction through greed, misguided “truths”, environmental defilement and ultimately, the End of Times.

I exaggerate, of course.

Most of them are trying to save their little piece of the planet. Most of them are up to the challenge. But some of them are ill equipped to do so.

How can we help them? What is our responsibility as artists and educators? Parents? Leaders?

Black light eagle

Black light eagle

I’ve heard the phrase, “cultural literacy” thrown around. It’s a good phrase. It makes sense to preserve and promote Turtle Island’s Indigenous cultural literacy not only with FNMI kids, but with all Canadians. When we step into a classroom full of a mixture of FNMI and non, it’s a fantastic feeling. Because together, we decolonize everyone in the class, including the teachers. The experience of seeing a kid hold up his hand and saying, “I’m not Italian, I’m Anishnabek,” after the class hears a lesson about Canada’s history, is breathtaking. Seeing the other kids and teachers look at him in a new and respectful way is heartbreaking. How long has that kid been hiding in the shadows?

Bring that cultural literacy into the conversation about art, and you have all sorts of possibilities. Some think that sharing that kind of knowledge is dangerous; it dilutes the potency of the information being passed. Some think that the sharing of cultural knowledge is a good thing – it promotes understanding and eradicates fear, or “othering” of FNMI students.

I’m confident that by placing that mantel of responsibility on our kids, all of our kids, we’re going to help create a better world for them. But we better back up that action with help.

With a little guidance, and a lot of encouragement, we can co-create wonderful works of art that illuminate the richness of our FNMI cultures and Canada’s history. When DAREarts was invited to show our First Roots kids’ artworks, at the Chiefs of Ontario’s “Honouring Our Leaders” Gala, we proudly displayed the paintings, crafts from Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations and cards from kids across Canada, reminding the Chiefs and other leaders that the future is indeed bright. Chief after Chief stood up and declared that they are confident that those young leaders need our support. They will be guiding us into an enlightened world. But they need the tools to do so.

DAREarts First Roots ( has understood from the beginning that a cultural link to children’s development and wellness is critical. Self-identity is expressed in positive and negative ways. We explore the positive. We remember that our Elders taught us how to think on our feet. We remember that we have Knowledge Keepers who must be honoured and invited to engaged with our children. We know that by ensuring that if all Canadians understand our collective and individual histories, culture and teachings, we can create a good place to live.

It’s not just building bridges, it’s recognizing that those bridges already exist, and learning how to strengthen them.

We are heartened to see mainstream schools recognizing the contributions and sacrifices our parents, grandparents and ancestors made for Canada. And that cultural literacy, through the arts, will help our kids guide us into the future.

Read Cathy’s previous posts:
10/30/14 – Thunder Bay & Rexdale – Too Much in Common: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator
07/04/14 – Excellence is Earned: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator
05/23/14 – Introducing – DAREarts Atlantic: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator
04/29/14 – DAREarts Out on the Land in Attawpiskat: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator
03/24/14 – My Drum’s Journey: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator
02/16/14 – It Starts With a Circle: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator

Read DAREarts’ profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map
All photos courtesy of DAREarts