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Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Profile Highlight: Sudbury Youth Rocks Program

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.

sudburyyouthrocks-logoSudbury Youth Rocks Program is run by a group of volunteers dedicated to assisting young people by using their experience as musicians to teach not only music, but life skills, self-esteem, positive peer pressure and community service. Currently the participants are writing, recording and producing their own compositions based on bullying, self-esteem and teen suicide which will be used on a rock musical to be performed by the youth.

‘Producing Harmony’ is a documentary about Sudbury Youth Rocks Program. It was produced through funding provided by the John Howard Society of Sudbury. Film Credits are Emma Hockney and Christine Stewart from Laurentian University Film Studies Course. Watch ‘Producing Harmony’ here

To read more about the Sudbury Youth Rocks Program, please see their profile in our Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map.

Free Evaluation 201 Workshop for Youth (ArtReach Toronto)

ArtReach Toronto logo“Are you running a project or program in your community? Understand the reasons for and basics of evaluating your program? Wondering about the best ways to plan your evaluation activities and get the info about the effectiveness and success of your work?

In this higher level workshop, respected evaluation consultants Margo Charlton and Fiona Scott will help us delve further into the topic than our earlier Evaluation 101 workshop. Participants will examine evaluation tools, have an opportunity to design tools such as surveys and questionnaires, and create overall evaluation plans for their programs.

Date: Thursday, Sept 4 2014
Registration/Food: 5:30pm
Workshop Start Time: 6:00pm SHARP!
Location: Metro Hall (55 John St), #308


Space is limited so register today!

Evaluation Consultants Margo Charlton and Fiona Scott

This workshop is part of the larger GOAL (Grassroots Organizing and Leadership) Youth Workshop Series being organized by a collaborative group made up of youth organizations and funders. A certificate will be provided to participants who attend 5 or more workshops in the series. For more information, contact Education Manager Irfan Ali at

The GOAL Youth Workshop Series is presented by ArtReach Toronto in partnership with Grassroots Youth Collaborative, City of Toronto, For Youth Initiative, and Toronto Community Foundation. We would also like to acknowledge our funding partners, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Laidlaw Foundation, without whose support this project would not be possible.”

-from ArtReach Toronto’s newsletter
Read ArtReach Toronto’s profile in our Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Halifax’s First Earth Loom & the 4Cs Foundation Art Bikers

“Have been you wondering what the 4Cs Foundation Art Bikers have been up to this summer? Watch the video above for a recent example!

Yesterday the Art Bikers with youth and Farm participants built and installed an large Earth Loom. (This project was inspired by the EarthLoom Foundation in Belfast, Maine, USA. )

The loom is permanently installed at the Common Roots Urban Farm. We are so excited to have built Halifax’s first Earth Loom and invite you & your family to the Children’s Garden to weave on the loom.”

Video Credit: Geoff Davies
-submitted by Terri Whetstone, Executive Director, 4Cs Foundation

Read 4Cs Foundation’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Weekly Community Arts Trainings (SKETCH Working Arts, Toronto)

sketch-logo-2Here’s a great learning opportunity from SKETCH, as they’re offering weekly community arts training workshops to youth on the margins. The trainings have facilitated discussions around equity, intersectionality, accountability strategies, and more. To stay in the loop of future training sessions, subscribe to SKETCH’s newsletter or visit SKETCH’s website.

SKETCH Working Arts provides arts engagement for youth living on the margins with arts based programs. The Community Arts Trainings, housed within the Community Arts Program, provide FREE training to youth aged 19-29 on various topics that are important for any community arts workers such equity and inclusion, facilitation and organizing, artistic development and entrepreneurship. These trainings are useful for anyone who is an artist regardless of art discipline and anyone who uses art as a tool for social change in their communities.

Artscape Youngplace,
SKETCH Working Arts’ Creative Enterprise Hub,
Lower Level,
180 Shaw Street,
Toronto, Ontario,
M6J 2W5
(This venue is wheelchair accessible and all gender washrooms are available)

When: Wednesdays, 2-5 pm
Who: Youth 19-29, who identify as living on the margins

Take 5 or more of SKETCH’s Community Art Trainings and you will receive a certificate from AVNU!
Listings of upcoming workshops and activities that qualify for a certificate can be found on the AVNU website.

If you have questions about getting certified by AVNU, please contact
For more information about upcoming modules or about any access needs email Naty at!”

-submitted by SKETCH Working Arts

PYE Newsletter: The Social Arts Movement is Catching Fire Around the World (Canada & Int’l.)

Partners for Youth Empowerment recently sent out their summer newsletter that showcases the amazing work that they’ve done around the world, click this link to their latest newsletter to learn more about PYE and to subscribe to their newsletter to follow PYE’s activities in Canada and beyond. Their Creative Facilitation workshops in Toronto take place in November, so register soon if you’d like to attend!


-posted with permission from Katie Jackson, Partners of Youth Empowerment

Help get BluePrint Pathways in Youth Correctional Facilities (Canada-wide)


“Stephen “Buddha” Leafloor, a longstanding B-boy, social worker, and founder of BluePrintForLife, is turning to crowdfunding for his organization’s latest non-profit venture, BluePrint Pathways, a Hip Hop social outreach program for incarcerated youth. With 30 days to raise funds to bring this program to youth correctional facilities across Canada, Leafloor is sharing his vision in hopes of garnering support for an innovative approach to enable social change and positive mental health.

A national award-winning youth outreach organization, BluePrintForLife is turning to crowdfunding to expand their work under a new non-profit, BluePrint Pathways, addressing the issue of mental health in youth correctional facilities. Through a 5-day intensive Hip Hop program integrating Hip Hop artforms (bboying/bgirling, beatboxing, and spoken word) with discussions surrounding topics such as anger, violence, sexual abuse, and addiction, Leafloor and his team of artistic educators and outreach workers aim to reach the minds of youth in custodial settings and to set them on a path to healing, resiliency, and regaining control of their lives.

With funding from the Guns, Gangs and Drugs component of the federal government’s Youth Justice Fund, BluePrintForLife is tailoring and evaluating their programming to meet the needs of gang-affiliated youth in maximum security facilities across Canada over the next three years. Unfortunately, the funding falls a bit short of providing some of the resources needed to implement the project as widely as they had hoped, such as staff travel and accommodation costs, and t-shirts for the hundreds of youth they will be working with. Thus, they are turning to, a crowdfunding platform for global social entrepreneurs and impactful changemakers.

When asked about the link between crowdfunding, social good, and Hip Hop, Leafloor noted “Hip Hop is supposed to be about community – but we are also a community that sometimes struggles on a personal level. With the potential of reaching an incredibly large audience through crowdfunding, even a dollar from peeps can make a difference. Hip Hop is changing the world.” Recognizing Hip Hop as a language that resonates with youth everywhere, Leafloor’s vision of “no youth left behind” is a call to action for the global Hip Hop community, supporters of socially innovative approaches, and the general population to give these youth access to a program that can really make a difference in their lives.

In line with guidelines, projects have a set number of days to reach the tipping point, the minimum amount to do some good, or the project receives nothing and the costs to provide these programs will still need to be covered. The BluePrint Pathways campaign has a 30-day fundraising window, from start to finish and is trying to reach the minimum of $7000 before August 15. Under a rewards-based funding model, contributors not only get to feel good, but they also get a thank you gift based on the reward level – clothing, photograph prints, personalized thank you videos, and even a keynote speech and facilitated arts-based workshop for larger corporate donations.

The programs are set to run in Canadian youth prisons starting this fall if successfully funded. To learn more about the organization, readers can visit the BluePrint Pathways pitch page here:

Blueprintforlife logo

About the BluePrintForLife founder:

Stephen “Buddha” Leafloor has a Masters Degree in Social Work and over 30 years experience as a social worker. Stephen has also been an active participant in the Hiphop culture as a dancer since 1982 and completed his master’s thesis on this culture and its importance for educators and social workers in 1986. He was recently appointed as an “Ashoka Fellow” for Canada, one of the world’s most prestigious organizations for international outreach helping to connect social entrepreneurs who have system-changing ideas with supportive business, academic and public sector partners. In 2012, he was selected as one of Canada’s “Top 45 over 45” for Zoomers magazine.

As co-founder of the Canadian Floor Masters, (Canada’s oldest B-Boy / breakdance crew 1983), Stephen has performed for James Brown, Rapper IceT, Grandmaster Flash, BlackEyed Peas and George Clinton.

Pictures and videos available upon request. See more at the BluePrintForLife website for descriptions, pictures, videos, and evaluations of our past work:

The Campaign Updates and Announcements Page:

First hand experiences from a pilot program at the Calgary Young Offenders Centre (from The Ashoka Network’s Play Exchange Blog for innovative ideas in health):

-press release and photo submitted by Stephen Leafloor, BluePrintForLife
Read BluePrintForLife’s profile and Arts Health Network Canada’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Run As One Youth Conference & Music Festival, Aug. 5-6 / Register by July 31 (Siksika Nation, AB)


“Siksika Health Services and Canada Bridges are pleased to present the upcoming Run as One 2014 Aboriginal Youth Conference! The Run As One youth conference is part of a weeklong celebration known as the Siksika Nation Youth Awareness Week. Open to youth from across Treaty 7!

This year’s conference themes are: Reaffirming Cultural Identity and Engaging Youth in the Current State of Affairs. Festivities will include cool workshops, fun activities, good food, great friends, sports tournaments, cultural events, and more. Guest speakers and facilitators include Savvy Simon, Earl Lambert, Justin ManyFingers & Waawaate Fobister, Mike Scott, and the Red Power Squad. And to wrap things up, the Run As One Music Festival will feature well-known headlining acts, and offer a venue for Treaty 7 youth to display their musical talents.

What? Run as One 2014 Aboriginal Youth Conference
When? August 5 & 6, 2014
Time: 8:30am-10:00pm each day
Where? Siksika Nation High School – Siksika, Alberta (located near the junction of Hwy-901 and Hwy-547, just West of the Deerfoot Sportsplex). Accommodation information can be found in the attached Registration Package.
Who? Aboriginal youth ages 15-30 from Treaty 7 Nations
Why? To reaffirm the cultural identity of today’s Aboriginal youth, and encourage them to become engaged in the current state of affairs

Please pass this information along to Aboriginal youth in your communities, and encourage them to participate! Interested youth are invited to fill out registration forms, and fax to Jennifer Kohlhammer at (403) 734-3916 or email to, on or before Thursday, July 31st, 2014.”

Download the registration package from their website or connect with Run As One on Facebook

Posted with permission from Kristin Fedorak, Bridges Social Development

Free Youth Workshop: Evaluation (ArtReach Toronto)

ArtReach Toronto logo

“Evaluation is an important, but sometimes overlooked, part of our work in communities. Surveys, stories, art-based activities, and statistics are just some of the powerful evaluation tools we can use to measure the impacts of what we do. Used correctly, they demonstrate the benefits of our work to our communities, funders, and donors and help us better shape our programs into the future.

In this interactive workshop we will examine the process of evaluation, connecting it directly to the visions and goals of our own programs, and explore creative strategies and tools for collecting the right data and sharing it with others.

Workshop participants will look into different ways of measuring the impacts and successes of their own programs and try out some evaluation and presentation techniques.

To maximize the usefulness of this workshop, we highly encourage all participants to come prepared with a real project and its objectives in mind that they want to evaluate.

Date: Tuesday, July 22 2014
Registration and Food: 5:30pm
Workshop Start Time: 6:00pm SHARP!
Location: West Side Arts Hub, 1785 Finch Ave W

Margo Charlton
Fiona Scott
Irfan Ali

This workshop is part of the larger GOAL (Grassroots Organizing and Leadership) Youth Workshop Series being organized by a collaborative group made up of youth organizations and funders. A certificate will be provided to participants who attend 5 or more workshops in the series. For more information, contact or visit the Eventbrite page for this workshop.

The GOAL Youth Workshop Series is presented by ArtReach Toronto in partnership with Grassroots Youth Collaborative, City of Toronto, For Youth Initiative, and Toronto Community Foundation. We would also like to acknowledge our funding partners, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Laidlaw Foundation, without whose support this project would not be possible.”

-submitted by ArtReach Toronto
Read ArtReach Toronto’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory & Map

Excellence is Earned: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator


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

New Credit First Nations invited DAREarts to create “Four Legends” with the grades five and six students of Lloyd S. King Primary School. The four day workshop (June 9-12) culminated in a video about being a good human being which had its world premiere on lucky Friday 13th.

The first thing you notice when you walk through the front doors of Lloyd S. King Elementary School isn’t the vaulted ceilings or the natural wood pillars and rafters. It isn’t the artwork and posters covering the walls. It’s the smell of burning sage.


DAREarts was invited to participate in a year-end workshop that celebrated the students’ knowledge of their own culture, their own world view and how they could convey those gifts to people outside of their school and community. Former Marten Falls First Nation teacher Caitland Harding, who had been with us during the creation of spoken word poem “The Land Speaks,” and now was working in Southern Ontario, recommended DAREarts to Karl King, the school’s Cultural Coordinator. The Grade five and six students enthusiastically wrote, story boarded, filmed and musically scored the fifteen minute video about the Four Directions, Seven Sacred Teachings and the DAREarts Values (Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence).

Karl King: “I thought the week was a fantastic experience for the students. I especially enjoyed seeing their creativity, artistry, hard work, vision, and sense of adventure as the project unfolded. I saw great leadership from several children and although I had seen glimpses of these qualities before, they were magnified and majestically put on display through the process. The World Premiere was incredible. I can honestly say that it was one of the proudest moments of my 16 year career. I am convinced that all 21 students will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

[Watch "Four Legends" here]

Peter Elliott, videographer, editor and documentary maker (Brebeuf, The Hermit of White Otter Lake, Fill My Hollow Bones, Save My Pet, Cold Water Cowboys) had produced a camera angle tutorial video that incorporates the works of students from Attawapiskat and Webequie First Nations. Throughout the week, the Anishnaabe students from Southern Ontario sampled the video projects that previous kids had made, and observed differences and similarities between themselves and “distant cousins” from up North (Webequie, Attawapiskat and Marten Falls First Nations) and the Atlantic Region (Shubenacadie First Nation, Nova Scotia).

Cathy Elliott, multi-disciplined artist and educator, led the students through the process of creating a film script to support their poems, exploring camera acting techniques and recorded sound effects for the original score for the film. “This was a wonderful experience for me, too. These kids are secure in their own skin, ready and hungry for ways to express themselves in a positive way. They greeted DAREarts with open arms, and they will be with me in my heart forever.”

Four Legends emerged from the short week’s explorations. They incorporated Anishnaabe teachings and legends, which were mixed with the children’s own contemporary interpretation of their world view. The result is a beautiful, funny and touching film that speaks with the children’s voices throughout and incorporates four stories that rests on Anisnaabewin world views and lessons about being a DAREarts Leader.


Cathy’s note:
This school asked us to join them, and the minute we walked in the door, smelled that sage and met the children, we knew we were in for a terrific time. The kids are open, polite, curious, talkative and energetic. We didn’t ever feel a lag in the day, which offered a generous amount of time. The school gave us the entire day, which meant that we didn’t have to rush things and could complete tasks without sacrificing excellence and learning. We had an opening Circle with the entire school on the Monday. Our private smudge and Circle, was filled with questions, ideas, reflections and projections every morning following. We never ever doubted that this would be a successful week. The teachers supported and trusted us enthusiastically, even when it looked like “controlled chaos” was becoming the norm.

Peter and I want to thank the community of New Credit for this welcoming. We laughed with the kids and teachers a lot this week, and we hope to enjoy another visit, soon. The project was paid for by the community and the budget took up almost a third of the school’s entire fiscal year. It’s heartening to note that culture and art are so valued by a school, even in these hard times. When other Aboriginal schools are held together by little more than sheer will and limited financial support, with few resources to teach their kids about their culture and arts, schools like Lloyd S. King are, sadly, anomalies. With New Credit stepping up, DAREarts is allowed to use precious resources to help finance other Aboriginal schools for arts and empowerment programs.

I can’t stress enough how these programs change lives. The kids, their teachers, parents, elders and siblings are all impacted positively by hope and empowerment through the arts. Gitchi Miigwetch to teachers Karl, Catherine and Caitland for giving us this opportunity.

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