Accessibility:   A A

Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Pan-Canadian Youth Solidarity Initiative: 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project

4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project

ArtBridges/ToileDesArts joins the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Ontario and WorldPride 2014 For a
Pan-Canadian Youth Solidarity Initiative

ArtBridges/ToileDesArts is proud to team up with the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and WorldPride 2014 Toronto on a groundbreaking new initiative entitled the 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project. Promoting safe, inclusive and healthy communities for Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ* youth, the project is actively supported by over 50 human rights, faith-based, arts, newcomer, Aboriginal and health organizations across Canada.

Recently launched, will be the portal to the project. It will inspire Canadians of all ages and backgrounds to voice the importance of establishing and safeguarding an open and inclusive society for all. The initiative will include:

A National Digital Arts Competition inviting youth, aged 14-30, to express themselves creatively on the theme “Solidarity with Canada’s Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ* Communities.” Six jury-selected finalists will each receive $1,000 and see their artwork displayed in a special WorldPride Toronto 2014 exhibition at the AGO! Artwork may be submitted online at The deadline for applications is April 25, 2014;

An online vote for Canadians of all ages to select the artwork that best reflects the contest theme. The winner will be flown to Toronto, awarded a $1,000 cash prize and see his or her artwork featured as a public outdoor mural. The online vote at opens on May 14, 2014;

A WorldPride 2014 Toronto Exhibition, which will feature the artwork of the six competition finalists. The exhibition will be on at the AGO from June 22 to Nov. 15, 2014;

A High Energy Youth Solidarity Forum, taking place on June 22, 2014, at the AGO in partnership with Jer’s Vision, to discuss strategies to create healthy, safe and inclusive communities through the arts in Canada.

For a full list of project collaborators, please visit:
* LGBTTIQQ is an abbreviation used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning.

About the 4th Wall Program
In theatre, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary screen that creates a virtual separation between actor and spectator. There are many ways to cross the fourth wall and to make the invisible visible. The Michaëlle Jean Foundation chose to do so through the 4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible program, in collaboration with several prestigious Canadian museums and art galleries. The goal is to invite young creators to break down the invisible walls that create solitudes between individuals and communities across Canada, by opening the doors of our major cultural institutions to emerging creators from marginalized backgrounds. The Foundation offers museum and art gallery space and bursaries to youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, often cut off from museums, so that they can produce original art that conveys their experiences, ideas and challenges. On display for the public to see, their work provokes debate and builds solutions. The first 4th Wall exhibition was launched on Feb. 5, 2014, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, to mark Black History Month in collaboration with FRO Foundation.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation supports youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health. In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving crucial Aboriginal cultural resurgence initiatives, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info:

About the Art Gallery of Ontario
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

About WorldPride 2014 Toronto
WorldPride 2014 Toronto (WP14TO) is an international celebration taking place from June 20 – 29, 2014, that incorporates activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA communities. WorldPride 2014 Toronto is presented by Pride Toronto, producer of Canada’s largest annual festival of LGBTTIQQ2SA culture and human rights, under license from InterPride. Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts the city’s Pride Festival, an annual event in downtown Toronto during the last week of June and one of the premier arts and cultural festivals in Canada. It is also one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world with an estimated attendance of over one million people. It celebrates the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA communities. See more at:

-submitted by Peter Flegel, Director of Communications & Programs, Michaëlle Jean Foundation

Community Art Project: The Rivers Speak (Mississauga First Nation, Blind River, Elliot Lake & Serpent River First Nation, ON)


The Rivers Speak is a community art project that brings together local & visiting artists with community members of all ages to collect, share & explore personal & collective stories, myths & legends about our local rivers.

This is the first stage of a multi-year project leading to a community play created with & for communities of Mississaugi First Nation, Blind River, Elliot Lake & Serpent River First Nation.

Everyone! Are you an Elder interested in passing down your valuable knowledge and stories of the vast Mississauga First Nation territory? Are you a youth or community member that is interested in learning your land’s history, legends and teachings?

Come join us and add your voice and your experiences as we unearth and celebrate the stories, myths and legends of the rivers of our area through story-telling and simple art-making activity.

This week: Thursday, April 17th, 2014, 6-9pm
@ Mississauga First Nation Culture Complex

We are excited to be joined this week by community Elder, Earl Niganobe, who will be leading our story circle, as well as Ruth Howard, Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre in Toronto will be leading some new story sharing and art-making activities.

There will also be an activity in the next room for children ages 2 – 6!

Free coffee, tea and snacks will be available.

Come for the whole time or drop in for a bit – everyone is welcome!

Visit The Rivers Speak on Facebook for more info.

Posted with permission from Robin Sutherland, Thinking Rock Community Arts
Read Thinking Rock Community Arts’ profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory & Map

Tangled Art + Disability: The 11th Annual Tangled Arts Festival (April & May 2014)

tangled art logo

Tangled Art + Disability
–formerly Abilities Arts Festival–is proud to present the 11th annual Tangled Arts Festival set for April and May. Over the course of two months, the festival will showcase exclusive productions from the most cutting edge performing arts companies and artists from the disability community. From hip-hop music, to contemporary dance and avant-garde theatre productions, these performances will challenge, entertain and amaze audiences of all ages! Here is the remaining 2014 Festival line up:

Building a Worldwide Arts Movement With Leroy F. Moore Jr. (free workshop)
Led by Krip-Hop Nation founder Leroy F. Moore Jr., this leadership-building workshop engages artists and community members in an exploration of Krip-Hop culture and the resources available to hip-hop artists with disabilities. More info.

Krip-Hop Nation is a global movement of hip-hop artists with disabilities, founded by Leroy F. Moore Jr. This is Canada’s first Krip-Hop Nation event, hosted by Moore himself. Krip-hop giants Kounterclockwise will headline the concert, supported by DJ Rob Da’ Noize Temple and a collection of local Krip-hop musicians. The performance will be entirely accessible including ASL interpretation, wheelchair ramps, captioning, and attendant care. Visit our website for more information and a sneak preview of some of the music: more info.

MAY 2 & 3
Devised and directed by Ed Roy in collaboration with Workman Artists
A journey into the heart of madness…

Third Eye Looming is multi-disciplinary theatre piece devised and directed by Ed Roy in collaboration with Workman Arts’ artists. Combining imagistic theatre, movement, dance, music, text, and multi-media, Third Eye Looming delves into the mind of a man struggling to piece together the shards of his fragmented life after the onset of mental illness. Third Eye Looming is ultimately a composite of all of the collective artists’ shared experiences with mental illness distilled into the story of one individual. This distillation reveals the universality of every person dealing with a mental illness and their desire and struggle to reclaim their lives. Challenging, dark, and humorous Third Eye Looming explores the precarious nature of the human psyche.

Workman Arts (WA) is the longest-running multidisciplinary arts and mental health organizations in North America. WA facilitates aspiring, emerging and established artists with mental illness and addiction issues to develop and refine their art form through its arts training programs, public performance/exhibit opportunities and partnering with other art organizations. As well, WA promotes a greater public understanding of mental illness and addiction through the creation, presentation and discussion of artistic media. WA is a proud partner of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. More info.

May 9 & 10
A Peggy Shaw solo performance, directed by Lois Weaver

After suffering a stroke in 2011, Peggy Shaw’s entire world had to be rebuilt from the bruised, but surprising pieces. RUFF exposes the host of crooners, lounge singers, movie stars, rock and roll bands and eccentric family members who once effortlessly melded to form Shaw’s seductive, captivating personality. Guided by longtime collaborator Lois Weaver, Shaw throws off the stigma of age and embraces the joy—and necessity—of creating new work, post-stroke. Like a skillful striptease, Shaw unashamedly exposes the emotional and technological accommodations she now requires to perform, and in so doing, offers a rare glimpse at the art in ageing and infirmity. RUFF is a tribute to those who have kept Shaw company these past 68 years, a lament for the absence of those who disappeared into the dark holes left behind by the stroke, and a celebration that her brain is still able to fill the blank green-screens with new insights to share with her favorite confidants – the audience. Read more.

MAY 10
Green Screening with Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver (free workshop)
Theatricality meets practicality. Join the icons of queer and feminist theatre, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver in this workshop exploring the innovative use of green screen technology in theatrical performance.
*Pre-registration is required for both workshops. Contact for information on registration. Read more.

MAY 23
PHARMAKON: A Performance by Les Productions des pieds des mains.
Where do we draw the line between normal and abnormal? Under the direction of award-winning avant garde choreographer Menka Nagrani, this dynamic Montreal-based dance-theatre company dives headfirst into one of the most controversial issues of our time. An explosion of dance, theatre, poetry and stop-motion animation, Pharmakon asks, “What is the right dose for the right emotions, so we aren’t’ too afraid, so we smile just enough, so we don’t cry too much…”

Les Productions des pieds des mains brings “conventional” artists together with artists with intellectual disabilities to engage with and embody these reflections. Read more.

Call for Volunteers!
Interested in volunteering at the 2014 Tangled Arts Festival? We need ushers and front of house volunteers. See the show for free! Email for more info.”

For date & times, tickets and other information, please visit Tangled Arts Festival website.

-submitted by Tangled Art + Disability
Read Abilities Arts Festival’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map.

National Digital Art Contest: The 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project

youth solidarity - national digital art contest

Youth Solidarity Art Contest

“The 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project , National Digital Art Contest

Submit your vision of solidarity with Canada’s two-spirited and LGBTTI2Q Communities
Win $1000 and win a free trip to Toronto. Have your art featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario

Application deadline: April 25, 2014
To apply:

Share your creativity and show your solidarity!”

-submitted by Peter Flegel, Director of Communications & Programs, Michaëlle Jean Foundation

Wapikoni Mobile | Featured Resource

Wapikoni Mobile-resources

The Wapikoni Mobile team travels thousands of kilometres every year, bringing mobile film production studios and workshops to indigenous youth in Canada and elsewhere. Wapikoni has been producing films in collaboration with youth since 2004. The organization’s name is a touching tribute to Wapikoni Awashish:

“At the start of the new millennium, director Manon Barbeau wrote a script, with fifteen Atikamekw youth from Wemotaci, for a feature-length film entitled, La fin du mépris. Among these youth was a woman named Wapikoni Awashish, a positive role model and group leader within her community. In May 2002, when she was only 20 years old and undertaking numerous projects, Wapikoni died in a car accident when her car collided into a truck loaded with wood. Already profoundly touched by the number of youth suicides within the community, Manon Barbeau is devastated by the accidental death of her closest collaborator. Consequently, Manon is inspired to create a mobile studio as a place of assembly, intervention, and audiovisual and musical creation for First Nations youth; she names it Wapikoni Mobile, in honour of Wapikoni Awashish.”

The archived films at represent a diversity of interests, perspectives, and approaches to film making. Andrew Swallow’s Artists on Ice looks at the benefits and meaning that art holds for community members and individuals, while Réal Junior Leblanc’s ‘Uprooted Generation’ is part poem and part documentary, dedicated to the victims of residential schools.

Many of these films are archived on the Wapikoni Mobile site, which showcases the rich legacy of Wapikoni workshops and programming and provides a platform for youth expression and storytelling.

To learn more about Artists on Ice and Uprooted Generation, please visit the ArtBridges Resource Portal.

-Skye Louis, ArtBridges Info Resource Developer
Read past Featured Resource posts.

Leadership Training in Mural Making 2014 Certificate Program (Toronto)


“Mural Routes presents:

Leadership Training in Mural Art Production and Project Management for Emerging Artists aged 16-29
April 28th – July 7th, 2014
Mondays 5 – 7:30 pm & Saturdays 10 am -1 pm (*No classes on Victoria Day weekend, May 17 or 19)

Toronto Public Library – Yorkville Branch, 22 Yorkville Ave (near Bloor- Yonge Station)
& East End Arts, 1246 Danforth Ave (near Greenwood Station)

Deadline for applications: Monday, April 7th
Questions? Contact Tara Dorey – Program Coordinator:
Email: or call 416-698-7995

For more information or to download an application, visit:

-submitted by Tara Dorey, Mural Routes
Read Mural Routes profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Artists Raise Funds for Cape Dorset Nunavut Mural Project – Donate before March 31st


Artists Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson are raising funds for the Cape Dorset Mural Project. A collaboration between northern and southern artists, the project will bring Cape Dorset their first ever outdoor mural while teaching the community’s youth about contemporary mural art practices through a series of workshops. PLEASE VISIT THEIR INDIEGOGO PAGE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROJECT.
- Cora, Indigenous Community Arts Coordinator & Communications Assistant, ArtBridges

WHO? We are Alexa and Patrick, partners in life and partners in art. Together we travel the world making art and painting huge outdoor walls, and after many art projects in the arctic, Nunavut and Nunavik by far continue to be the most inspiring places for us.

Past successful projects in the North can be found here:

WHAT? We are very humbled to have been invited to Cape Dorset, Nunavut to paint a large outdoor mural on the hamlet’s co-op building and collaborate with local artists. We will spend two months in town hosting art workshops for youth and creating the mural.

WHEN? We will arrive in Cape Dorset on April 16th and wrap up the mural by the of June.

- We have support from the Ontario Arts Council and First Air for flights and a portion of our cargo
- Alexa: I am volunteering to do this project as an aside to fulfilling a Chalmer’s Fellowship (my visit to Cape Dorset is supported by the Ontario Arts Council to experience the town and inform my career’s trajectory)
- We are the humble guests of the Kinngait Lithography studio apartment (accommodation is a major piece, many thanks)
- We are donating our original prints as perks for your support!
- Your support is needed to cover materials, cargo shipment, dangerous goods packaging (required to put paint on a plane), and artist honorariums for Patrick and two local artists
- Our campaign represents a modest budget for such a project to ensure we meet our goal, surplus funding will go towards higher artist honorariums and supplementing the high cost of food, and potentially painting additional walls (update we have already exceeded our estimated materials and shipping budget!)

We have seen some great work by those two individuals in our community and we feel it has helped a lot of our youth in feeling useful to the population.
- Paul Quassa (Hamlet of Igloolik), MLA for Aggu / Minister of Education, 2012”

Visit the Facebook page for more info and Indiegogo to DONATE.

Posted with permission from Patrick Thompson / Photos used with permission from Patrick Thompson

CapeDorsetMuralProject1Rockin’ Walrus: workshops, Igloolik, 2012

CapeDorsetMuralProject2Patrick and Gootileak Echo blocking in shape, Iqaluit, 2011

All Nations Healin’ Thru Artz in the News (Regina)


All Nations Healin’ Thru Artz (ANHTA) was featured in Regina newspaper, Leader Post. In the story, ANHTA founder, Monica Fogel, shares the troubled past that inspired her to reach out to Regina’s at-risk youth, many of which live in North Central, an area that was once declared “Canada’s worst neighbourhood” by Macleans magazine.

The unique after-school youth program combines life skills and cultural teachings with hip hop dance, theatre, photography and filmmaking… “We’re not here to be a saviour. We can’t change their lives for them. But we can give them opportunities to see another avenue to go down instead of always thinking one way all the time,” Fogel said. (from Leader Post, read the full article here)

Also in the article is Eagleclaw Thom, a new media instructor at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology who has just started teaching documentary film-making and photography to the ANHTA youth.

“It gets them out of the situation they are in. We have supper together before class and chat and discuss the happenings of what has been going on in their lives and try to make sense of it in a way that helps…” (from Leader Post, read the full article here)

All Nations Healin’ Thru Artz is having their 6th Annual Talent Show Fundraiser featuring ANHTA dancers on April 17th at the Regina Performing Arts Centre. Click here for more info.

Posted with permission from Monica Fogel
Read All Nations Healin’ Thru Artz profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map.

My Drum’s Journey: Stories from a DAREarts Artist-Educator


Photo by Cathy Elliott / Drum painted by Cathy Elliott

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

“I have a drum that I take with me to DAREarts events, classes, circles. It’s a great way to break the ice. In a roomful of energetic kids who are making a lot of noise, the sound of a drum is like a big voice.

This is a little story about my hand drum. It’s made of moose hide from Alberta, which was shipped all the way to Lennox Island First Nation, P.E.I. A young man named Gilbert Sark made it for me. I was, at the time, the director, writer, composer for a musical which was in production at the Charlottetown Festival.

At the opening of The Talking Stick, it arrived. The newly stretched skin was still wet. I was told not to play it until it was ready. “How will I know when it’s ready?” I asked Gilbert. He said, “It’ll let you know. Trust me. You’ll know.” I sat in the audience, drum in my lap and watched my cast of young people stand and deliver their hearts to a very warm and receptive crowd. My drum was silent, heavy. When I tapped it, it sounded like cardboard.

I put it in different places, wondering when I could play it. I went about my business, hoping that I would find places to play it while I learned more about my own language and culture. One day, I was walking past it as it sat on a chair. I heard this ping as I walked by. I picked it up and it rang. It rings, still.

Gilbert told me to let the markings on the hide tell me what to paint. I followed the patterns, and what emerged was  a complete surprise to me. A Marten. A woman dressed in red. A moose. A seal. Trees and water. Sea creatures. Serpents. Salmon.

Little did I know then where that drum would take me.

I carried it to Newfoundland, to play Ariel at the New World Theatre Project. I joined a drumming group in the St. John’s Friendship Centre. Their funding had just been cut in half, and they were scrambling to find a way to finance programs for youth. They knew that Urban Aboriginal, Inuk and Metis kids and youth needed a place to gather and celebrate their cultures and languages. My drum sang on a foggy stage in a forest to join Beothuk Grandmothers and Grandfathers with Shakespeare’s Tempest.

I carried it to Toronto, where DAREarts kids made Dreamcatcher-inspired works of art to raise over 4,000.00 for other kids, thousands of kilometres away. [Read more here]

I carried it to Orangeville area kids, who created DARE2draw cards to draw attention to kids who were less fortunate than they. [Read more here]

I carried it to Webequie, where kids and youth created songs, works of art, fashion, stories, black-light theatre, photography and videos as a declaration that THEY ARE STILL HERE.

I carried it to Ogoki Post (Marten Falls First Nation) where a little boy played along to a song that he and other kids wrote, for his proud grandmother.

I carried it to Sipikne’katik First Nation, (Shubenacadie) back to the Atlantic Coast, where kids made an inspirational song about courage, called Melkikno’ti, learned it and created a music video. [Read more here]

It’s going to Attawapiskat First Nation next, where  J.R. Nagoki grade 8 students will create a music video for their own song about fishing and living on the land, “Muskego Land,” to be premiered at the long awaited (and well deserved) opening of their new school.

This drum has been my companion on planes, ‘copters, cars, trucks, in lodges, schools, churches and stages. Its voice has been in fog, snow, steam and bright hot sunlight. It’s been tuned by Sacred Fires, kitchen stoves, car heaters and hair dryers. It’s been played by kids, friends, strangers and family. It has an inscription in Mi’kmaq. “We speak from the heart. You are good listeners. Do not forget us.”

DAREarts understands the value of cultures, language, dreams and generations. This drum is just one of the many drums that our kids and artists play; African drums, Big Drums, water drums and heart-beats, from coast to coast.

This drum is going to continue its Journey all over Canada for DAREarts. It’s going to sing for each and every kid in this country. Every time someone asks what’s the picture on your drum? I say, “It’s my future.”

Read Cathy’s previous posts:
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


Airport office: drum accompanies Cathy Elliott on her DAREarts journeys