National Youth Arts Week Youth Organizers
Our National Youth Arts Week Community Coordinators and Youth Mobilizers are located in different communities across the country. Read on to find out more about these amazing youth artists and leaders who are working hard to make National Youth Arts Week a reality.
If there’s one in your city or community, feel free to contact them directly with inquiries and exciting ideas. If you don’t have a coordinator in your area, click here to find out how you can recruit one.
Community Coordinator//Don Sam
Don was born on February 4th 1993 in Whitehorse Yukon Territory, where he currently resides. Don had moved from Whitehorse to Edmonton in 2005 due to his mothers illness with cancer. In 2006 he moved back to the Yukon where he attended School at Selkirk Elementary, Frederick Howard Collins Secondary School (F.H.) Soon After starting 9th grade at F.H.
Don had to leave school to take care of his mother who was sick with cancer for a second time. Currently Don is finishing his education at the Individual Learning Centre in Whitehorse,Yukon. Through his adolescence Don has learned how to play a variety of instruments including Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone. Don has travelled to Vancouver many times to help out with the Jers Vision Dare to Stand Out, workshops. Don has also helped out in his community with Challenge Day, promoting “The Be The Change Movement.” Currently Don is working as a Youth Worker for The Youth of Today Society, Angels Nest Youth Center in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Community Coordinator//Pascale Arpinemail@example.com
Pascale Arpin is an arts programming coordinator, and freelance artist, living in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Originally from Ottawa, she moved to the Arctic in February 2011 upon completing her Bachelor of Humanities and Sociology at Carleton University. With art as her main passion and priority, Pascale devotes much of her time and energy to creating and facilitating projects and programs that expose individuals to both traditional and contemporary art practices and allow them to engage in art-making activities. Among other projects, Pascale created and weekly facilitates the first art program to be offered at the Nunavut Women’s Correctional Centre. She also founded the Makuktu Art Project, of which the goal is to provide youth in Nunavut with exciting opportunities to express themselves artistically. Pascale also currently works as the Communications Advisor for the Nunavut Arts & Crafts Association. Find out more about her various projects at www.pascale-arpin.com
Community Coordinator//Mark Sillerfirstname.lastname@example.org
Mark was exposed to the arts at a young age and started to appreciate arts of movement; namely breaking in high school. He invested years in practice, networking, self-discipline, competing, travel, self reflection, creating his own style and identity. There was a moment where Mark realized that the qualities he had developed as an adult such as respect, confidence, drive, goal-setting, humility and patience had come to him in large part through the arts. A pillar of hip-hop and b-boy culture is "each one teach one". Moving forward he begun teaching classes, working in outreach through BlueprintForLife and organizing events to uplift the community, he also acquired the 2013 Michaelle Jean/TD Bursary to continue work he had started with the Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island. Through these pursuits Mark had witnessed first-hand the transformative and purpose giving power of the arts on others that he had felt himself. Mark now aims to continue developing his art and expanding his knowledge through collaborations with others, as well as continuing to focus passing on what he's learned and building the arts community.
Community Coordinator//Tony Tran
Tony Tran is an Alberta-based dance artist, and holds a BComm in Marketing with a Minor in Dance from the University of Calgary. Tran is an active member of the Calgary Dance Community especially in the urban dance scene through his work as an instructor, performer, and choreographer. As a performer, Tran has worked with House of Dangerkat and W&Men of W&M Physical Theatre and has also had the opportunity to train and perform in Finland and New York City on several occasions. Select credits include: Nordic Moves, Diplo, Kingdom, Cherie Lily, and The Box NYC. Tran’s choreography has also been presented by Sage Theatre’s Ignite!, Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre Site-Specific Spectacular, Fluid Festival, Hopscotch Halifax 2012 and the University of Calgary’s Dance Montage. Tran is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Bad Girls Club YYC (TBGCYYC), which is a collective of artists integrating dance, music, fashion, and visual media to create work that challenge performance norms, in favor of diversity and innovation; generating exchanges of ideas and cultivating culture. For more about his various project please visit www.tonytran.ca.
Community Coordinator//Zondra Royemail@example.com
Zondra “Pricelys” Roy, who also goes by Zoey, is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; she grew up traveling across North America with her father and was in tae kwon do as a young girl, living with her mom around Saskatchewan. Zondra is currently living in Saskatoon. She is an activist, a writer, a facilitator, a community leader and an adventurer. Zondra is most passionate about the northern rural and remote communities in Canada and learning more about the marginalized young people across the world.
She maintains a role within national and regional organizations including Young Leadership Team (Regional Community Action Coordinator) with Health Canada on Tobacco Control in partnership with the Students Commission of Canada, Regional Coordinator for Arts Network for Children and Youth, Event Coordinator for Rock the Vote Canada, Outreach Coordinator for Unified Minds Youth Action Network and her primary role, a Project Coordinator with CRU (Connections and Resources for U) Youth Wellness Centre. Zoey plans to attend university and pursue a career in social entrepreneurship. “The legacy is the process”
Community Coordinator//Chloe Chafe
Chloe Chafe is a 22 year old, Fine Arts student in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She works as visual arts instructor for youth at Studio 393 and Graffiti Art Gallery Programming. Over the past three years Chloe has co-ordinated arts-based events in Winnipeg including; Arts & Disability Network, Album Releases, and running Synonym Art Consultation. As curating is currently her primary art practice, she works with watercolour, painting, video and photography. Strengthening community through art is Chloe's main goal, thus is incredibly excited for what's to come during National Youth Arts Week.
Blind River & Mississauga First Nations
Community Coordinator//Jon Cada
Jon Cada has been working in the Community Arts scene since 2011. His background in communications and experience working with First Nation communities across Ontario has given him insight and support to bring new ideas to his home community in Mississauga First Nation. Jon currently works for Thinking Rock Community Arts as the communications and outreach coordinator. Thinking Rock aims to connect and work with artists, organizers, activators, elders, youth, and youth mentors across the Algoma District in Northern Ontario to deliver sustainable community arts based projects to the area. Jon also writes and is a sports buff who has done play-by-play commentary on the radio, television and online broadcasts for multiple sports.
Sault Ste. Marie
Youth Mobilizer//Lorraine "Lo" Taylor
My name is Lo, born Lorraine Taylor in Sudbury, raised in Sault Ste. Marie, graduated from Sault College Hair styling program and am now back taking Business accounting. I am currently a PT student, with two PT jobs. I work for launch, we go into stores to "Launch" new products. I am the demo person you see in grocery stores, my other pt job is watching a kid for another student. I am also doing my placement with the Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie & District. I am not really sure what I want to do with my future yet, and am not ready for the real world so am thinking about staying here at the college and taking the business management course next fall. I love Halloween and anything that goes bump in the night, and believe that Halloween should be seen as a holiday and we should get long weekend for it.
Community Coordinator//Charlie Andrewsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie is passionate about music, culture, equality, and is thrilled to be the Sudbury Coordinator for National Youth Arts Week! Upon completion of her Bachelor's Degree in Music from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, she engaged in the community by being involved within the University community and Serving on the Board for Independent Living Sudbury Manitoulin. Also during this time, she freelanced in community orchestras across Northern Ontario, including: Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay, and Sault Ste. Marie Symphony Orchestra's. In 2011-12, Charlie was elected President of the Laurentian University Students' General Association (SGA/AGE), where she was able to advocate and elevate the quality of student life at the University.
In 2013, she was awarded a Top 40 Under Forty award and completed her graduate studies at York University, where she served on the Executive Committee for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Also at this time, Charlie engaged as an artist in the community by performing in various Orchestra's, such as: Orchestra Toronto, Celebrity Symphony Orchestra, Korean-Canadian Symphony Orchestra, and managed the Inspirations Orchestra.
Charlie has engaged in many organizations professionally, such as: Playwrights Guild of Canada, Coalition for Music Education in Canada, York University, Laurentian University, and Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.
"Sudbury is a diverse community and has a growing commitment to the arts and culture sector. NYAW will serve as an opportunity to unite creative youth within the community to make a meaningful impact within Sudbury. -Charlie Andrews
Youth Mobilizer//Matkai Burmaster-Hansen
Matkai Burmaster-Hansen is a Toronto-based actor who grew up in Sudbury and continues to be involved in the Sudbury arts culture through his arts organization, Verve Drama Camp. After graduating from Sudbury Secondary School's Arts Education program, he continued his studies at York University and Seneca College doing theatre and film&television respectively. Matkai is always excited to assist with youth arts initiatives especially ones like National Youth Arts Week that demonstrate the power and solidarity when youth get together and show people what they are capable of. Youth have a lot to say and a lot to showcase. Here's to an amazing National Youth Arts Week all across our beautiful country.
Community Coordinator//Alana Forslund
Youth Mobilizer//Lora Northway
Lora Northway is a visual artist and the Youth Outreach Administrator for the Def Sup Artist Run Centre and Gallery in Thunder Bay. She is also the founder of Def Sup’s youth art collective, Die Active. This collective, of 300+ artists, creates massive graffiti walls, Y-Art sales, an art-zine publication and several other art interventions each year. Die Active strives to increase the visibility of new and young artists in Thunder Bay while encouraging sustainable practices and alternative models for working. They promote the sharing of skills and culture through the creation of art, craft, education, and performance.
Community Coordinator//Patrick Hunteremail@example.com
Patrick Hunter, Kewadinaang (ka-way-din-an, or North Star) is a visual artist following in the footsteps of the Woodland artists from his hometown, Red Lake, Ontario. He received his degree in graphic design from Sault College, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where he was also the president of the Native Student Council for two terms. In 2010, and 2011, Patrick organized the Sault College Pow-wow. While in Sault Ste. Marie, Patrick was part of The Medicine Factory Studio, an artist-run centre comprised of youth visual artists. During his membership, Patrick was the sole graphic designer for their inaugural exhibition entitled Recent Works from the Factory. In 2013 Patrick created and coordinated Death to Winter Fest, a winter festival celebrating local musicians and artists, which took place in Red Lake. Patrick has been published in SEVEN Youth Magazine. Patrick now splits his time between Toronto and Red Lake, returning to his hometown to facilitate Woodland Art painting workshops in the highschool and in the community. Patrick is excited to be returning to his hometown to coordinate National Youth Arts Week May 1 - 7. Photograph was taken by Harriet Carlson.
Community Coordinator//Aaron Neebfirstname.lastname@example.org
Music teacher and consultant Aaron Neeb grew up near Crediton, Ontario on a dairy farm. After attending South Huron District High School, Aaron pursued his musical studies at the University of Western Ontario where he studied french horn. In 2011, Aaron graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Music, Honors Music Education. He then attended the Althouse Faculty of Education where he studied Intermediate/Senior Music and History. In 2012, he graduated from the faculty of education and was the recipient of the Don Wright Faculty of Education Music Scholarship, an award given based on academic excellence in instrumental music pedagogy. Aaron is currently employed with the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board and the Avon Maitland District School Board as a supply teacher and as the Youth Cultural Coordinator for South Huron program “Imagine South Huron”. Imagine South Huron is a youth entrepreneurship program that assists youth in commercializing their talents in arts, culture and heritage in South Huron. Through Imagine South Huron, Aaron has coordinated a number of enterprises including the South Huron Youth Jazz Band, the Arts Cafe Coffeehouses, and the Musicality School of Music. Aaron is very excited to be part of National Youth Arts Week!
Youth Mobilizer//Laura Service
Laura is the Outreach Coordinator and Gallery Manager at Arts Council Windsor & Region. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Honours degree at the University of Windsor. She is interested in community engagement on an interpersonal level. She believes that a strong creative community is an integral driving force of a thriving culture.
Youth Mobilizer//Joshua Babcock
Joshua is a multidisciplinary visual artist and musician from Windsor, Ontario. Joshua is a co-founder of Broken City Lab, a Windsor-based artist collective and non-profit organization working to unfold curiosities around locality and civic engagement in urban spaces. Information on BCL projects can be found at http://www.brokencitylab.org
Youth Mobilizer//Karlene Nielsen
Karlene is a Community Coordinator with the United Way funded Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal. Karlene enjoys advocating for art with artists in her hometown Windsor. Recently she worked with artists and residents to launch the Ford City Alley Mural Project. Karlene is a proud member of the Border City Brawlers roller derby league.
Youth Mobilizer//Julia Hall
Julia is an independent artist and designer based in Windsor, Ontario. Samples of her multidisciplinary projects can be found at http://www.behance.net/JuliaHall
Youth Mobilizer//Owen Eric Wood
Owen Eric Wood is an award-winning video artist whose work has shown at galleries and festivals in more than 30 countries. He works with a wide variety of artists and arts organizations through his activities in curating, writing, video production and education. Owen’s web site: www.owenericwood.com
Community Coordinator//Michael Robert-Cassidy
Michael was once in a while a young talented musician who found through the years that his real passion was working behind the scene. The 22 years old guy made his proof in the music industry by organizing dozens of shows including the fundation of an emergent alternative music festival in Saint-Jérôme, Québec. Michael is still young and believes in youth. For him, young emerging artists are a breeze of peace in a society full of hate and crimes. That's why he's so exited to get aboard the boat as the National Youth Arts Week organizer for his city.
Community Coordinator//Saa Andrew
In 1998, Saa Andrew Gbongbor was forced out of his village in Sierra Leone, West Africa because of diamond-fueled civil war. He moved to a crowded refugee camp in Gambia, where he slept on a tarp and survived on cornmeal. It was here at the age of 15 that he began singing the reggae songs that he heard around him as a means of survival. He, his father, step mother, and siblings later made it to Canada thanks to the UN. Now based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Saa has studied at St. Thomas University, and has continued with his dancehall reggae music career. He has released 2 independent cds: Butunneh Banda, 2004 and On Da Radio, 2009 and plays throughout the Maritimes. Saa is an active member of his community and the Maritime...Saa is the Producer for Battle Of The Arts; a youth led show in the Maritime. Saa Andrew aims to make 'National Youth Arts Week' in New Brunswick this year a success, get many children and youth involve. With NYAW happening in NB, we hope to give, and create more opportunities and awareness through the Arts
Prince Edward Island
Youth Mobilizer//Ryan Veltmeyer
Youth Mobilizer//Andy Cunninghamemail@example.com
Andy Cunningham is the Executive Director of Eventide Art Hub, a not-for-profit artist run center in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Andy has been working in the arts since 2004 as an event coordinator for many all ages concerts, art shows, fundraisers, and art festivals. Andy is an admirer of writing, coffee, and craft beer.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Community Coordinator//Kyle Bustin
Kyle Bustin is a visual artist based out of St. John’s Newfoundland. His practice largely revolves around contemporary murals and alternative installation work. He works at Eastern Edge Gallery, an artist run gallery in St. John’s, and has worked as a preparator for the Grenfell Art Gallery. In both institutions he has run and assisted in many workshops for children and youth participants. In 2009 he was one of three Newfoundland representatives sent to the National Arts Program at the Canada Summer Games where he took on leadership roles as young artists from across Canada planned a multidisciplinary performance. For National Youth Week in St. John’s he plans on focusing his efforts on showing the youth how to work in alternative setting within their community with several workshops, community discussions and movie screenings.