National Youth Arts Week 2013: A Huge Success!

Toronto, Ontario - Art Fusion Festival

Well done everyone! National Youth Arts Week 2013 was even better than we could have hoped for, with Launch Parties that took place in Halifax, NS, Saint-Jérôme, QB, Toronto, ON, Iqaluit, NV, Calgary, AB and Vancouver, BC. 

The Launch Party at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia was a hit, with performances by hip hop group ILLusions Crew, pianist Hendrick Nicolas Veltmeyer, urban dance groups Unity Halifax and Concrete Roots, Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir. Talks by Laura Carmichael (Assistant Curator of Education) and Ryan Veltmeyer (E.D. at Youth Art Connection) and guest speaker MLA Leonard Preyra gave talks, and Des Adams performed spoken word, "Art is something we all know." 

In Saint-Jérôme, QC, artistic youth at the organization ICI par les arts held a variety of performances, including dance, music, comedy, live painting and poetry, as well as a dance-off between secondary school youth groups from Rivière du Nord.

NuSchool in Iqaluit, NV, also participated in the launch of NYAW, thanks to youth co-ordinator Pascale Arpin and volunteers of the Katimavak group; their launch was streamed live with Toronto's, after which events were held throughout the week across the city. 

in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario hosted a series of events, commencing with a skateboard building workshop and pop-up shop by the Oasis Skateboard Factory alongside live mural painting from Toronto's prominent graffiti artist Elicser Elliot while voices were expressed at Speaker's Corner and a chalkboard portrait booth set-up by Art for Children and Youth. 

This was just the beginning! The smudge ceremony that followed set a tone of unification that cleared the way for the surplus of youth performers: AFCY drummers, MC Jazz, UNITY Toronto, Halifax and Calgary, Dynesti, REVERSE, Toronto Kiki Ballroom Ensemble and Randolph Academy and music by DJ Zehra.

Young people from all walks of life then found their voice in the youth dialogues that followed, hosted by guest speakers Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and facilitated by Naty Tremblay, Kim Crosby, Che Kothari, and Moises Frank.

While Minister Michael Chan shared talks about the importance of art and in our culture, several seminars were taking place, including grant writing, sponsorship tips, a mentorship clinic, a photo booth and henna tattoos. Collaborative sculptures also took place, as well as performances from The People's Project, SOY, Sketch and Pink Ink and videos from LOVE Toronto. Young children enjoyed artistic exploration at the Hands-On Centre throughout the evening.