Call for Applications: Entrepreneurship Fund

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is inviting underserved youth, aged 18-30, to apply for its Young Arts Entrepreneur business fund. The initiative provides successful applicants with $7,500 in start-up funds, over a two-year period, as well as seasoned mentors from the business sector. To learn more about the opportunity and apply, please visit the information page. Deadline for applications is August 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm E.T. 

The program was designed with the assistance of youth business organization Futurpreneur Canada to fill a gap identified by community youth and arts organizations across the country. It is supported by BMO Financial Group and CIBC.

Canadian Leaders Back Foundation’s Work on Justice

A group of distinguished Canadians from the fields of government, law, business, health, academia, culture and community are lending their voice to our initiative, which empowers Nova Scotian youth to use the arts to advance peace, safety, reconciliation and justice in their communities.

Some of the “Justice Champions” attended a special workshop on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, that kicked-off a province-wide consultation on enhancing peace and justice throughout the province. The event included art creation, artist talks and community feedback stations inside the 4th Wall exhibition space. Citing recent high profile cases of gun violence rocking the province and the hate-based  attack in Orlando, the Justice Champions are calling for Nova Scotians of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in the Foundation’s efforts to support young people working tirelessly to use the arts to improve quality of life in their communities.

Residents of the province are invited to submit recommendations for a three-year action plan to enhance safety, wellbeing, reconciliation, and rehabilitation in their communities. A special fund will then be created to enable youth-driven community organizations to work with the business, government, health, law, cultural and social service organizations to implement the plan over a three-year period.

Justice Champions include such luminaries as: Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament; The Honourable Diana Whalen, Minister of Justice and Attorney General;The Honourable Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage; His Honour Michael Savage, Mayor of Halifax; Marie Wilson, Commissioner at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2009-2015); Jean-Michel Blais, Chief, Halifax Regional Police; JRDN, Juno-Award winning artist; Quentrel Provo, Founder and CEO, Stop the Violence Spread the Love; and  Alan Syliboy, Coady Chair in Social Justice, St. Francis Xavier University. To see the complete list of Justice Champions visit this page. 

Contest for Muslim Youth in Quebec

Muslim youth from Quebec, aged 15 to 30, are invited to submit proposals of artwork (paintings, multimedia, videography, sculpture etc.) as part of The Art of Inclusion: Muslim Youth Take the Lead project. Ten submissions will be selected by a jury to be part of a groundbreaking exhibition on Muslim youth to be unveiled at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in November 2016. Each winning submission will receive:

  • $1,000 award,
  • Up to $250 to cover the cost of materials needed to create the artwork, and
  • Unprecedented visibility at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The proposed artwork must articulate a vision of Quebec’s diverse identity and offer suggestions on ways to foster the full inclusion of Muslim youth in Quebec society. The application deadline is May 24, 2016, at 11:59 pm. Follow this link to apply.

Street-Involved Youth in Quebec City Proudly Cross the Fourth Wall

In theater, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary screen, which separates the performer from the spectator. By extension, this impalpable wall covers the socially excluded, often making them invisible to the social eye.

The “4th Wall” is a way to open the doors of major cultural institutions to young artists from marginalized backgrounds, allowing the public to discover raw talent and break down the walls of exclusion by establishing dialogue and seeking peaceful, community-driven solutions.

For this reason, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation created the “4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible” initiative, which has invited museums and art galleries across the country to participate and collaborate in advancing more inclusive and healthier communities for marginalized young Canadians.

The Foundation, which provides support to youth initiatives using the arts to transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities in Canada, and the Musée de la Civilization of Quebec City, have joined forces with the Maison Dauphine, which offers street-involved youth aged 12 to 29 the opportunity to rebuild their lives and gain acceptance, as well as Laval University’s School of Architecture, to present the “4th Wall: J’habite la ville” exhibition.

To do this, “4th Wall” offers street-involved youth in Quebec City ways to express artistically their condition and needs, through artwork they have been preparing since January 2016. The culmination of their work will be an exhibition unveiled in September 2016 at the Musée de la Civilization of Quebec City. It will serve to kick-off a public forum on the situation of street-involved youth in the city. Currently, the budding artists are meeting on a weekly basis to review progress on their projects, with the logistical support of future architects from Laval University, who enthusiastically joined in to share their knowledge. Watch young artist Samuel Tremblay speak about his work (in French):

On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the Co-Chairs of the Foundation, Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and Jean-Daniel Lafond, met with the young people involved in the project, with whom they shared two hours of exciting exchanges. Madam Jean was particularly impressed by the solidarity and trust that has developed among the young participants. Mr. Lafond, who had followed the project since its inception, over a year-ago now, clearly appreciated the detailed presentations on the project process as well as the artwork under creation. Those in attendance at the Musée de la Civilisation of Quebec City that day included:

  • Michaëlle Jean, Jean-Daniel Lafond, Alice Mutezintare from the Michaëlle Jean Foundation;
  • Martin Leblanc and Josée Laurence from the Musée de la Civilization of Quebec City;
  • Jacques Carrier as well as the young artists Alexandrine, Roxanne, Jason and Samuel, from the Maison Dauphine; and
  • GianPiero Moretti, Director of Laval University’s School of Architecture, and Anne Boisvert, Operations Coordinator, of Laval University’s School of Architecture.

That very evening at 7 pm, at the Museum, following the meeting, Jean-Daniel Lafond’s film “Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose”  was screened for the first time in Quebec City.

Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose by Jean Daniel Lafond.