Freddy King speaks for people who have had their voices stolen from them and challenges the superficial view of Toronto the Good by immortalizing the stories of people our society has failed. He writes about the world he comes from and still inhabits, shining a harsh light on its flaws and celebrating its beauty. After being incarcerated for 2 years, he realized there was more to life, and he wished to share his perspective to all those willing to listen. His poetic voice is singular and he’s not afraid to go places that are difficult in order to challenge himself and his listeners to look beyond the everyday superficial masks we all wear to the issues, fears and anger that really fuel us. King’s work ethic, as well as his drive to represent his community soars through his poetry and music. His strongest motivation is to do this for all the friends and family that he has lost, through illnesses and the devastating Eaton Centre shooting he pushes forward with their memories in his head and heart. Through his drive and determination he continues to be an accomplished person, in 2011 he wrote and directed a suicide prevention ad for the Toronto Transit Commission with Pact Films as well as co-directed a short film “My Brother” which won a Fan Favourite Award through Planet and Focus.
Julia Dalman is the Coordinator and innovator of the Global Café program in Jasper Place High School. Growing up in a family of environmentalists drew her to study an unlikely but fitting combination of Biology and International Studies at the University of Alberta. Julia currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta; a city named from the Cree word Monto, meaning Creator’s spirit. Julia dedicates her work to creating community connections. Her art form is community building and she is passionate about encouraging youth voice in community initiatives. Julia has a background working in social and environmental justice movements and is a Next Up Alumni. She was selected as one of Alberta’s top 30 under 30 and is a member of the Breath in Poetry Collective. She is a founding member of ConsentEd, a group dedicated to eliminating sexual violence. You can find Julia reading and writing in local coffee shops, blues dancing, or giggling with her friends.
I was exposed to the arts at a young age and started to appreciate arts of movement; namely breaking in high school. I invested years in practice, networking, self-discipline, competing, travel and self-reflection. There was a moment where I realized that the qualities I had developed as an adult such as respect, confidence, drive, goal setting, humility and patience had come to me in large part through the arts. A pillar of hip-hop and b-boy culture is “each one teach one”. Moving forward, I began teaching classes, developed an outreach program in Vancouver with 2 friends and was lucky enough to go on a BlueprintForLife project working with the Cowichan Tribe. Through these experiences, I witnessed firsthand the transformative and purpose giving power of the arts on others that I had felt myself. I felt compelled to pursue a project to extend the work that had been done with the Cowichan Tribe and to help extend a supportive and passionate community of which anyone can be a part.
Born in London, England, descending from Grenadian and Venezuelan ancestry and raised on the south side of Jane Street in Toronto, Canada by a superhero mother, Amanda Parris has always been motivated by multiple spaces, places and people. Co-founder of the multi-award winning alternative education organization Lost Lyrics and founder of the critically acclaimed artistic collective T-Dot Renaissance she is interested in projects that challenge, question and create ways of knowing. Her passion for education, art and social justice has led to innovative and transformative work with organizations such as the Centre for Women and Trans People at York University The Remix Project and Manifesto Community Projects. She is the writer of the one-woman play 32C and was the lead role in the critically acclaimed 2012 SummerWorks production of Motion’s play Aneemah’s Spot. Amanda is currently pursuing her M.A. Degree in the Sociology of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.