Meet the second recipients of Young Arts Entrepreneur program funding. For additional information, visit this page.
Crystal Chan is a writer and editor. Her work has appeared on CBC and in Maisonneuve and Reader’s Digest. She edits the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s digital column. She tells stories in print and online – and she helps others tell theirs.
Born in Hong Kong, Crystal grew up in Vancouver and lives in Montreal. She holds a BA with Honours in English: Cultural Studies and recently graduated from the Next Up leadership fellowship. After speaking minority languages all her life, and traveling to every Canadian province and territory as well as across the U.S. and parts of Europe and Asia, she’s hooked on languages.
Who aren’t we hearing from? That’s what Crystal wants to find out with her publishing press. This press will be multimedia, multiplatform, and multilingual. From isolated academics to disenfranchised minorities, Crystal hopes to use technology to magnify diverse ideas, and to offer multimedia solutions to cultural workers, policy-makers, and the business sector.
Morad Saad Guzman
Morad Saad Guzman, Founder and Creative Director for Golden Boy Music, has over 10 years of experience as a drummer, percussionist and performing artist. Morad is a self-taught acoustic guitar and keyboard player. He has performed in several rock, Latin and alternative bands, theatre groups and performing arts ensembles across the GTA, winning awards of excellence in Music at the Sears Drama Festival two years in a row. Morad also facilitates drum circles and workshops for schools, festivals and corporate events.
Golden Boy Music is a community-based organization that provides a platform for students to learn, create, and share music in a safe, relaxed environment. Its mission is to empower and develop youth capacities as multi-disciplinary creators and leaders. The organization’s vision is to educate young artists on how music relates to other disciplines in order to expand their creative outlook, promote originality and instill a desire to learn.
Traits that shape Ontario rising star, Tori Hathaway. At just 16, this talented singer-songwriter is embracing her upward spiraling music career, and managing her own business. The songstress has raised over $10,000 for local charities and continues to use her gifts to engage with young artists, and youth in schools, encouraging them to follow their heart and to never give up! In tune with her responsibility as a role model for tweens, her much anticipated album is certain to uplift and inspire fans of all ages. Academically, Tori is registered both as a homeschooler in Ontario and concurrently in the post-secondary Berklee College of Music Online program, where she maintains straight A’s – 4.0 GPA.
I am a social entrepreneur, cultural-arts marketer and dancer who migrated to Canada from Jamaica at the age of 14. During my teenage years, African dance was my escape to deal with anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, which were the outcomes of being exposed to extreme violence and poverty at a young age. When I turned 21, I was formally trained by renowned artists, which included but were not limited to Albena de Assis, B’memba Bungora, Ngoma Drum and Dance Ensemble and Vivine Scarlett. I also trained and performed locally and internationally in Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Ghana, and Trinidad & Tobago.
In 2008, at the age of 23, I created Afiwi International, a social media marketing company that promotes the business of arts, culture and community development. I’ve had the privilege of working with organizations such as B.A.N.D; promoting the TD “Then and Now” Black History Month series and the Scotia Bank Contact Photography Festival. During the summer of 2008, I worked as a program assistant at the Harbourfront Centre for the Performing Arts; and from 2010 to 2013, I was an executive assistant to the Vice President in the Community Relations department at TD Bank.
My passion for African dance was not lost and in 2013, I created Afiwi Groove: the first ever African Drum and Dance program to serve the African Canadian population in Ajax, Ontario. The business I want to create is The Afiwi Groove Cultural Dance Studio. The mission will be to create a studio that promotes cultural dance programs for under-served groups and other individuals in the Ajax and Durham region.
Andrea is a Montreal-based choreographer and performer of Colombian origin. In 2009, she obtained a degree from the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. Once she completed her studies in 2009, she devoted herself to studying Latin American social and traditional dances, African dance, drama and clown arts. Her eclectic and varied career led her to search for her identity as Mestiza and immigrant woman and to find her own position as a choreographer and performer.
She continued creating as a choreographer / performer through her Entr’Âmes company, as a performer and coach with the Gypsy Orchestra Kumbia group and the Théâtre des Cuisines, and as a choreographer and teacher in the Collective Salsa Descalza. Now she is establishing herself as an entrepreneur with the opening of Studio D 325, a rental space for creating and teaching the arts.
Jesse Stong is a graduate of Ryerson University (2004, Social Work) and the National Theatre School of Canada (2013, Playwriting). He worked with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Youth Assistant Director, 2005/2006) and the SKETCH art studio for street youth (2007). He was a columnist for fab magazine (2006/2007). During this time, he developed his “identity writing” workshop and used it to create, direct and produce nine successful youth theatre projects. In 2013, his play Shared Account about online bullying completed a record-breaking tour of 100 high schools across Québec (with Geordie Productions).
His company Mister Jesse’s Workshop is currently registered with the Quebec Repertoire and has toured innovative, interactive writing, performing and puppetry workshops across schools throughout the English Quebec School Boards. In 2015/16, Jesse will be taking his company to the next level by developing engaging materials to guide teachers, creating online video content to share some of his most dynamic theatre activities, and organizing a national tour to deliver his workshops to youth across Canada.