Michaëlle Jean Foundation Announces its new Young Arts Entrepreneurs

OTTAWA, April 30, 2014—The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is delighted to announce the first recipients of its new Young Arts Entrepreneur program funding, as Canada prepares to celebrate National Youth Arts Week.

With the generous support of CIBC and BMO, and the collaboration of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, the program provides start-up capital as well as business and arts mentors to underserved youth seeking to launch an arts-based business over a two-year period.

More than 60 aspiring young business and community leaders from across Canada applied. A jury selected the following recipients:

  • Aimee Baldwin from Kenora is a potter with a dream of expanding her existing studio and services to incorporate wheel throwing and a new central business location.
  • Maya Bedward aims to marry social change and entertainment by giving new perspective to issues of culture and identity through her Toronto-based company Third Culture Films.
  • Alexandrine Duclos is a young photographer in Québec City, whose goal is to establish a studio where she can develop her own art and also encourage at-risk youth to explore photography.
  • Cameron Dutchak, from Sault Ste. Marie, is a mural artist building an enterprise that would allow at-risk youth to develop skills as they participate in commissioned street art projects.
  • Devon Fiddler is a Saskatoon designer whose company, She Native, will produce unique, locally made, Indigenous-sourced fashion accessories.
  • Bishara Mohamed, a Toronto visual artist, dreams of taking her designs to a wider public through fabric and hand-made paper products.
  • Ahmed Ali Mohamud, “Ahmed Knowmadic” to his fans, is a founding member of Edmonton’s “Breath in Poetry” collective, which is working to expand its weekly poetry night events and school programmes.
  • Babby Palomo is a partner in Comunica Media, an enterprise that aims to bring high quality media to Montreal’s diverse Spanish-speaking communities.

“We are delighted by the caliber and diversity of our young arts entrepreneurs whose innovative spirit and determination have the potential to inspire underserved youth all over the country. Their business projects span such a rich variety of artistic disciplines, providing our recipients with a unique opportunity to make a mark in Canada’s creative industries, which bring billions of dollars to our country every year”, said the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Monsieur Jean-Daniel Lafond, Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

In addition to start-up capital of $7,500 each, recipients will be mentored in business plan development, marketing and other business skills, and receive ongoing mentoring in arts techniques from seasoned professionals. The Canadian Youth Business Foundation, which helped to design the program, will also be assisting the youth with additional tools and resources. The aim of Young Arts Entrepreneur is to provide participants with the tools, experience and connections in the financial world they need to “graduate” to other ongoing opportunities to build their businesses.

Additional information about the recipients and their business projects can be found here.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation

We support youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health. In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving Aboriginal cultural resurgence, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info: www.fmjf.ca.

About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.

Established in 1996, CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship. CYBF is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (being held November 18-24 in 2013).

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For more information:

Peter Flegel

Director of Communications and Programs

Michaëlle Jean Foundation

613.562.5468

pflegel@fmjf.ca

Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Ontario and WorldPride 2014 Toronto Team Up For Pan-Canadian Youth Solidarity Initiative

Online submission for national youth art competition opens today at youthsolidarityproject.ca

TORONTO, March 27, 2014—The Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and WorldPride 2014 Toronto are proud to announce that they are teaming up to launch a groundbreaking new initiative entitled the 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project. Promoting safe, inclusive and healthy communities for Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ* youth, the project is actively supported by over 50 human rights, faith-based, arts, newcomer, Aboriginal and health organizations across Canada.

Launching today, www.youthsolidarityproject.ca will be the portal to the project. It will inspire Canadians of all ages and backgrounds to voice the importance of establishing and safeguarding an open and inclusive society for all. The initiative will include:

  •  A National Digital Arts Competition inviting youth, aged 14-30, to express themselves creatively on the theme “Solidarity with Canada’s Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ* Communities.” Six jury-selected finalists will each receive $1,000 and see their artwork displayed in a special WorldPride Toronto 2014 exhibition at the AGO! Artwork may be submitted online at www.youthsolidarityproject.ca. The deadline for applications is April 25, 2014;
  • An online vote for Canadians of all ages to select the artwork that best reflects the contest theme. The winner will be flown to Toronto, awarded a $1,000 cash prize and see his or her artwork featured as a public outdoor mural. The online vote at www.youthsolidarityproject.ca opens on May 14, 2014;
  • A WorldPride 2014 Toronto Exhibition, which will feature the artwork of the six competition finalists. The exhibition will be on at the AGO from June 22 to Nov. 15, 2014;
  • A High Energy Youth Solidarity Forum, taking place on June 22, 2014, at the AGO in partnership with Jer’s Vision, to discuss strategies to create healthy, safe and inclusive communities through the arts in Canada.

For a full list of project collaborators, please visit: http://youthsolidarityproject.ca/collaborators.

* LGBTTIQQ is an abbreviation used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning.

About the 4th Wall Program

In theatre, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary screen that creates a virtual separation between actor and spectator. There are many ways to cross the fourth wall and to make the invisible visible. The Michaëlle Jean Foundation chose to do so through the 4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible program, in collaboration with several prestigious Canadian museums and art galleries. The goal is to invite young creators to break down the invisible walls that create solitudes between individuals and communities across Canada, by opening the doors of our major cultural institutions to emerging creators from marginalized backgrounds. The Foundation offers museum and art gallery space and bursaries to youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, often cut off from museums, so that they can produce original art that conveys their experiences, ideas and challenges. On display for the public to see, their work provokes debate and builds solutions. The first 4th Wall exhibition was launched on Feb. 5, 2014, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, to mark Black History Month in collaboration with FRO Foundation.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation supports youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health. In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving crucial Aboriginal cultural resurgence initiatives, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info: www.fmjf.ca.

About the Art Gallery of Ontario

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. Visit ago.net to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

About WorldPride 2014 Toronto

WorldPride 2014 Toronto (WP14TO) is an international celebration taking place from June 20 – 29, 2014, that incorporates activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA communities. WorldPride 2014 Toronto is presented by Pride Toronto, producer of Canada’s largest annual festival of LGBTTIQQ2SA culture and human rights, under license from InterPride. Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts the city’s Pride Festival, an annual event in downtown Toronto during the last week of June and one of the premier arts and cultural festivals in Canada. It is also one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world with an estimated attendance of over one million people. It celebrates the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA communities. See more at: http://www.worldpridetoronto.com.

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For more information, please contact:

Peter Flegel

Director of Communications & Programs

Michaëlle Jean Foundation

613.562.5468

pflegel@fmjf.ca

Caitlin Coull

Communications Manager

Art Gallery of Ontario

416.979-6660 ext. 364

caitlin_coull@ago.net

Trevor Hampden

Communications Manager

World Pride 2014

647.465.6718

trevor@pridetoronto.com

RT. Hon. Michaëlle Jean to visit Jasper Place High School In Support of Youth Leadership in Edmonton

OTTAWA—On October 25, 2013, the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will visit Jasper Place School, where her Foundation is supporting an academic achievement and youth engagement project in Edmonton. The visit will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. at the high school located at 8950 – 163 Street.

Accompanied by TD Michaëlle Jean Bursary 2013 recipient Julia Dalman, Madame Jean will participate in the school’s 2nd annual Re-Skill Fair: a series of cultural activities with over 150 students, teachers, artists, and senior citizens, designed to transmit critical life-skills to youth. Centered in the school’s Global Café, the activities will highlight the unique and innovative ways in which underserved youth in Edmonton are being empowered to succeed academically and transform their communities through the arts.

At approximately 10:45 a.m., Madame Jean and Ms. Dalman will address the study body. They will speak to the importance of supporting the use of the arts as tools to promote academic excellence and leadership to enable youth to make a lasting difference around them.

“This visit to Jasper Place High School is very important to me. It will allow me to meet dynamic and bold students and teachers, for which my Foundation is supporting Julia Damian’s Learning through the Arts project, at the Global Café. Their determination to transform their school into a creative space conducive to learning, community revitalization and solidarity speaks volumes about the leadership of the youth of Edmonton. It was to encourage and expand these actions across Canada that I chose to make my legacy, as governor general, a foundation that demonstrates every day, through programs, particularly bursaries, how the arts can save lives and improve communities,” said the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

“Jasper Place staff and students are thrilled to be hosting The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean,” says principal Jean Stiles. “We are so proud of Julia and the work she has done to make the Global Café a safe and creative place for our students to express themselves.”

About the TD Michaëlle Jean Bursaries

Launched this year, as a partnership between the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the TD Bank Group, the bursaries provide up to $10,000 to youth seeking mentors to help them use the arts to better their communities. Over a one-year period, the recipients will work on innovative arts-based projects designed to better the lives of underprivileged youth and improve the quality of life in their communities.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation supports youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health. In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving crucial Aboriginal cultural resurgence initiatives, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info: www.fmjf.ca.

About Jasper Place High School

Jasper Place School is the home to over 2,200 students and is the largest high school in Edmonton. Students and staff celebrate their diversity through course offerings, clubs, activities and remarkable opportunities. They embrace challenges with unrelenting determination to do better, try harder, question the status quo and take risks.

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For more information:

Peter Flegel

Director of Communications and Programs

Michaëlle Jean Foundation

613.562.5468

pflegel@fmjf.ca

 

Jane Sterling

Communications Supervisor

Edmonton Public Schools

780.970.4356

jane.sterling@epsb.ca

 

Michaëlle Jean Foundation and TD Announce New Bursary Winners

OTTAWA, July 11, 2013—The Michaëlle Jean Foundation and TD Bank Group are proud to announce the winners of the first ever TD Michaëlle Jean Bursaries. Four highly deserving individuals were selected out of almost 100 applicants from across Canada.

“We are both very impressed by the caliber of this year’s winners of the TD Michaëlle Jean Bursaries. Their projects are as creative as they are innovative, and we look forward to discovering the fruit of their actions,” said the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond, Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

This year’s recipients are:

Freddy King: a former inmate who used the arts to turn his life around and who now empowers underprivileged teens in Toronto to pursue their dreams. He will be using his bursary to produce a Hip Hop album, which he will use to inspire at-risk youth to avoid the lure of crime.

Mark Siller: a self-taught bboy (breakdancing) who developed his own youth outreach program in Vancouver. Through mentorship by youth arts group Blueprint for Life, he will work with the Cowichan Tribes of British Columbia to provide sustainable hip-hop programming for youth.

Amanda Paris: an up-and-coming playwright who grew up in one of Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods and became a full-blown graduate student at the University of Toronto. She will be developing a play designed to promote healing and resilience among teenage girls and young women of colour.

Julian Dalman: an ardent environmentalist, aspiring poet and social justice activist who was selected as one of Alberta’s top 30 under 30. She will be leading an innovative program that uses arts to increase achievement in math and science among disadvantaged high school students in Edmonton.

“Every opportunity realized and every challenge addressed is first imagined. We must encourage and celebrate the ingenuity, inventiveness and inspiration of Canadians – especially our youth,” said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. “That’s why we’re thrilled to work with the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and support this incredible program that offers an opportunity for youth to foster their love for the arts, while making an impact in their communities.”

All four bursary recipients will be among the special guests presented, on September 27, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. during a town hall at the inaugural Power of the Arts National Forum: Advancing Social Change, taking place at Carleton University in Ottawa. The festive event will be open to the public.

About the TD Michaëlle Jean Bursaries

Launched this year, as a partnership between the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the TD Bank Group, the bursaries provide up to $10,000 to youth seeking mentors to help them use the arts to better their communities. Over a one-year period, the recipients will work on innovative arts-based projects designed to better the lives of underprivileged youth and improve the quality of life in their communities.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation supports youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health. In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving crucial Aboriginal cultural resurgence initiatives, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info: www.fmjf.ca.

About TD Community Giving

TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2012, TD donated over $65 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit www.td.com/corporate-responsibility.

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Contact:

Peter Flegel

Director of Communications and Programs – Michaëlle Jean Foundation

613.562.5468 – pflegel@fmjf.ca

Tashlin Hirani

Manager of Corporate and Public Affairs – TD Bank Group

416.982.3375

tashlin.hirani@td.com