Michaëlle Jean Foundation Announces the New Recipients of its Young Arts Entrepreneur Start-Up Fund

OTTAWA, July 28, 2015—The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2015 edition of its Young Arts Entrepreneur program start-up fund.

In its second year, the program supports underserved youth wishing to help revitalize their communities by creating businesses in the creative industries. Besides seed funding, the winners can count on mentors from the arts and business sectors providing support over a two-year period. The program benefits from a partnership with Futurpreneur Canada and is made possible through the generous support of CIBC and BMO Financial Group.

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

  • Crystal Chan is a writer and editor based in Montreal. She wants to use new technology to give voice to isolated individuals and minorities through a new publishing company.
  • Morad Saad Guzman is a percussionist and multi-instrumentalist from Toronto. Through his company Golden Boys Music, he wants to offer young musicians a stimulating and safe space to learn, create and share.
  • Tori Hathaway wants to create a company that helps artists and youth advance social causes through song and music. The Barrie, Ontario native also wants to encourage them to pursue their dreams.
  • Sanaaj Mirrie wants to promote traditional dances among disadvantaged communities in the Durham Region of Ontario with her new project: the dance studio Afiwi Groove.
  • Andrea Niño is a dancer and choreographer based in Montreal. She is working to establish an arts studio space for the creation and teaching of arts through her new company.
  • Jesse Stong wants to create a company that introduces young Quebecers to theater by offering pedagogical tools to teachers.

“We are impressed by the quality of the projects as well as the creativity and determination of our young arts entrepreneurs. They are a true inspiration to young people in their communities and across the country. We are delighted to encourage them in their efforts and are confident that they will have an impact on Canada’s creative industries, which contribute billions of dollars to our economy,” said the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Monsieur Jean-Daniel Lafond, Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

About the Young Arts Entrepreneur Program

The Young Arts Entrepreneur program aims to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit among underserved young people and promote businesses that harness the arts for social change. In this spirit, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation provides $7,500 in seed money over a two-year period to young artists from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to establish or sustain an arts-based business. The program also gives them access to the expertise of experienced professionals to help them produce a business plan, develop a marketing strategy and enhance their artistic techniques. Over the next two years, the six young entrepreneurs will receive the tools and resources necessary to carry out and sustain their businesses.

Additional information about the recipients and their business projects can be found at https://www.fmjf.ca/en/programs/young-arts-entrepreneur-2/2015-young-arts-entrepreneurs/.

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 Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. www.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur.

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For more information:

Peter Flegel
Director of Communications and Programs
Michaëlle Jean Foundation
613.562.5468
pflegel@fmjf.ca

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