YAC Tour -Day 1: Moncton & Fredericton
“This day keeps being awesome!” –Ann Denny, Co-founder
Early Wednesday morning, the YAC crew zoomed out of Halifax, NS with four Artpreneurs, two co-founders, one journalist and one goal: the Michealle Jean Foundation’s Power of the Arts conference in Ottawa. But there was a lot of awesome that had to happen before they arrived, so awesome is what they did.
With interprovincial meetings booked in cities along the route, team YAC left Nova Scotia with creative collaboration on their minds and inspired art in their hearts.
First stop: McKenzie College School of Art and Design, Moncton, New Brunswick!
Surrounded by authentic student artwork, YAC met with representatives from McKenzie College, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and New Brunswick Youth Orchestra & Sistema Program to discuss mutual interest in social change through youth artist entrepreneurship.
McKenzie College President, Dale Ritchie, led a comprehensive tour of the campus, showcasing impressive student portfolios and even a few of his own paintings.
YAC’s own Artpreneur Shevy Price found common ground with Canadian Mental Health Association Program Coordinator Kristen Barnes and Special Projects Coordinator and visual arts instructor Shannon Kirk when she shared about her past struggle with mental health issues and the prevailing power of art to overcome and re-establish herself.
But awesome hit a new level when Ken Macleod, CEO of New Brunswick Youth Orchestra told his story of bringing the dwindling organization up from nothing into the most successful Youth Orchestra in Canada, winning international awards and increasing enrollment, audience size, and positive change in the lives of youth at risk. After playing a few minutes of a “senior” orchestra (ages 8-11) performance, and after the moved boardroom wiped their tears, Macleod shared his personal tips for achieving excellence and making lasting change.
With this new inspiration YAC traveled on to Fredericton, NB, where the awesome continued, never once diminished. Connections were made with 16 year-old artist Masoka of MAP (Making Africa Proud), and further innovative ideas became solidified at Caribbean Flavas Fine Dinning Restaurant.
With minds, hearts, and stomachs full, team YAC gets ready for day 2 in Montreal! And who knows what flava of awesome tomorrow will bring!