They are just bare white spaces right now, but artists animated the rooms of 180 Shaw St. to show business leaders what the space will become with their help.
The west-end community arts program, SKETCH Working Arts for Street-Involved and Homeless Youth, was chosen as one of the two stops on the 2013 Prince’s Charities Seeing is Believing Tour.
Prince’s Charities Canada is a registered charity that expands and enhances the Canadian charitable work of Charles, Prince of Wales. The program is designed to give business leaders an opportunity to see first-hand how select organizations are creating opportunities for disadvantaged communities and how they can help.
On Oct. 3, 12 Canadian business leaders visited SKETCH’s new creative hub, now under construction in the Artscape Youngplace building at 180 Shaw St. The leaders had the chance to see the youth in action, making art, lip balms and tote bags. Performance artists and musicians demonstrated their skills in the vary rooms, which, when completed this spring, will house SKETCH’s variety of programs including visual arts, recording, creative writing, woodworking, ceramics, sculpture, digital media, dance and theatre.
The business people interacted with youth with the aim of learning how SKETCH’s community arts programming eliminates barriers and provides equal opportunities for young people living homeless or on the margins.
Following the SKETCH visit, the tour convened at RBC headquarters where Gay Mitchell, deputy chair of RBC Wealth Management, lead a closed discussion on the issues facing SKETCH, and challenged the leaders to take action.
According to SKETCH, the potential partnerships could expand SKETCH’s capabilities in providing arts-and-skills programming and equitable opportunities for youth living on the margins. The community arts initiative has raised $1 million to renovate the space, but still needs to raise about $1.5 million to fully complete the new arts hub.