DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

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Forging Empowered Financial Futures: DAREarts Teens attend The Jr. Economic Club’s “Day on Bay”!

On Friday, March 23rd, 82 teens from Brock Public School and Ryerson Community School journeyed with their school teachers and the DAREarts team to the Hilton Toronto and the Toronto Stock Exchange for a very special Day on Bay organized and hosted by The Jr. Economic Club of Canada.

Welcomed by Alison Nigra and Emily Peters of The Junior Economic Club of Canada, the teens were excited to see what the day would bring. First they met Jennifer Abbey, who shared her inspiring story of finding success despite childhood poverty. Evan Hall, co-founder of Wittaya Aqua, then presented a workshop about successful money management techniques. Alison engaged the teens in a game that taught them the importance of budgeting and the skills needed to make the best of one’s income through careful planning, wrapping up the morning with great energy!

Lunch was a wonderful treat provided by The Jr. Economic Club, giving the teens the chance to practice their best table manners and to continue chatting with the morning’s guest speakers. Afterward, Kerry Ann Thomas, founder of KAT brand, shared her story and held an “Ask Me Anything” session, giving insight into entrepreneurship and starting your own business.

As a special finale to the day, everyone walked to the Toronto Stock Exchange where Meaghan Daly, President and Founder of Forward Vision Games, presented “Investing 101”, which taught the teens many forward-thinking investment tips that were new to the many of the adults in attendance!

DAREarts wholeheartedly thanks The Jr. Economic Club of Canada and The Economic Club of Canada for making this day possible for our youth. This opportunity comes at such a critical point in our children’s lives, as they are about to embark into high school and start seeing their future as adults. The tools this day provided are what they need to find success in their financial futures.

“Working with DAREarts was a pleasure from beginning to end. Everyone was extremely organized, passionate and responsive. The Jr. Economic Club coordinated a ‘Day on Bay’ street in the heart of downtown Toronto – a day filled with workshops surrounding financial literacy and personal growth. DAREarts brought us 80 youth to participate. The students were so engaged and enthusiastic, it was one of our most treasured programs to date. We look forward to working with them again!” – Emily Peters, Executive Director, The Jr. Economic Club of Canada

 “Brock had a wonderful time at the Day on Bay. Many of our students have been talking about some of the financial literacy they learned on the trip. Thank you for including us in this opportunity.” – Mr. Basanti, Gr. 8 Teacher

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Media Release: Karl Subban to receive the 2018 Cultural Award at DAREarts Leadership Awards

For Immediate Release                                                                   

April 5, 2018

Toronto, ON – DAREarts Founder and President, Marilyn Field, MSM, today announced that acclaimed Karl Subban, Canadian educator, author and hockey dad to NHL stars, will receive the 2018 DAREarts Cultural Award at the DAREarts Leadership Awards gala on Thursday, May 10, 2018, at The Carlu, hosted by Jeanne Beker, CM.

The annual DAREarts Leadership Awards gala celebrates the power of the arts to ignite change in the lives of marginalized children in Canada. With the Cultural Award, DAREarts annually honours an individual who has led the way in cultivating culture for Canadian youth. In addition, six youth leaders from across the country who are graduates of the DAREarts empowerment program will each receive a Youth Leadership Award and financial support.

Karl Subban is well known for being the ultimate hockey dad, having raised three boys — Malcolm, Jordan and P.K. (an Olympic gold medalist and winner of the Norris Trophy) — all who were drafted into the NHL. Karl detailed this feat in his best-selling, 2017 memoir, How We Did It: The Subban Plan for Success in Hockey, School, and Life. But perhaps his biggest accomplishments are those that are less celebrated. For 30 years, Karl was an educator in the Toronto District School Board, effecting incalculably positive change at some of the toughest schools. He did so by instilling values that are shared by DAREarts, empowering his students to take responsibility for their actions, respect themselves and each other, and to be excellent in all they do. Although he is now retired, he continues to develop young leaders.

Field said, “As a father, hockey dad, educator and leader, Karl Subban has spent his life helping young people to fuel their own passion and reach their potential by following their own path. His mission and values mirror those of DAREarts: to empower kids through the DARE of Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence, making him an ideal recipient of this year’s award.”

Guests attending the DAREarts Leadership Awards Gala will enjoy a cocktail reception, sit down dinner, as well as a silent and live auction, with proceeds benefiting the ongoing work of DAREarts, empowering another 10,000 youth this upcoming year.

Tickets for the annual DAREarts Leadership Awards Gala are $300 per person and tables range from $4,000 to $100,000.  They can be purchased by calling 905-729-0097, by email at bnorton@darearts.com or online at DAREarts.com.

DAREarts is grateful to all its supporters, including National Supporter Northbridge Insurance, Platinum Supporters Scotiabank and TD Bank Group; Gold Supporters Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Noront Resources; Transportation Supporters VIA Rail and Air Canada; Lead Education Partners Toronto District School Board, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Atelier 19.

DAREarts appreciates the generosity of in-kind donors for this event, including The Carlu, Shooting Stars Productions, Seneca College and many others providing the live and silent auction items.  You can view them at www.darearts.com. Media support is appreciated from Classical 96.3 FM.   


DAREarts is a national charity that empowers at-risk young people with the values of Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence to unlock their potential and become leaders who ignite change.  Interacting with working artists in a supportive environment, young people are dared to step outside their familiar boundaries and engage in creative risk-taking activities. This moves them from often-difficult environments to a new, empowering vision of themselves, which improves the quality of their life and their communities.

Since 1996, DAREarts has helped to break the vicious cycle of poverty, bullying, isolation and marginalization for more than 200,000 young people in Canada. For more information go to: www.darearts.com


For Media Information:

Rachel Strong
DAREarts Communication
Cell:     (416) 735-9255
Office:  (905) 729-0097
Email: rstrong@darearts.com

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Ahead of the Curve

By Tarik Muzaffar, Chair, DAREarts Board of Directors.

“Last week, TD launched a new approach to community engagement ….  This Globe & Mail article shares a few thoughts from Bharat Masrani, TD Bank Group’s CEO.

I particularly like these comments from this article:  Despite our enviable standard of living, and the potential for it to improve through many of the changes that Canada is experiencing now, we are witnessing profound amounts of disruption and displacement.Our role, as business leaders, is not just to shine a light on these issues, it is to propose and support solutions, so that we open the doors for an inclusive tomorrow.”

DAREarts and all its great efforts and achievements with young Canadians very much leads the charge to encourage inclusion, which I believe is at the very root of happiness and success for all people in all communities across Canada.   Thanks to Marilyn Field’s and John Pennie’s great vision and determination 22 years ago, DAREarts is doing what many CEO’s in this country are striving for today.   This is yet another reason to be very proud of DAREarts and all its students and grads who are leading the charge for inclusion today for a greater tomorrow.”

DAREarts is a Canadian charity which stands for ‘Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence’.  DAREarts works with young people, ages 9 – 19, in high-priority neighbourhoods and communities, using the arts to empower them with the confidence and courage to be leaders.  In 20 years, DAREarts has influenced over 200,000 children to ignite positive change in their lives and in their communities.  www.darearts.com.

DAREarts thanks its supporters including National Supporter: Northbridge Insurance; Lead Supporters: Anne Livingston, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario; Education Partner: the TDSB.

Photo courtesy of volunteer photographer Alan Dunlop.

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DAREarts Quebec Rural Kids Find Wonder for a Lifetime in Montreal

By Deirdre Potash, DAREarts Quebec Lead Teacher & Coordinator.

“I think sometimes in our running around to get everything done, we forget the impact that cultural experiences can have on a child for the rest of their lives.  Yesterday was a day that will always be remembered by 21 kids from the French-speaking only, rural community of Granby: from leaving their familiar surroundings to venture out on a bus to the big city of Montreal and spend a full day visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (MMFA), art making, restaurant-style lunch by Baton Rouge and a puppet theatre performance at Maison Theatre!

Imagine if this was your first time in a big city? Or you still remember your old home in Syria or Columbia? Or that you didn’t have breakfast today? Or one of the reasons you love coming to DAREarts is because no one is yelling and it’s so calm?  Igniting Change is often in the subtleties. Sometimes a hug, an old painting with a story to tell or helping to wash the tables after lunch, can have a lasting effect on someone.

Then you get ushered into this magnificent building filled with things you have never seen in real life! Because let’s face it seeing it on a computer screen isn’t quite the same experience.  Here a picture really worth a thousand words: wonder and pleasure by young and young at heart.

Thank you to both Moridja Kitenge Banza and Catherine Plourde for giving such an engaging experience to our DAREarts children. They were all captivated by your words, stories and the hands-on art experience.

Thank you to the MMFA including Marilyn, Patricia and Josee, for offering this opportunity to the children, artists, teachers and volunteers of Atelier 19 from Granby. Thank you to all my former co-workers at the MMFA for their warm embraces and hellos as I walked through the galleries.

Thank you to the regional manager, marketing manager and store manager of Baton Rouge for taking your time out from the restaurant’s lunch rush to hand deliver 30 lunches … and baseball caps…and gift cards!

Thank you to DAREarts’ Natasha Morano for coming all the way from Ottawa to spend the day with us.

…and that was only the first half of the day! DAREarts? WE ROCK!”

DAREarts thanks all its supporters including National Supporter – Northbridge Insurance; Lead Supporters – Baton RougeBank of America Merrill Lynch, Anne LivingstonScotiabankTD Bank Group; and Education Partners – Atelier 19, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). 

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DAREarts Québec s’adresse aux jeunes francophones de Granby

Pour la première fois au cours de nos 22 ans d’histoire, les enfants francophones  du Québec participent en français aux ateliers d’autonomisation de DAREarts! C’est un nouveau partenariat passionnant avec l’Atelier 19, un organisme d’art communautaire dynamique à Granby, sous la direction de Deirdre Potash, enseignante principale et coordonnatrice de DAREarts Québec. Les ateliers d’une journée sont tous les mercredis de mars à avril. Rejoignez les enfants lors de leur présentation publique le dimanche 29 avril à 14h au Centre Culturel France-Arbour.

JOUR 1 : Le  projet «Œuvrez pour la paix»  a débuté avec une magnifique  rencontre réunissant les 25 élèves de 4e année de l’école l’Assomption, les enseignants, les artistes invités et les bénévoles de l’Atelier 19. Certains  élèves connaissaient l’endroit tandis que d’autres venaient pour la première fois. Ils ont été accueillis au son du célèbre GONG! Il y avait beaucoup d’enthousiasme à découvrir les valeurs de DAREarts (discipline, action, responsabilité et excellence) et les valeurs de l’Atelier 19 (écoute, respect, engagement et solidarité).

Nous avons travaillé à élaborer  un dictionnaire de motifs en observant, en puisant dans notre environnement et en se servant de notre imagination. Certains enfants ont découvert beaucoup de motifs sur leurs vêtements! De belles créations variées ont été réalisées. Nous avons parlé d’images symboliques qui pourraient nous représenter et nous avons fait  un croquis représentant notre blason personnel.  Les enfants ont par la suite  transféré leurs idées  avec la technique de métal repoussé. Ils ont   tous été émerveillés du résultat et du pouvoir merveilleux de l’art.

JOUR 2 :  Une journée riche en nouveaux apprentissages et découvertes! Nous avons chanté avec le musicien et propriétaire de l’école de chant, Olivier Chagnon. Lorsque les enfants ont partagé leur musique préférée, nous avons découvert les préférences variées des enfants et des adultes. Olivier a présenté deux chansons aux enfants soient >>Tout est lié>> de l’auteur-compositeur-interprète Florent Volant et>> L’oiseau et l’enfant>> du groupe  Kids United. Quel plaisir  d’entendre leur passion et voir  leurs  compétences musicales se développer. Nous avons également rencontré André Meunier, spécialiste de la production théâtrale et de la marionnette. Les enfants ont été surpris d’apprendre qu’il y a beaucoup de types de marionnettes et que tout objet pouvait devenir vivant. Des enfants qui démontraient au début un moins grand intérêt se sont ouverts avec de grands sourires et sentiment de fierté lorsqu’ils ont  découvert que de simples  morceaux de papier pouvaient se  transformer en papillons. Le succès de cette rencontre est le résultat d’un magnifique travail d’équipe. Bravo à tous!

DAREarts remercie tous ses partenaire, y compris: partisan national – Northbridge Insurance; partisans de plomb – Baton RougeBank of America Merrill Lynch, Anne LivingstonScotiabankTD Bank Group; et Québec partenaires de l’éducation – Atelier 19 et Montreal Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montréal.

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DAREarts Quebec Reaches Out to Francophone Kids in Granby

For the first time in our 22 year history, rural francophone kids in Quebec are participating en francais in DAREarts’ empowerment workshops!  This is an exciting new partnership with Atelier 19, a vibrant arts studio in Granby, under the leadership of our DAREarts Quebec Lead Teacher & Coordinator, Deirdre Potash.  All-day workshops are every Wednesday through March and April.  Join the kids at their public showcase on Sunday, April 29th, 2 pm, at Centre Cultural France-Arbour, Granby!

DAY 1 of the project ‘Oeuvrez pour la paix’  was a beautiful first meeting between the 25 Grade 4 students from the Assomption School and teachers, artists and volunteers at Atelier 19.  Some were familiar with the place while others came for the first time and were introduced to the famous GONG! There was excitement and enthusiasm as we discussed DAREarts’ values of Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence, and the values ​​of Atelier 19 (listening, respect, commitment and solidarity).

We worked on a dictionary of patterns by observing our surroundings and then putting our own ideas on paper. Some children discovered a lot of patterns on their clothes! Beautiful varied creations of personal crests resulted.  The children then transferred their ideas by embossing on metal.  They all marvelled at this unique way to create art. They also made comments like, “It’s quieter than at school and I have a lot of imagination and inspiration.”

DAY 2 was rich in new learning and discoveries!  We sang with local young musician and singing school owner, Olivier Chagnon.  When the kids shared their favorite music, we discovered the varied preferences of children and adults.  With Olivier, the children chose and practised two songs that they will sing in their showcase: L’oiseau et l’enfant and Tout est lié. What a great chance to hear their passion and new musical skills developing! We also met André Meunier, a specialist in theatre production and puppeteering. The children were surprised to learn that there are so many types of marionettes and that any object can come alive.  Even bits of paper were transformed into butterflies.  Some children who had been showing less interest opened up with great smiles of pride!  Beautiful support teamwork too!

DAREarts thanks all its supporters including: National Supporter – Northbridge Insurance; Lead Supporters – Baton RougeBank of America Merrill Lynch, Anne LivingstonScotiabankTD Bank Group; and Quebec Education Partners – Atelier 19 and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts).