DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

DAREarts Leadership Awards 2017: Inspiring Strong Identities & Building a Better Future

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The 2017 DAREarts Leadership Awards was a remarkable evening at The Carlu, co-hosted by Jeanne Beker CM and CBC Radio’s Piya Chattopadhyay, that raised $380,000 for DAREarts’ work with at-risk kids across Canada.

Her Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, inspired all of our guests, volunteers and youths with her presence and conversation.

This year’s 2017 DAREarts Cultural Award honoree, Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival, spoke brilliantly about Identity in Canada’s 150th birthday year and the Stratford – DAREarts partnership.  Mr. Cimolino stated, “It’s inspiring to see the impact of the arts on young imaginations. They help young people feel less isolated and more empowered. DAREarts gives us all hope for the future.”

The elegant decor was thanks to Sinclair Russell and Seneca College Visual Merchandising students.  Guests were greeted by young DAREarts graduates from Rexdale, thanks to Stock Transportation.  A dozen DAREarts youth alumni donned costumes from Stratford Festival’s world-class wardrobes, conversing with guests with Shakespearean panache.

Twelve-year-old singer Zander Marks wowed the 500 guests with his singing of ‘O Canada’. Elder Garry Sault of Mississaugas of New Credit FN conducted an opening prayer.  Performers honoured both Indigenous and Shakespearean creativity.

Left to Right: DAREarts Founder Marilyn Field, Mark LeBlanc of Northbridge, Patrik Montelibano, Yanzhi Chen of Scotiabank, Jaiden Downey, Jack Linklater Jr. & Tarik Muzaffar of TD Bank

The young 2017 Leadership Award awardees, introduced by their sponsor hosts, bravely took to the stage to share their stories of DAREarts helping to overcome challenges including physical and mental abuse, racism, sexism, losing a home to fire, bullying and depression.  Awardees were: Ivan Patrik Montelibano of Etobicoke presented by Northbridge Insurance; Jaiden Downey of Toronto presented by Scotiabank; Jack Linklater Jr. of Attawapiskat FN presented by TD Bank; Eric Shewaybick of Webequie FN presented by Noront Resources; Samira Henry of Etobicoke presented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Kiranpreet Kaur Bhangu of Etobicoke presented by Guy Carpenter; and Patina Prize recipient Elijah Brown of Scarborough. They truly enabled the guests to understand the power of the arts to save lives, and that their support ensures all our country’s children will flourish with DAREarts programs led by fine teachers and arts professionals.

Left to Right: Derek & Judy Patina, Elijah Brown, Eric Shewaybick, Kaitlyn Ferris of Noront Resources, Samira Henry & Maureen Jarvis of Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mike Downie, accepting our Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his brother Gord Downie, was motivating as a new friend for DAREarts and our work towards reconciliation. The gala featured a Downie Wenjack Legacy Room for all guests to visit, which displayed artwork and videography by northern DAREarts Indigenous youths.  Conceived by the Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief & DAREarts Director, Morley Googoo, everyone is invited to set up their own Legacy Room as a place to learn and share about Indigenous people of Canada so we can all work toward reconciliation.

A special thank you to those 43 guests who raised their hand to sponsor a DAREarts child.

A resounding thanks to all our guests, donors and volunteers for making such a triumphant night – all for the children.


DAREarts is grateful to its National Presenting Supporter, Northbridge Insurance and its Lead Supporters: Scotiabank, TD, Anne Livingston and The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Gold supporters are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Guy Carpenter and Noront Resources.

We appreciate In-kind donations from Air Creebec, The Carlu, Freeman Audio Visual, daCunha Voyages, Seneca College, Stock Transportation as well as auction donors. Media supporters are CBCClassical 96.3 FM, Globe and Mail and JazzFM91.1.

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