Guelph, ON – December 18, 2018 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 2018 Youth Opportunities Award goes to Queer Youth Arts Guelph, a group seeking “to make Guelph a more inclusive city for everyone,” and more specifically “to provide a platform for youth to speak their minds in creative ways.”
Led by three Centennial Collegiate Grade 12 students, Victoria Johnson, Charlotte McAren-Cayer, and Carling Serran, the group requested assistance in presenting an arts showcase event in February 2019 to coincide with winter Pride. They are inviting young queer artists aged 13 to 20 from all backgrounds and skill levels to submit a wide range of art, including film, painting, photography, music, creative writing, even stand-up comedy. Geared specifically to youth, the showcase will put “their voices in the spotlight,” rather than being included “as an afterthought”. It will also encourage youth to participate in order to engage with young artists around them, and even inspire some to create and exhibit art for the first time.
The award jury commended Queer Youth Arts Guelph for an original, innovative idea that is very much in the spirit of the Youth Opportunities Award, filling an identified gap and encouraging young people to engage in the arts. Jury members also appreciated that this showcase is a “youth-led queer arts project for youth!”
Established in 2009 to take the place of a previous youth awards program dating back to 1982, the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Award is intended to encourage programs that will initiate, enhance or expand opportunities for children and youth in Guelph and Wellington County to experience or become engaged in the arts. Funds for the award come from the Guelph Arts Council Youth Opportunities Fund managed by The Guelph Community Foundation.
About Guelph Arts Council:
For over forty years, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and our annual sponsor Meridian.
View recipient photo: Charlotte McAren-Cayer, Carling Serran, Victoria Johnson