Get to know our Finalists!

art in action ottawa, a.r.t. in action ottawa

A.R.T. Night is closing in and we are excited to be able to award 2 youth with funding for their creative project and small business idea. 

Let's give you a little bit of an introduction to who you will have the opportunity to hear at A.R.T. Night. We asked each youth to tell us about who they are, what their project is about and what they hope to achieve with it. 


IN THE ART CATEGORY


Name: Erin Adair

Age: 25

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do:

I am a songwriter and multi-instrumental folk musician from Ottawa. My stage name is Erin Saoirse (seer'-shuh) Adair. My work tackles difficult topics such as sexual assault, workers' rights, environmental responsibility, sex positivity, alcoholism and mental health. Through lyrical narratives, I explore notions of brokenness, loss of place (and rediscovering a sense of it) and despair, especially through youthful alienation, mental health, addiction and poverty. I offer many of my own experiences and as a survivor of sexual violence, my personal stories add strength to these chosen themes. I am very involved with the local folk music scene, and enjoy performing and working with other artists.

Describe your project or business idea:

This grant will be used to record a full length CD containing 10 original songs dealing with contemporary social issues such as gender violence. I have been writing and arranging this material for the past two years. During that time, the issue of sexual assault has been in the spotlight through high-profile news stories that include scandals at CBC and at two Ottawa universities, and has also affected me personally. The more openly I challenge and sing about patriarchal violence and other political topics, the more I am able to educate perpetrators and provide a sense of hope to countless others who have experienced their violence.

How do you think this will benefit the community?:

I suffer from bi-polar disorder, and PTSD, and my writing reflects my own experiences with mental health issues. I am also a survivor of sexual assault, and my songs are written as a way to process my experience and to connect with others. The songs on the EP describe a journey- from experiencing abuse to overcoming the abuse, moving on and learning to live with the trauma. 

My project will be a celebration of the resilience of those living with mental health challenges and who are survivors of sexual violence. I hope my songs will provide a sense of unity to thousands of others in the Ottawa region who struggle (like me) to keep their head above water.


Name: RJ Jones

Age: 23

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do:

My name is RJ Jones, I'm a queer Saulteaux-Cree gender-variant individual. I do community work in the Indigenous community as well as the queer community. My passions include decolonization and education but I focus on how to combine the two to build community bridges. I do decolonial art through stencils and educate others on Indigenous queer perspectives.

Describe your project or business idea:

My project is to be able to further develop a workshop where individuals will learn to stencil. The basis will focus on decolonization with in a QTIPOC (Queer, Trans and Intersex People of Colour) perspectives with the framework of using art instead of violence when dealing with racism. This workshop will be open to all communities and will provide an educational perspectives of varying people of colour who use storytelling and how art was able to intervene in a positive way in their lives.

How do you think this will benefit the community?:

I feel this the basis of this project promotes education and how to utilize that in a positive way. It has the ability to build bridges in multiple communities and provide a perspective that is often not heard of or under represented. I feel this will be an eye opening experience for many who want to learn more.


IN THE SMALL BUSINESS CATEGORY


kimberley wilson urban farmer a.r.t night art in action

Full Name: Kimberley D.

Age: 25

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do:

I am a writer and artist who is passionate about growing and producing food. I believe that it is essential in today's climate, both literally and economically, to have a solid understanding of where one's food comes from and the journey it takes to get to the consumer.

Describe your project or business idea: 

Part community-driven urban farm, part educator, Late Bloomer Urban Farm would be a social enterprise serving the Centretown community and perhaps even beyond through community-supported agriculture (CSA), educational workshops, and the sale of value-added products (e.g. preserves). We would grow food on land volunteered by local homeowners.

How do you think this will benefit the community?: 

In addition to making fresh, healthy food options accessible for members of the Centretown community, Late Bloomer would also create seasonal jobs through its bicycle-driven delivery program and education via a series of seasonal workshops on urban gardening, seed saving and canning. The ultimate goal is to put the power of producing food in the hands of the community, in a way that is simple, accessible and fun.


Full Name: Kimani Peter

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do:

My name is Kimani Peter I'm a young entrepreneur and industrial designer.

I've had to overcome a lot of challenges as a consequence of being black and living with a disability. That's only inspired me to be an agent of change. I create and seek projects that allow me to use design to push social innovation and promote well being.

Describe your project or business idea:

LOUD is about showcasing upcoming artists in Ottawa with a strong focus on marginalized artists. I'm hoping to use the award to buy equipment that will help me produce videos that highlight artists and their music to share online on social media platforms like Instagram. 

loud kimani peter

How do you think this will benefit the community?:

Music is empowering. Listening to rap and hip hop music helped me to feel strong, ambitious and driven. It made me feel powerful even at times when I was powerless. I built LOUD based on that experience. I want young artists in Ottawa to have the opportunity to share their talent and story with the world. My hope is that they'll be able to inspire others. 
 


noemie pound happy hearts a.r.t night art in action ottawa

Full Name: Noémie Pound

Age: 9

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do: I am generous and I like helping people. I have a big heart. I am very determined and I always persevere to reach my goals. I also love fashion designing, dancing ballet, riding horses and flying on the trapeze.

Last year, when I was 8 years old, I organized my very first big charity event for CHEO. It was called Happy Hearts and it raised 14,526$. I organized this by myself, with just a little bit of help from my mom (mostly for driving). Happy Hearts took place at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and it was a fashion show for children and a silent auction. Our models were my friends and CHEO patients. Tons of business owners participated, donated things for the silent auction, lent clothes to our models, and donated their services (photography, videography, marketing, printing etc).

Describe your project or business idea:

Happy Hearts 2.0 will be happening again this year in April at the Aviation Museum. The funds will again go to CHEO and the CHEO Research Institute. We will have at least 30 young models, including CHEO patients who will be walking on the runway, and a silent auction. You can have a look at my website (tinyurl.com/HappyHearts-info)

How do you think this will benefit the community?:

I think my event will benefit the community because my money will be invested in CHEO and will allow kids to get better services. By donating the money from Happy Hearts to the CHEO Research Institute, it will help reserachers make new discoveries to help cure the children


WANT TO SUPPORT THESE YOUTH?

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