ArtReach Toronto, in partnership with Manifesto, City of Toronto Cultural Services, and Toronto Community Housing hosted its third Youth Arts Pitch Contest on Monday, September 20, 2010 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at 99 Sudbury, a unique event space located in the artistic Queen West area of Toronto.
The event was hosted by Devon Soltendieck and Matte Babel of CP24 Breakfast, and provided a wide range of youth artists the opportunity to pitch their creative ideas for the chance to win one of three top prizes of $5000 each. Nine finalists competed in three categories – Community Youth Arts Group, Youth Arts Entrepreneur, and Individual Artist – before a panel of accomplished judges. The judges represented a cross-section of the Canadian media and cultural landscape. The judges were: Farley Flex (Canadian Idol judge and President/CEO of Plasma Management & Productions), Gillian Hewitt (Executive Director and CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and avid arts volunteer), Michee Mee (recording artist and hip-hop icon), Nawa Nicole Simon (dancer and 2010 Dora Mavor Moore nominated actress), and Sora Olah (actress and host of StreetEats).
The innovative and interactive nature of the Pitch Contest supports finalists throughout the whole process. From workshops on how to create a five-minute ‘pitch’ through to direct and live feedback from industry heavyweights, young people are provided with crucial learning that will assist them in advancing their artistic careers. The money awarded provides much needed resources to emerging artists that are often overlooked by funding organizations.
Attendees and participants enjoyed an exciting evening showcasing some of the city’s top young talent in theatre, hip-hop, drag/gender performance, fashion, dance, music and film. During the pitches, the audience was frequently on its feet cheering on the incredible presentations by finalists. 2009 Pitch Contest winner Memo returned to deliver a powerful spoken word set before the winners were announced.
ArtReach wishes all the winners and participants of the 2010 Youth Arts Pitch Contest congratulations and best wishes.
The $5,000 winners were:
Individual Artist Category: Cassandra “Cassy” Walker (Theatre)
Community Arts Group Category: Colour Me Dragg (Drag & Gender Performance Art)
Youth Arts Entrepreneur Category: Adam Zivojinovic (Film)
Thank you to all of our sponsors: Hightop, Royalz Clothing, WIT Solutions, Urbanology Magazine, Bene-Fete, The Tech Zone, CMANGO DESIGN, Salazar Studios, Laidlaw Foundation and Chris Jackson (Easpark Productions).