On Thursday October 8th, 2015, ArtReach x City of Toronto Cultural Services, were proud to present the 2015 Youth Arts Pitch Contest. Again hosted through the City’s Cultural Hot Spot, this year’s Pitch Contest was held at the The Assembly Hall in South Etobicoke.
The Youth Arts Pitch Contest is an annual event produced by ArtReach and Toronto Arts & Culture Services with the goal of supporting young artists and entrepreneurs from underserved communities. Participants from across the city apply for a chance to pitch their idea live in front of an audience and panel of judges made of esteemed members of Toronto’s arts community. This event provides training towards putting together a successful pitch, and offers young artists access to hard-to-find financial resources for unique elements of their work.
Contest participant Alicia Harris explains- “being a young artist is a scary. It’s even scarier when you decide to make a career out of it. There are people continuously telling you that you won’t get a job, and that you just can’t do it. The Youth Arts Pitch Contest believes in young artists, like myself. Beyond the monetary prize, the guidance and workshops and most importantly the support, has been truly life-changing”.
“Winning the prize money will allow OurSpace to pursue arts-based projects to address the needs of young guys who like guys in the city. We will empower young guys to share their stories with the community.” Having won $5000, Our Space looks forwards to launching the project shortly. “It was affirming experience, tapping into our strengths rather than criticizing our weaknesses. It has reinforced my confidence as a creative and affirmed the importance of creating art.”
Thank you to this year’s fantastic judges- Drex Jancar (Co-Founder, The Remix Project), Fly Lady Di (choreographer, dancer), Keita Juma (rapper, producer) and Tiffany Hsiung (filmmaker), and our host, the ever-hilarious Darrel Gamotin.
This year’s contestants included:
Alicia Harris, Dominique Morris (for Perfect Keys Academy), Dynesti Williams, Triangle & Seed, OurSpace, Justin Brown (for Smile Toronto), Leila Dey & The Dey Dreamers, and Lido Pimienta (for Electric WOC).
And the winners are…
Community Arts Category:
First: Our Space
Second: Justin Brown
Finalists: Leila Dey & The Dey Dreamers, and Lido Pimienta
Creative Enterprise Category:
First: Alicia Harris
Second: Domonique Morris
Finalists: Dynesti Williams, and Triangle & Seed