Renowned Youth Charity UforChange to Celebrate Creative Arts Through Vivacity and Women of Change Events

Ann Kaplan Mulholland to present keynote speech at Women of Change

Josh Hellyer to be honoured with the 2018 UforChange Champion Award at Vivacity

Regent Park-based youth arts charitable organization UforChange will present their 13th annual Vivacity – a creative multimedia showcase – as well as their first women’s focused panel discussion Women of Change on July 25, 2018.

UforChange began in the heart of St. James Town, a Toronto neighbourhood thriving with young people from around the world. The founders identified a void in the area; the community was lacking an arts organization in the diverse neighbourhood. From there, UforChange was created offering young people the opportunity to pursue their creative passions with a spectrum of arts programs from DJ to fashion to film. Initially serving young people of St. James Town, UforChange has grown to serve Regent Park and the Greater Toronto Area. Their mission is to mentor young people in the pursuit of their artistic and aspirational passions in an inclusive community. UforChange has served over 2,450 youth with over 580 program graduates; 320 enrolling in post-secondary education, and over 1,220 youth finding opportunities to volunteer and work in the arts.

Vivacity offers youth enrolled in the UforChange DJ Arts, Fashion Design, and Photography programs with an opportunity to display the skills they have learned in the past eight months to their family, friends, and community. This year, to make Vivacity an empowering day, UforChange will also host a panel discussion on women’s issues at the workplace with Women for Change. Proceeds from ticket sales and donations will help fuel the next generation of young creatives at UforChange by allowing 35 youth to obtain an arts education during the next program cycle.

Moderated by actor and writer Ngozi PaulWomen of Change opens the day of events with a panel discussion on barriers faced by women in the workforce. The featured keynote speaker, Ann Kaplan Mulholland, and the panel will discuss topics such as pay equity, respect, diversity, and wellness in the workplace. The panel consists of women in Toronto who are in leadership positions in their respective fields: Barbara Dickson (Author, Bomb Girls), Dori Tunstall (Dean of Design, OCAD), and Cindy Johnson (Women’s Health Coach).

Keynote speaker Ann Kaplan Mulholland (L), Writer and Actor Ngozi Paul (R)

Dori Tunstall (Dean of Design, OCAD), Cindy Johnson (Women’s Health Coach), Barbara Dickson (Author)

The Women for Change event will now be a private and intimate showcase which will be held in their offices for partners, supporters, friends, and families. This will be held in late fall.

Vivacity is UforChange’s annual multimedia showcase where the program’s youth have the opportunity to show the artistic skills that they have acquired during an eight-month cycle to an audience of over 300 industry experts, mentors, politicians, and community members. At Vivacity, the youth deliver a professional fashion presentation and photography exhibit, all elevated by the music from the DJ Arts program graduates.
UforChange will honour Canadian media producer, author, and social entrepreneur Josh Hellyer with their second annual UforChange Champion Award. This award recognizes the contribution and commitment an individual or group has made to the organization’s programming; raising the profile and funds for the organization. Selected for his avid youth and mental health advocacy, Hellyer has been supporting UforChange and its programming for the over five years.

“It is with great excitement that we honour Josh Hellyer for this year’s UforChange Champion Award. Josh has been a friend, major donor and committed volunteer for more than five years,” says Chalo Hancock, Board of Directors Co-Chair, “Josh embodies the true essence of UforChange’s culture in his belief that service is circular and not based on hierarchy or status. His philosophy is about empowering, understanding and being empathetic to the people in our lives. On behalf of the 2,450 youth we’ve impacted together, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The inaugural UforChange Champion Award was presented to philanthropist Sylvia Mantella in 2017. Notable guests also in attendance included Caillianne and Samantha Beckerman, actresses Natasha Negovanlis and Annie Briggs (Carmilla), Vicky Milner (Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards), Susan Langdon (Toronto Fashion Incubator), TFI New Labels 2017 winner Michael Zoffranieri, and more. View images from last year’s event here.

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