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April 12, 2007
Art exhibition showcases passion and creativity of Toronto children and youth
The City of Toronto will host My City My Art, a multi-media exhibition that showcases the city’s beauty, character and diversity through the eyes of children and youth in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods. On display in the City Hall Rotunda from April 23 to 29, more than 100 insightful works of art by these first-time artists, designers, photographers and poets will demonstrate how young people see their neighbourhoods, interpret their environment and how they envision a better future for us all.

“By exposing youth to arts programming, by giving youth a platform on which to express themselves, we are creating opportunities for youth to explore their surroundings and discover their boundless talent, imagination and the artist within,” said Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture.

My City My Art supports the City of Toronto’s Community Safety Plan, the foundation of a strong, safe city. The Plan identifies 13 priority neighbourhoods as being at-risk and vulnerable, and includes efforts to increase investment in these areas through the provision of programs and services.

Since 2005, Toronto Culture, together with its community partners and local arts service organizations, has created and supported more than 30 cultural programs for young people between the ages of eight and 24 in priority neighbourhoods. The various innovative and diverse programs include; advanced digital imagery, animation, poetry, set, prop and costume design, sculpture, wood carving, drumming and mural painting. A key component to these programs has been the finished product - a publication, performance or display of the art - many of which will be featured in My City My Art.

Arts programs are an important vehicle to engage youth in their community and facilitate the development of their talent and abilities. Through the creative process, 2,000 participants developed skills, not only in artistic techniques, but also in leadership, co-operation and personal empowerment. They learned self-expression and gained self-confidence, two important traits they will take with them into the future to gain further access to employment, education and other training opportunities.

“Toronto Culture is delighted to curate this exhibition for the individuals who participated in these programs so that they can proudly see their work on display to be viewed and admired; and for the entire city of Toronto to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of our young people,” added Davies.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Toronto Culture Media Hotline, 416-560-8726



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