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March 6, 2008
City launches Mobile City Youth photography contest
Mayor David Miller launched the Mobile City Youth photography contest, along with Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture, Corrado Paina, Executive Director, Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto, and youth associated with the contest.

“The Mobile City photo contest builds on our desire to build a Toronto where young people have a real opportunity to express their hopes for this great city through the arts,” said Mayor David Miller. “The contest serves to teach and encourage these budding professional photographers, which can only lead to more enlightened impressions of their city.”

The Mobile City project engages youth in community building through photography in the twin cities of Toronto and Milan. The project provides youth 16 to 22 years of age in both cities with a forum to share their dreams and insights about urban life through the creation of digital photographs.

“The Mobile City Youth photography contest engages youth through the art of imagery and thus gives them a platform to exchange ideas about challenges and opportunities in today’s urban culture,” said Rita Davies, Executive Director, Toronto Culture. “The contest also encourages youth to develop skills and meaningful connections to their respective neighbourhoods while strengthening relationships between Toronto and Milan.”

In 2003, Toronto and Milan signed a formal international alliance to strengthen economic and cultural links between the cities in order to enhance the quality of life and well-being of their residents.

“Mobile City connects young people on so many levels,” said Corrado Paina, Executive Director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto, “acting as a bridge between our two peoples, two cultures, two cities - it’s a great example of the benefits the twinning between Toronto and Milan can deliver.”

From February 15 to May 15, youth contestants from both cities are invited to post a suite of three (minimum) to five (maximum) pictures that illustrate urban life in their respective cities on the website, Juries will be appointed in each city and will select the 30 best works. From these 30, 10 photographers will be chosen to travel to the other twin city to participate in a group exhibit and further their photographic work. Selections from the winning photographs will be published in a book in the fall of 2008.

In preparation for the project, Toronto Culture and community arts partners are supporting digital photography workshops in underserved areas across the city to ensure all youth have access and opportunity to participate in this contest.

The Mobile City project is a two-year project commencing in 2008 with the photography contest. Year 2 (2009) “Youth Art in Transit - A Festival on the Go!” will see an exhibition on public transit of work by the 10 winners plus the work by youth in the programs in underserved areas in their respective cities (i.e. subway, bus streetcar, transit shelters etc.). There will also be a performance aspect for the festival through the year at targeted transit and city locations.

The project is a joint initiative between Toronto Culture, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto, Toronto Economic Development, George Brown College, and the Toronto Transit Commission with additional community partners including: Arts Etobicoke; Arts for Children; ArtsStarts; Sketch; Lakeshore Arts; Regent Park Focus; Scarborough Arts Council; SKETCH; Toronto Arts Council; and Urban Arts.

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 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Nadira Pattison, Manager, Arts Services, Toronto Culture, 416-338-1263,
Martin Holley, Communications Officer, Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto, 416-789-7169, ext. 21,



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