Introducing NYA’s Executive Director

Introducing NYA’s Executive Director

Welcome, Christina Giannelia!

One behalf of the board and staff at North York Arts, I am thrilled to announce that Christina Giannelia has joined North York Arts as Executive Director.

Born and raised in Toronto, Christina brings over a decade of experience in the international arts and non-profit sector. With a MA in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship from Erasmus University Rotterdam, she has held leadership positions for the Dutch Dance Festival, Dansateliers Production House in the Netherlands and Fall for Dance North in Toronto. Christina is a proud volunteer Board member of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and Jasad Dance Projects and has served as a peer jury member for the Ontario Arts Council.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead North York Arts – to serve the inspiring communities of North York and build on NYA’s incredible achievements of the past 10 years. I am joined by an extremely talented team and grateful for the support of NYA’s dedicated funders, partners, sponsors, donors and volunteers. I look forward to expanding NYA’s impact by developing strategic partnerships, connecting with and celebrating local talent and further establishing NYA’s leadership role in equitable, responsive and innovative community arts programming.”

Christina’s experience and clear passion for building community through the arts aligns with NYA’s mission to strengthen and collaborate with North York’s creative sector. The Board of Directors and I will work to support Christina in furthering NYA’s commitment and I am confident that her leadership will push NYA further towards our vision of an inclusive, equitable, engaged, and sustainable arts community in North York.

Christina replaces Melissa Foster, who has served as Interim Executive Director since April 2021. I would like to thank Melissa for stepping in as interim Executive Director, as well as the entire NYA team and Board of Directors for their dedication during this period of transition.

Please join me in welcoming Christina!

Sincerely,

Joe Borowiec, Board Chair

Accessible Futures Program Coordinator

Description
North York Arts is a charitable arts service organization designed to address the needs and interests of North York artists, arts organizations and residents, North York Arts is working in collaboration with North York City Councillors, Toronto Cultural Services and various community partners to foster North York arts programming, provide art services to the region and bridge connections in the art and culture community between North York and the rest of the City. North York Arts is mandated to serve 11 wards of Toronto.

Position Summary
The Program Coordinator is a part-time position (15 hours per month from September 2021 – June 2022) that will report to the Program & Outreach Director and Program & Volunteer Manager and work closely with associated partners and staff. This position is responsible for supporting the coordination of the Accessible Futures Program.

About Accessible Futures – Mentorship in Residence Program
Accessible Futures focuses on rebuilding online programs and outreach with an access-centered design model.  This program will consist of two key phases: research and development and delivery of a pilot program. We will work with consultants to provide training on access-centered program design, accessible online communications and outreach, and appropriate technology.  Based on learnings, NYA will create a pilot program to work with 5 artists in the deaf and disabled community who require different accessibility needs to test out new platforms and provide feedback.

Details:
Part-time (flexible hours)
Contract Position
Start date: September/ October 2021
End Date: June 2022
Rate of hourly pay for honorarium: $33/hr
Monthly honorarium: $495.00

This position is open to Deaf, Mad*, and Disabled arts administrators. Emerging arts administrators from these communities are welcome and encouraged to apply support and mentorship will be available throughout this position.

The role will be delivered remotely and must be able to work from home effectively

North York Arts is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment process. If you require accommodations, please notify us and we will work with you to meet your needs.

Qualifications
Experience in community arts and arts administration is preferred
Experience, including lived experience, working in and with the deaf and disabled community
Enjoys working with a team
Can work independently and self-direct
Excellent communication skills
Working knowledge of Microsoft office, excel, Gmail and google drive

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Monitor project timelines to ensure program execution remains on schedule
Serve as the liaison with partners
Assist with reports and presentation preparation for stakeholders
Support program-related outreach efforts (social media, documentation of events)
Coordinating with consultants and associated training sessions, workshops, webinars, etc.
Coordinate and sourcing technology and equipment needs that will be required for the successful delivery of the program
Work with the marketing team to support the development of accessible communications plan and outreach materials and campaigns
Contribute to a strategic plan/model of best practices in consultation with staff, partners, and advisors
Coordinate details of the pilot program Mentorship in Residence program, including registrations, coordinating access needs, identifying significant barriers to participation with regards to online programming, matching artists with mentors
Coordinate training and orientation for mentors
Taking a lead on the evaluation process and exit interviews with participants
Maintain records on event and program activities and post-evaluation reports
Ensure all evaluations are uploaded to office network drive
Other duties as assigned

How to Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter as one PDF to Cecilia Garcia cecilia@northyorkarts.org, with the subject: Accessible Futures – Program Coordinator.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: August 29th, 2021

For questions or accommodation requests please contact: cecilia@northyorkarts.org or call North York Art’s remote office number and leave a message: 437-374-0347.

* Why are we using the word “Mad”?
With guidance from our community partners and consultants, NYA is using the term “Mad” in support of Mad Pride, a movement that seeks to reclaim discriminatory language against those who have been labeled “mentally ill”. While “Mad” is commonly used in community arts and accessibility arts spaces in Toronto, we recognize that the term is not universally known or accepted. NYA has chosen to support our partners with the use of this term for this position.

To learn more about Mad Pride Toronto please visit: http://www.torontomadpride.com/what-is-mp/

Job Posting: Marketing Coordinator

Description:

North York Arts is an arts service organization designed to address the needs and interests of North York artists, arts organizations, and residents, North York Arts is working in collaboration with North York City Councillors, Toronto Cultural Services and various community partners to foster North York arts programming, provide art services to the region and bridge connections in the art and culture community between North York and the rest of the City. North York Arts is mandated to serve 6 wards of Toronto.

Equity and Inclusion Statement:

North York Arts is strongly committed to equity and inclusion within the community and especially encourages applications from all qualified candidates including Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour, Disabled, and 2SLGBTQIAP community members.

North York Arts is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment process. If you require accommodations, please notify us at info@northyorkarts.org and we will work with you to meet your needs.

Position Summary:

The Communications Coordinator is a part-time position that will report to the Development & Communications Manager and Executive Director working collaboratively with the North York Arts Team. This position is responsible for supporting  the development and implementation of North York Arts’ development and communications initiatives.

Details:

  • Hours: Part-time (20hr/ week), contract position

  • Start date: June 1, 2021

  • End Date: Dec 21, 2021

  • Salary: $20/hr

  • The role will be delivered remotely during lockdown and must be able to work from home effectively

Canada Summer Jobs Eligibility:

North York Arts’ Marketing Coordinator position is made possible with the support of Canada Summer Jobs. To be eligible, you must fit the following eligibility criteria:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment

  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment*

  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations

  • In accordance with the Canada Summer Jobs National Priorities, priority will be given to visible minorities or racialized youth, Indigenous, Newcomer or Refugee, and LGBTQ applicants. Applicants are welcome to self-identify in their resume or cover letter.

*International students are not eligible participants. International students include anyone who is temporarily in Canada for studies and who is not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada. Youth awaiting a refugee status ruling, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, youth visa, or work visa are ineligible. As the objective of the Canada Summer Jobs program is to support youth entering the Canadian labour market, the temporary nature of an international student’s time in Canada does not allow for a long-term connection to the labour market. For more information click here.

Responsibilities:

  • Working with the Development & Communications Manager to support the coordination of all aspects of NYA’s development and communications tasks 

  • Develops plan, copy and creative for social media, monthly newsletters, donor newsletters, and other written content (including website copy, blog posts, and press releases)

  • Support program-related marketing efforts (social media, ad design, documentation, outreach)

  • Track data and analytics of marketing and communications initiatives

  • Coordinate photos, video and testimonial capture for sharing for online platforms, and print material

  • Organize photo/logo and marketing materials library

  • Ensure that organizational website is updated and responsive 

  • Organize and distribute event marketing and community surveys as required

  • Prepare marketing and fundraising meeting materials and record minutes

  • Responds to general inquiries 

  • Perform other duties as required and general clerical duties

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Relevant communications, marketing or PR experience 

  • Demonstrated experience managing and creating content for social media

  • Strong written communication skills

  • Experience producing online newsletters, blogs, or similar communications  is an asset

  • Prioritization and project management abilities

  • Self-directed and able to work independently   

  • Familiarity with website management and SEO

  • Keen ability to take initiative, problem solve, set goals and spot opportunities

  • Experience using the following tools is an asset: Canva, Photoshop, Hootsuite, WordPress, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Google Suite, and Facebook Ads.

  • Knowledge of contact management systems is a plus

  • Passion and knowledge of Canada’s and/or Toronto’s arts and culture sector

How to Apply

The deadline to apply is May 19th, 2021. Please note that you will be contacted on May 20th or 21st if you are selected for an interview. We thank all applicants in advance, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

If you have any questions, please contact info@northyorkarts.org with the Subject Line “Marketing Coordinator Inquiry”

Please apply through our application form by clicking the button below

Job Posting: Executive Director

About North York Arts

North York Arts is an arts service organization designed to address the needs and interests of North York artists, arts organizations, and residents, North York Arts is working in collaboration with North York City Councillors, Toronto Cultural Services and various community partners to foster North York arts programming, provide art services to the region and bridge connections in the art and culture community between North York and the rest of the City. North York Arts is mandated to serve 6 wards of Toronto.

 

Position Summary:

The Executive Director is a full-time position that will report to the Board of Directors of North York Arts. This position is responsible for the operations, development, and implementation of North York Arts’ programs, events and services to the community. Specifically, the Executive Director will be responsible for the implementation of the new strategic plan from 2021-2024 focusing on the following strategic objectives:

  • Enhance local arts programming & community connections in North York
  • Build organizational resiliency & capacity
  • Create systemic change for the organization

 

Responsibilities:

Leadership

  • Participate with the Board in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of internal and external issues that affect the organization
  • Foster effective teamwork between board committees, staff, interns, and volunteers
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organization
  • Conduct official correspondence on behalf of the organization as appropriate and jointly with the Chair when appropriate
  • Represent the organization at community activities to enhance the organization’s community profile

 

Operational planning and management

  • Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization
  • Ensure that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of its stakeholders
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operation of the organization
  • Draft policies for the approval of the Board and prepare procedures to implement the organizational policies; review existing policies on an annual basis
  • Ensure that personnel, client, donor, and volunteer files are securely stored and privacy/confidentiality is maintained

 

Program planning and management

  • Oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s programs and services
  • Ensure that the programs and services offered by the organization contribute to the organization’s mission
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, execution, and evaluation of special projects

 

Human resources planning and management

  • Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery
  • Implement the human resources policies, procedures, and practices including the development of job description for all NYA staff
  • Establish a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations
  • Recruit, interview, and select staff that have the right technical and personal abilities to help further the organization’s mission
  • Ensure that all staff receives an orientation to the organization and that appropriate training is provided
  • Implement a performance management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an ongoing basis and conducting an annual performance review
  • Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance
  • Discipline staff when necessary using appropriate techniques; release staff when necessary using appropriate and legally defensible procedures

 

Financial planning and management

  • Work in collaboration with the Treasurer and Finance & Audit Committee and staff to prepare a comprehensive budget
  • Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board
  • Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization
  • Review comprehensive, regular reports on the revenues and expenditure of the organization with the Board
  • Ensure that the organization complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments
  • Familiar with CADAC and overseeing audits

 

Fundraising and Donor Relations

  • Define targeted and efficient fundraising plans and ensure that plans are implemented and assessed on a regular basis to achieve fundraising objectives (in collaboration with the Fundraising & Marketing Committee)
  • Pro-actively engages with current and prospective donors for major gifts, bequests, and annual giving initiatives
  • Acts as a champion for the development of best practices, programs, and new initiatives that contribute to increasing funds available for the execution of the NYA mission
  • Ensures annual revenue plan is achieved

 

Board

  • Establishes a strong and vibrant Board of Directors working with Board Chair
  • Engages and draws from the Board, strategic insights which help to advance the mission of NYA
  • Enlists Board members to support fundraising activities focusing on corporate philanthropy and sponsorships and individual giving
  • Build and sustain effective working relationships with individual Board members
  • Apprises the Board on a timely basis about key issues, business opportunities, significant operational activities, and financial matters.
  • Seek advice from the Board and successfully leverage their expertise, skills, and contributions
  • Lead the development and achievement of the annual strategic plan
  • Provide support to the Chair by preparing meeting agenda and supporting materials for the board meetings
  • Organize the board meeting and committee meeting schedule, location, and hospitality
  • Act as an Ex-Officio on all board committees

 

Government and Community relations/advocacy

  • Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of the organization and to identify changes in the community served by the organization
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the organization
  • Regularly interacts with government representatives at all levels
  • Tracks government policy, funding, and regulatory changes and provides updates to the Board

 

Risk management

  • Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization’s people (clients, staff, management, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill, and image and implement measures to control risks
  • Ensure that the organization carries appropriate and adequate insurance coverage

 

New Office Hub and Facility Management

  • Develop a business plan, feasibility study and identify space for a new location for the organization in 2022
  • Oversee a smooth transition from existing office to new office hub location, to be launched in 2023 – 2024

 

Qualifications:

  • Candidate must have at least 4 – 5 years leadership position in organizational or departmental management at an arts or not-for-profit organization
  • Post-secondary degree in arts management, community development or related field
  • Broad familiarity and knowledge of the arts in general and community arts sector in particular
  • Demonstrate a professional and organized work ethic flexible in a fast-paced work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency
  • Proven grant writing skills and fundraising experience
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and managing project and operational budgets
  • Demonstrated experience managing staff including hiring, training, developing, supporting, and addressing issues or concerns arising from the employment relationship
  • Ability to build and advance relationships with government bodies, foundations, organizations, and other stakeholders
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to work cooperatively and effectively to manage relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Fosters innovation in areas such as program development, evaluation, fundraising, and outreach
  • Proficient with using both PC and Mac computer operating systems. Knowledge with using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), database management systems, and comfort with social media platforms
  • Exceptional writing and communications skills

 

Other:

  • This is a 1-year contract with the option to renew.
  • Annual Salary: $70K-80K with health care benefits
  • Start date: Mid-late July 2021
  • Hours: Full-Time
  • Flexible hours
  • The role will be delivered remotely during lockdown and must be able to work from home effectively
  • Weekend and evening work will be required

 

How to apply: 

  • Please submit a cover letter and your résumé / CV with the subject line “Executive Director” by May 24 to board.member@northyorkarts.org
  • All applicants must complete this application to be considered for the position.
  • All cover letters and résumé / CV’s will be reviewed by the Search Committee to be selected for an interview.

 

Additional Information:

North York Arts is strongly committed to equity and inclusion within the community and especially encourages applications from all qualified candidates including Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour, Persons with Disabilities, and 2SLGBTQIAP community members.

North York Arts is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment process. If you require accommodations, please notify us and we will work with you to meet your needs.

We thank all applicants in advance, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

For more information about the role – please contact board.member@northyorkarts.org

Farewell Lila! – Departure Announcement

Farewell Lila! – Departure Announcement

We’d like to take this time to announce that North York Arts’ founding Executive Director, Lila Karim, will be moving on from the organization as of April 7th, 2021.

NYA has been incredibly fortunate to have had Lila as a leader for the past 10 years. Thanks to her passion, care, and guidance, what started as a team of one has grown into a thriving organization filled with staff, interns, volunteers, artists, facilitators, and more, running year-round programs for North York communities. Lila is a driving force in Toronto’s art sector who will continue to make an impact wherever she goes. We are so proud of Lila and all she has accomplished and we are grateful to her for paving the way to NYA’s future. Thank you for everything, Lila, you will be immensely missed!

Please see Lila’s statement below as well as a statement from Joe Borowiec, our Board Chair, on what’s next for North York Arts.

Lila Karim, Outgoing Executive Director
Melissa Foster, Interim Executive Director

A message from Lila Karim

After ten incredible years as the Founding Executive Director of North York Arts, I am leaving to pursue a new role with the City of Toronto as Senior Arts Consultant – Arts East, starting mid-April.

My journey with North York Arts has been a truly rewarding one. While developing the organization from the early start-up phase in 2011 to transitioning into a charity, I have had the immense honour of working alongside so many amazing colleagues, artists, partners, performers, musicians, producers, curators, arts groups, and cultural leaders. It has also been a privilege to collaborate and serve the North York community where we have engaged with over 230,000+ community members since inception.

As North York Arts embarks on the next phase of development with the new strategic plan and celebrating its 10th anniversary later this year, I look forward to the organization continuing to support the recovery process during these challenging times and furthering the organization’s vision of an inclusive, equitable, engaged and sustainable arts community in North York.

I want to thank our founding partners, government supporters, sponsors, donors, and volunteers for your continued support during my tenure. I also thank our sister Local Arts Service Organizations and the artistic community in Toronto for your collaboration and creativity over the years.

Finally, I send my heartfelt gratitude to the NYA Board of Directors and Staff (past and present). Thank you for your ongoing support, leadership, and mentorship. You are the pillars of our great accomplishments together at North York Arts and I am so very grateful to have been able to work and collaborate with all of you.

I will miss everyone and I wish you all the very best of success for the future!

With love & gratitude,
Lila Karim ❤️

A message from Joe Borowiec

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff at North York Arts, I want to offer a huge thank you to Lila for everything she has done for North York Arts since 2011 and to wish her success in the next chapter of her career. Her vision, leadership, and wisdom will be greatly missed by the Board, Staff, and partners alike.

As part of the organization’s transition plan, we are very happy to announce that Melissa Foster has accepted the role of Interim Executive Director. Melissa has been with North York Arts since 2014 and has grown into a leadership role as our Program & Outreach Director since 2018. Over the next few weeks, the Board and Staff will ensure a smooth transition for the organization and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with our many partners, supporters, and community members and to serving North York communities.

Also during this time, the Executive Committee will begin the search process for our next Executive Director. More information about the job posting will be announced in the coming weeks. I want to thank the Board and Staff for their guidance and support during the transition process.

Please join us all in thanking Lila for the contributions she has made over the years to North York Arts and congratulating Melissa on the Interim Executive Director role.

Sincerely,
Joe Borowiec
NYA Board Chair

Next Steps

To stay informed about the next steps including a job posting for Executive Director, please stay connected with us through our online channels including our newsletter, social media, and website. We appreciate your patience!

NYA’s Anti-Racism Statement

NYA stands in solidarity with Black communities against racism, oppression, injustice, and violence.

To be anti-racist is a continuous process and NYA recognizes that we have much more work to do. By adhering to our values and leading with authenticity, we are responsible for actively undoing, unlearning, and re-educating ourselves to do better. We are committed to becoming better allies to the Black residents, Black artists, and Black-led art organizations all over North York and Toronto to create long-term change.

As an organization and as individuals, we have begun taking actionable steps and we plan to be fully transparent with you in our efforts. We must hold ourselves and each other accountable.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Please Welcome our New Board Members!

Please Welcome our New Board Members!

We are pleased to announce that five new members have been appointed to the NYA Board of Directors! With expertise ranging from accounting to artistic direction, this new leadership will accompany the existing members’ skills to further support NYA’s strategic goals both now and in the future.

The new members will be joining the current Board of Directors who are cultural, business and community leaders from across the city: Joe Borowiec, Jason Ho, Umair Jaffar, Susan Karnay, Millean Kung, Diana Panagiotopoulos, Kathleen Sloan, Bill Stephenson and Nina Zaslavsky.

The Board will continue to provide leadership and strategic oversight to carry out NYA’s vision of an inclusive, engaged, and sustainable arts and culture community in North York. The new members’ knowledge and passion for the arts will be a meaningful addition to our team.

Please join us in welcoming the newly appointed NYA board members. Click on the links to learn more! 

David Di Giovanni

Mira Lax

Jessica Singh

Jonathan Stewart

Elka Weinstein

NYA’s Response to COVID-19

At North York Arts, the health and safety of our staff, board, program facilitators, participants, and community members is our top priority.

In light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), North York Arts has opted to take protective measures to aid in controlling and containing the spread of the virus. As such, we will be postponing certain programs until further notice. For specific information on affected programs, please see the list at the bottom of this notice. 

NYA will continue to monitor the situation (aligning with the end of the provincial school board closure) to ensure that we are making well-informed decisions on how best to move forward.

NYA staff has decided to limit our time in the office and primarily work from home. Therefore, the best way to get in touch with us is by email (see below).

As a friendly reminder during this difficult period – COVID-19 has impacted (and will continue to impact) many local artists, arts organizations, and arts workers. If you can, please continue to support these individuals and organizations remotely. For example, if a live performance you were planning to attend was cancelled due to COVID-19, consider donating your ticket fee rather than requesting a refund. The livelihood of countless arts professionals is at stake!

Finally, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our health care professionals, first responders, public officials and government leaders for keeping us informed and safe. For more information, resources, and updates regarding COVID-19, please visit Toronto Public Health.

Thank you for your understanding and support, and stay safe!

– The NYA Team

Current NYA Programs Affected:

Second Act Seniors
March 17 workshop cancelled 
March 24 workshop cancelled 

Legacy Collective
All in-person meetings and workshops postponed.
New workshops moved online. 

Drum to DJ
Workshops cancelled that align with school closures

Northbound Exhibition Program
Lacrima: /ˈla.kri.ma/ postponed
 MERAKI Project postponed
A series of Mythological Narratives postponed 

Cultura Festival
Date and time under review

Sunday Serenades
Date and time under review

 

Contact information:

Program Inquires:
melissa@northyorkarts.org
cecilia@northyorkarts.org

Organizational Questions or Concerns:
lila@northyorkarts.org

Marketing and Communications:
rachel@northyorkarts.org

Other inquiries:
info@northyorkarts.org

Snapd Arts Feature: Anna Kavehmehr

Snapd Arts Feature: Anna Kavehmehr

The opening of the 2020 Northbound Exhibition Program is quickly approaching, and we’re excited to introduce our first artist: Anna Kavehmehr! Born in Tehran, Anna moved to Toronto in 2013 to pursue her art career. Her exhibition, “Lacrima: /’la.kri.ma/, follows the story of a girl in different stages of her life where she is experiencing feelings of loss, loneliness, displacement, and the hopelessness that comes with them. 

Keep reading to learn more about Anna and her work!   

Tell us about yourself and your background in the arts. 

I started drawing from a young age by copying my mom’s sketches. She used to draw beautiful portraits and I was always in awe of how she captured elegance with a few lines. I became obsessed with creating art that conveys something intangible, and I never stopped drawing. I went to art school and studied Graphic Design and focused on book illustration for my thesis.  After moving to Canada, I completed my master’s degree in Digital Media and created an AR storybook of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland for my final project. I am currently working on a short animation and a graphic novel and am always open to collaborate with other artists. 

Describe your exhibition; where did you draw inspiration? 

This collection of work stemmed from emotions that I was experiencing after immigrating to Canada and the loneliness that came with it. The feelings were contradictory, complex and at times dark. What compelled me to create art about them was that I was fully aware of them and was trying to work through them by bringing them on a page and confronting them. It almost felt like being stuck in a freeze-frame moment where I was merely a bystander looking upon myself.

What is your favourite part about showcasing stories and emotions through your work?

 For me, creating any sort of art is almost a form of therapy. Depicting emotions has helped me understand the different states I’ve been in and has helped me know myself a little better. I believe stories have the power to connect a wide range of audiences that might on the surface have nothing in common. They help us understand different people, their struggles, their happiness and their dreams. To me, Illustration is just a different form of storytelling.

What is something you hope that people take away from your exhibition? 

My hope is that I was able to depict that dark emotions can creep up in the most ordinary settings as well as over-powering a situation one might be in. That all emotions are welcome in getting to know oneself. 

What are you most looking forward to as a participant of Northbound? 

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and thankful to North York Arts for promoting emerging artists, especially in the North York area. The chance to have so many people view your work is always very exciting, and I’m looking forward to connecting with other North York based artists and art enthusiasts. 

Lacrima: /ˈla.kri.ma/ will be on display from April 1 – April 30 at the North York Centre; the exhibition opening will take place on April 1 from 12 pm – 1 pm. This exhibition is free to the public. For more information, click here.

Interview by: Kavita Gurm

Communications and Events Assistant

Snapd Arts Feature: Cecilia Acevedo

Snapd Arts Feature: Cecilia Acevedo

We are excited to introduce Cecilia Acevedo, the group leader of Legacy Collective. Legacy Collective is an independent North York-based senior engagement initiative supported by North York Arts. The group celebrates creativity and wisdom through peer-to-peer learning, storytelling, and art-making. 

Over the past year, Cecilia Acevedo has been the group’s lead coordinator – she has ensured that it is a well-run space for sharing, creating, and building friendships. We asked Cecilia about her interest in the arts and her involvement in the Legacy Collective. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in the arts. 

My name is Cecilia and I am from Chile. I came to Canada in 1984 and while it was really hard at the beginning, as time went on it became much better. I always had an interest in the arts (I think I got it from my mom!). There was just something inside me that drew me to art – I think my favourite is visual art. I’m a visual learner; I can look at something and in my mind, I can see where to add or change colours. Art has always been a way for me to express myself.

Tell us about Legacy Collective; when did you get involved and what is your role now? 

Legacy Collective is a group of senior women from different ethnic backgrounds. We gather together and share our knowledge in visual arts, painting, crochet, knitting, and other types of art. In 2009, before I was a part of Legacy Collective, I was involved with another arts group that I learned about at a community centre. Then, 3 years ago, I heard about the Legacy Collective and decided to join. Now I am one of the group’s leaders and I’m really happy because I have the opportunity to teach and share my knowledge with the other ladies, which they can use to improve their skills. 

What impact has the Legacy Collective had on you and the participants?

For me, the Legacy Collective has been very important because it’s a place where we can share our knowledge, emotions, and our cultures. We all come from different countries and situations which gives us the chance to learn from each other – a chance that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. For this reason, being a part of the Legacy Collective has been amazing. Legacy Collective was able to bring people from all around the world together. 

How do you hope to see Legacy Collective grow in the future? 

It’s our dream for Legacy Collective to grow. We want to do so many more things – and we are trying. We want to grow our participants, become much bigger, and we want to continue to give a helping hand to other people. Just like North York Arts, we want to be able to share with those in our community. 

The Legacy Collective meets every Friday in North York. To learn more about the work they are doing visit https://www.northyorkarts.org/project/legacy-collective/. Interested in joining? Contact cecilia@northyorkarts.org.

Interview by: Rachel Birnberg

Development and Communications Coordinator