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Call to Artists: Youth Arts Ambassadors Program

DEADLINE EXTENDED for Submission: Oct 16, 2016 by NOON (EST)

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Complete the online application form!

Deadline Extended: Oct 16, 2016 by 12 PM (EST)

Ontario Culture Days invites young and emerging professional artists in Ontario to submit proposals to the second annual cohort of the Youth Arts Ambassadors Program (YAAP). Would you like to:

If so, we’d like to hear from you!  Tell us how you will explore the potential of community arts to strengthen your own artistic practice and to grow audiences for your work. 

YAAP is contingent upon the receipt of funding still to be announced.  The following is a call for expressions of interest to be included in upcoming funding applications prior to an estimated project launch in April 2017.

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About WorkInCulture

The mission of WorkInCulture is to support the people who work in the cultural sector through life-long career development and business skills training. We connect, create, and curate training and tools that help arts and culture professional develop the business skills to match their creative talents. We CONNECT employers and job seekers through a popular online Job Board. We CREATE curriculum that meets the needs of the community and original, thought-provoking research on topics that are important to the community. We CURATE information (research, links, tips, and resources) that we feel is relevant to our audience.  

About Union Station

Toronto’s Union Station is Canada's busiest, most important multi-modal passenger transportation hub, a designated National Historic Site, and a significant part of Toronto's history and identity.  More than a quarter-million people use Union Station daily. The City of Toronto is leading Union Station's revitalization with three objectives: to improve the quality and capacity of pedestrian movement; to restore heritage elements; and to transform Union Station into a major destination for shopping, dining and visiting. Follow Toronto Union Station on social @torontounion


Ontario Culture Days launched the first year of YAAP across Ontario in April 2016. Aimed at fostering and supporting the next generation of community artists in our province, YAAP commissions annually five diverse youth artists to create new community arts projects in their respective regions that premiere during the Culture Days weekend. Throughout the program, YAAP participants develop their professional practice and receive mentoring on a range of topics related to community arts while connecting with a broad network of arts leaders from across the province. As Arts Ambassadors, participants also share their learnings with peers and with the wider community, and wrap-up the program by attending a National Culture Days Congress.

In 2017, the second cohort of YAAP will create new works responding to the theme of Roots & Routes as part of Ontario Culture Days’ celebration of Canada’s 150 anniversary. New works will be produced in the communities of the selected artists and linked to a related exhibition at Toronto’s Union Station via livestreaming or other digital methods. Participants will receive one-on-one artistic mentoring from an established artist in their region, as well as business skills training facilitated by WorkInCulture.

2017 THEME: Roots & Routes

On the occasion of Canada’s 150th Anniversary, Roots & Routes invites artists and members of the public from across Ontario to contribute to a deeper understanding of what it means to be Canadian and Ontarian through the power of shared artistic and cultural expression. Roots & Routes looks back at where our culture came from, and looks forward to where we are going. 

Highlighting Toronto’s Union Station as a gateway to Ontario, Roots & Routes will explore the impact of railways, waterways, roadways, pathways, trails, virtual and personal networks, and other physical and cultural “routes” that link the province and “root” us to a sense of community.

Delving into the “roots and routes” of Ontario’s diverse arts and cultural heritage, this project asks all Ontarians to explore where our individual and collective identities originated and where they are going. Where does artistic and cultural expression come from? Where and how do cultures take root in a community? How is a community’s culture shaped by the many individual and collective voyages that bind and connect us to together? How will culture guide us on our collective journey as a province and a nation?


Emerging youth artists based in Ontario and working in any artistic discipline are invited to apply. A total of five emerging youth artists will be commissioned to represent each of the following regions of the province: Northern Ontario, Southeastern Ontario, Southwestern Ontario, Central Ontario/GTA, and Toronto. Each youth artist will be mentored by one of five established artists commissioned to produce new works for exhibition at Toronto’s Union Station as a part of Roots & Routes.

Local municipalities across the province will also be invited to produce their own projects for Culture Days 2017 under the theme of Roots & Routes. Members of the public will also be encouraged to submit their own stories, videos, and testimonials in response to the project theme.


Learning:  Explore and develop new skills relevant to community arts creation, production, audience engagement, and more, including one-on-one mentoring with an established artist from your community.

Creating:  In collaboration with an established artist mentor selected from your region, develop and produce one new community arts creation, participatory performance or exhibition in any artistic discipline as a part of Culture Days 2017, and in response to the project theme, Roots & Routes. The new work will be presented in your own community, and linked to a related exhibition at Toronto’s Union Station via livestreaming or other digital methods.

Activating:  Encourage public participation and discussion about Culture Days in your local community and across the province through social media, act as a spokesperson or media contact for your community as a part of the Culture Days promotional campaign, represent your community at a National Culture Days Congress, and develop networks between other YAAP participants across the province.

Mentoring:  Share personal perspectives on community arts practices by mentoring other young artists and offering public community arts workshops in your community.


Emerging youth artists must meet the following minimum guidelines to be eligible to apply:


Proposals for artworks must meet the following minimum guidelines:


Contingent upon funding still to be announced, estimated fees for all project-related activities will include:


Proposals will be reviewed by Ontario Culture Days staff and partners using the following criteria:


Ontario Culture Days
ATTN:  Jessa Agilo  
            225 Brunswick Ave, Toronto,
            ON M5S 2M6 


OWNERSHIP:  Artworks and exhibition rights must be available for the duration of the exhibition. Artworks will remain property of the artist and will be returned after completion of the exhibition.  The artist grants Ontario Culture Days sole rights to additional presentations of the work for a period of one year.  The artist shall recognize Ontario Culture Days as the commissioning organization for the artwork at any future presentations of the work.

COPYRIGHT:  The artist warrants that the artwork is an original work of the artist.  The artist is the sole owner of a valid and subsisting copyright in the artwork, and such copyright has never been assigned, transferred, encumbered, or otherwise affected by the artist.

REPRODUCTION:  The artist grants Ontario Culture Days the right to record and photograph images and video of the artwork for the purpose of documenting the exhibition as well as for educational and promotional purposes.  The artist acknowledges that casual photography of the artwork by visitors will be permitted.  Ontario Culture Days may also use the artist’s comments, descriptions, and other communications, together and in connection with the use of the artwork, as well as in association with related educational materials, prior to, during, and following the exhibition.  Any reproduction for the purpose of sale would be arranged through separate contract.  The artist will make themselves available with reasonable means to respond to media inquiries on the artist’s point of view in relation to the artwork.