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  • Creativity, collaboration, community

    Arts mentorship for young people


YoungStarters is a free arts mentorship program that invites young people to take the lead in arts based community projects.

This summer program is designed for creative-minded, ambitious young people between the ages of 13-18 in the Greater Vancouver area. Partnered with mentors who range from professional artists, arts administrators and community organizers, YoungStarters participate in workshops as they individually develop their own project ideas.

  • I loved sharing my ideas and thoughts with everyone and hearing other people share their experience. YoungStarter
  • I enjoyed learning about the different art mediums and now I know more about art and that it can be a job. YoungStarter
  • I loved every part of it. If only we had more days! YoungStarter

Why YoungStarters?

By providing young people with the right tools, support and knowledge, YoungStarters activates young people's creativities while providing them with lasting, relevant skills and experiences. By focusing on community based projects, YoungStarters aims to engage the community through youth-led collaborations exploring diverse art forms.

YoungStarters 2015

YoungStarters 2015

YoungStarters 2015 was a free arts mentorship program that invited teens in the foster care system to take the lead in individual art based projects. Nine teens gathered at the ArtStarts LAB over the course of seven days to explore creativity, different art practices (visual arts, writing and performance) and what it means to be a part of a community.

We engaged local artists to facilitate exploratory workshops. Marisa Pahl taught 10 different painting techniques, while the Writer's Exchange introduced narrative creation through photography and various writing styles. And finally, Dia Davina provided an opportunity to build confidence through performance and slam poetry.

Working through the creative process, each teen was asked to consider their everyday lives and what they wanted to communicate through their art form. They were provided with the resources and support from four mentors, each offering specific skills, experiences and perspectives.

Over the course of four studio days, the teens individually worked on art projects, while re-grouping periodically to talk about their creative process. Each of the teens also had the opportunity to prepare meals for one another to further develop life skills while communing together to build and nurture their community.

Start, an exhibition of their artwork, was featured on the second floor of the ArtStarts Gallery in Vancouver.

Read about YoungStarters on The Tyee
YoungStarters 2013

YoungStarters 2013

The first cohort of YoungStarters collaborated from July 27 to August 31, 2013. Read about their adventures:
Building Community

Building Community

Here's a look at how YoungStarters 2013 unfolded and what impact it had on the young artists and their community:


Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation, working throughout British Columbia to harness the gifts of ideas, money, time and energy to build a lasting legacy: healthy, vibrant, livable communities.