For the third year in a row we've been able to photograph the Entrepreneurial Adventure program with The Learning Partnership. This year it was held over a period of two days at the Canadian Museum of History.
Just a few photos from Day 1 and 2.
Someone, for whatever reason, kindly nominated me for the Faces Magazine 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. And the only reason why I knew about it was because a friend messaged me on Facebook congratulating me on being nominated. Confused, I asked her, "what award?" Which led to this screenshot below. I had no idea.
All this to say, I am humbled at the thought of someone taking the time to not only nominate me, but to vote. So to whomever nominated and then voted enough to enter me as a Finalist, thank you. And to all who have voted once or voted daily since the polls opened, thank you.
In the meantime, this last round of voting is almost closed. If you'd like to support me and the work that I do in the community through DLG Media, A Dream Lived Greener and A.R.T. (A Real Thought) In Action, feel free to:
You have until January 24th when the voting ends. Until next year.
Hi my name is Colleen Gray!
I'm the Art For Aid founder and I'm a Metis artist. What Art For Aid aims to do is work to get new and gently used art supplies into remote First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities. There's an extremely limited amount of money available for art supplies in remote communities.
Back in 2013 - 2012, I was watching the Attawapiskat housing crisis on the media and in every picture in the background and all I could see where kids watching T.V. and I thought, "I don't understand. What's going on up there that everybody's stuck watching T.V.?" So I started doing a bit of investigation work into school budgets, art supplies, what's available up there in community programming and in the school's. And that's how learned how limited the budgets are as far as art supplies go. So I set out to try to make a difference.
I had a huge body of artwork already that's been sitting in my sketchbooks doing absolutely nothing. I thought, well you know what, if I sell this work then I can pay for shipping. And if I ask people to donate art supplies, the art community is very generous. People started donating supplies and I started shipping them up with the sales from my artwork. It started to blossom and grow.
Reaching into other communities, is not the easiest thing to do. Teachers are incredibly busy in remote communities. They're way more than just teachers. They are nutrition experts, they're counsellors, they're taxi services, they're crisis intervention counsellors. They do everything. So I really want to try to lighten that load for them a little bit. Getting art supplies into remote communities really helps the kids express their artistic side in ways that they wouldn't normally be able to with the limited supplies.
The Art For Aid Project is going on five years now and in terms of art supplies, one of the biggest things that we try to get is carving tools. We have a lot of kids in Inuit communities that would love to carve but don't have access to tools. And then there's your garden variety stuff. Acrylic paint is a big one. Brushes are a big one. Sketchbooks, paint, paper. Stuff for the little kids too. Stickers - I say colouring books, but that's suggestive. What ends up happening is there are a lot of people who want to donate art books. We can't ship art books for two reasons. One, because they're heavy and they take up space in the box. Second of all, they come from a colonial perspective and Indigenous art is not a colonial perspective art form. It's an oral art culture.
A lot of times it comes down to having elders, being able to afford to bring elders into the community to teach things like birch bark biting and quill work. You want to pay these elders to come because their time is valuable. We look to try and get elders connected with the schools or we give them the resources to connect those elders with the schools. But, the basic art supplies are the most important thing.
Take a listen to Colleen's full interview here:
To learn more about Colleen's project and donate, visit Art For Aid.
Hello! We are Leigh and Karen, the owners of highJinx! in Ottawa. HighJinx is a place where people can come in and feel welcome. While we do offer vintage items and beautiful products, we are much more like a home that helps people in need. Jokingly we call ourselves a dysfunctional family, but we are happy.
This all started because we worked in the traditional system and we were very frustrated with the boundaries and barriers we had to work within just to help others. Both of us wanted to find an easier way to help people, so we dreamt up this idea of a safe house and how we would fund it. We had applied for funding but we didn't fit into the funding streams mandates or boxes, and we didn't want to change the way we wanted to help people. So, over a bottle of wine, highJinx was born. We decided we'd gather up people's stuff and use that money to help people. With whatever they need.
Our feeding program is every Friday and we guarantee the community a meal. We have a food pantry that our neighbours can access daily. There is a furniture bank for anyone that is moving out of a shelter or off the street. We can give them what they need to start. People often come in here as customers and walk out as a friend to someone who came in needing help.
Anyone can come in, hang out, chat and meet people, or just help with the house: cooking, cleaning or preparing meals. There really is a sense of community here. We are neighbours helping neighbours. We are a family.
Or our website: