Youth Arts Council 2016/17

Place des Arts' 2016-17 Youth Arts Council

Meet the 17 amazing teens in our 2016/17 Youth Arts Council (YAC)!

The YAC was created by Place des Arts to encourage local teens to engage with the arts community. This dedicated group of volunteers meet regularly to organize and host two youth-oriented events each year and advise Place des Arts on teen engagement.

Kevin ZhangKevin Zhang

Kevin is a grade 12 student at Heritage Woods Secondary in Port Moody. He is a musician who enjoys working in digital music production. Kevin has been a member of the YAC since 2014 and hopes to continue contributing to the success of the YAC events and developing his skill set in general.

Kevin says, “The arts throughout time have given humans the ability to express themselves on a deeper level, and have contributed to our understanding of the generations who have lived before us. By ensuring that youth are involved in the arts, we ensure that this legacy is maintained.”

Alexandru UllmannAlexandru Ullmann
Director of Finance

A grade 12 student at Pinetree Secondary in Coquitlam, Alex is beginning his fourth year as a member of YAC. Initially, he joined YAC to experience being in a council environment where members handle real events and are given responsibility. He hopes to provide a positive contribution to the council this season and finish his fourth year strong.

Alex enjoys experimenting in the visual arts and finds the skills he has learned transfer to real-life through group projects and décor. Alex says, “Art can heal and sooth, and it’s an exploration of self.”

Elaine WangElaine Wang
Director of Internal Relations

Elaine is a grade 12 student at New Westminster Secondary School. This season marks Elaine’s fourth year on the YAC, which she originally joined to gain more leadership experience and to help young artists in the community. Elaine plans to make her last year on the Council a memorable one and hopes that her actions will inspire movement in the artist community.

Elaine has studied ballet and modern dance, but says her passion lies in traditional and digital visual arts. Elaine says, “The arts are important for expressing personal values and beliefs. It is also an essential component of self-exploration.”

Calvin ChoiCalvin Choi
Director of External Relations
Calvin is a grade 11 student at Centennial Secondary in Coquitlam. He is a keen writer and enjoys reading literature, skills that have have helped him as a passionate and award-winning public speaker. Calvin joined the YAC to make new connections, make an impact in his local community and hopefully better himself as a well-rounded person. This is his second year with YAC and he hopes to build on the success of last year’s council and help make the events more organized this year.

Calvin says, “Teens nowadays face a myriad of problems every single day. Art allows the modern-day student to escape, if even only for the time it takes to paint a picture, sing a song, and/or write a story.” 

Jamie LeeJaimie Lee
Director of Community Events

Jamie is in grade 10 at Port Moody Secondary School. She joined the YAC because she has been part of the Place des Arts community since she was six and wants to give back for all the valuable experiences she has had throughout the years.

Jamie has studied a variety of art forms, but her passion is for dance. She believes there are many benefits from participating in the arts that allow youth today to strive for a greater tomorrow, such as developing the ability to adapt to different situations, bringing richness and meaning into their lives and establishing confidence and self-esteem.

Kara HanKara Han
Director of Marketing

Kara attends grade 11 at Dr. Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam. She joined the YAC because she feels it’s a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community whilst learning new skills and adapting to new situations. She very much enjoys creating something meaningful and feels that being on the YAC will help her achieve that.

Kara is a pianist and junior piano teacher at Place des Arts and believes participation in the arts is important for youth because it’s the perfect way to express yourself. She says, “There are no rules, no right or wrong; you just take whatever you imagine in your head and translate it into reality.”

Aariyana SayaniAariyana Sayani
Aariyana is a grade 11 student at Moscrop Seconday in Burnaby. She joined the YAC to further develop her leadership, teamwork and communications skills and as a way to ensure her passion for the arts is expressed into the community.

Aariyana has played guitar for four years, participates in her school dance program and is a published writer. She says, “Providing youth with arts education not only gives them something to do, but also gives them a safe and creative way to discover what they are truly capable of.”

Alexandra YoudellAlexandra Youdell
Alexandra attends Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam. This is her second year on the council, and she is hoping to gain more experience with event planning and get more in touch with the arts community. Alexandra practices drawing and painting as a form of relaxation and feels that art in general brightens up her day and helps her deal with stress. She believes the diversity of art forms can give anyone an opportunity to do art and that it helps people gain confidence and learn to express themselves.

Alice PinheiroAlice Pinheiro
Alice attends Urban Academy school in New Westminster and joined the YAC because she believes in the importance of arts education and hopes to help expose more people her age to the arts. She enjoys the performing arts and is part of the Rock Band and Drama Club at her school, which she finds allow her to step out of her comfort zone and learn new skills.

Through participating in the YAC, Alice hopes to strengthen her leadership and communication skills by meeting new people and learning to work with others as a team. She also wants to bring new ideas to the Youth Arts Council and promises to work hard to create events that will give teens opportunities to explore their artistic side.

Amir SDAmir SD (Sadeghy-Daghighy)
Amir is in grade 11 at Burnaby Mountain Secondary School. He enjoys photo editing and waltz dancing. He says, “Dancing waltz has inspired me and gives me hope in life no matter how hard it gets. Dancing motivates me to not give up and look for other ways to achieve my goals.”

Amir joined the YAC to work with people to find solutions and think of new ideas and to learn more management skills. He believes art can open up areas of interest in life for youth and that it can motivate, inspire and help build self-discipline.

Annette ChanAnnette Chen
Annette is a grade 11 student at Burnaby Mountain Secondary. She joined YAC because it combines two of her passions: serving the community and the arts. Annette loves learning and discovering all types of visual art forms and says her passion for the arts inspires her to invest in a future career related to the field.

Annette believes art is important to youth because it provides a unique and creative outlet to freely express yourself and your emotions. She says, “Participating in the arts is like taking a breather - finding a moment of peace to relax and have fun.”

Georgia TuhtenGeorgia Tuhten
Georgia attends grade 12 at the Traditional Learning Academy. She joined the YAC to  give back and contribute to her arts community and help others explore and enjoy the world of arts.

Georgia is an active musician who has completed her Grade 10 piano RCM exam and  won numerous awards at music festivals. She also plays flute in the Vancouver Youth Symphony Senior Orchestra. Georgia believes that music and art can help youth discover the creative parts of themselves and gives them an outlet to learn that hard work and determination can lead to positive outcomes and achievement of goals.

Janice ChanJanice Chan
Janice is a grade 12 student at Burnaby North Secondary School. She joined the YAC for the 2015/16 season and returns this year because she enjoys giving back to the community and planning wonderful, free events for youth. This season, Janice hopes to get more youth interested in the arts.

Janice enjoys watercolour painting and drawing and believes art helps youth unleash their creativity and allows them to meet like-minded friends.

Kelsea VanceKelsea Vance
Keslea is a grade 10 student at Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam. She joined the YAC to contribute to her local community and impact it in a way that includes the arts. This year, Kelsea hopes to help create and offer programs to youth who are interested in the arts, but perhaps lack the time or money to take classes.

Kelsea has participated in a variety of art forms, from drawing to singing, dancing, acting and playing guitar. Kelsea believes participation in the arts builds character and provides a different approach to the world.

Sophia de GuzmanSophia de Guzman
Sophia is a grade 11 student at Port Moody Secondary School. She plays the flute and violin and also writes and draws—activities that have helped her learn to relate to other people better and appreciate the importance of perseverance.

The arts have always been an important part of Sophia's life, and she believes they are a crucial component of any society. Sophia hopes to inspire youth to take an interest in the arts, to help change how people view art and the teenagers who take part in the arts.

Sydney LinSydney Lin
Sydney is a grade 12 student at Centennial School in Coquitlam. She joined the YAC because she loves meeting new people, especially those who are passionate about the arts. She also enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community and says nothing beats the satisfaction you get when a project is successfully finished.

Sydney plays the piano and the flute and says playing music helps her mind forget about stressful things in life and changes her mood. She says, “[The arts are] a form of beauty that relieves stress and allows you to express yourself using your own creativity.”

Wilson JiangWilson Jiang
Wilson is in grade 12 at Semiahmoo Secondary in Surrey. He joined the YAC to help the community through the promotion of arts and culture and to help out at the YAC events. Wilson plays the piano, which he says is enjoyable to listen to and dispels his daily stresses. He believes the arts are important for youth because exposure to the arts makes us more human.