Youth Arts Council 2016/17
Meet the 18 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 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.”
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Jessica attends grade 12 at Burnaby North Secondary School. She joined the YAC last year and had a wonderful time meeting people and organizing events. This season, she hopes to help get more people involved in the arts community.
Jessica enjoys practicing the literary arts and says that writing helps her express herself. She believes that as children get older their creativity subsides, and that being more involved in the arts can prevent that.
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 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 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 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.