“My donation is a monthly reminder of what I’ve been given and my ability to share with people in challenging circumstances.”
When did you first get connected with SKETCH?
It was about 10 years ago, through my work as the Director of World Vision Canadian Programs. I appreciate the deep sense of community, the energy and vibrancy of SKETCH. So I decided get personally involved: doing a bit of volunteer work, attending the Feasts, buying a few pieces of art. I enjoy hanging with the SKETCH community. I always walk away encouraged by the people and their transformational stories.
What made you care enough to personally become a monthly donor?
I understand the challenges of non-profits and I’m a firm believer in monthly donations. At the end of the day I know it’s only a little contribution each month but it’s consistent, sustainable and allows SKETCH to plan longer-term. For me, my donation is a monthly reminder of what I’ve been given and my ability to share with people in challenging circumstances.
How important is art as a tool for overcoming challenges?
Extremely. Art offers people the ability to share a personal story through their voice. When creativity is stifled, people lack an understanding of their own experiences within the greater community.
A lot of people think World Vision only works abroad. What is the scope of your work in Canada?
World Vision’s focus is on the well-being of children around the globe. Most of our efforts are on the most vulnerable in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We concentrate a small part of our intentions to those living amidst the limitation of poverty here at home. Poverty is a lack of choice. In Canada children, youth and families have barriers to choosing safe places to live, eating nutritious food and accessing support for full participation in the community.
What made you want to personally get involved here?
Most of my childhood was spent in financial poverty. Being blind to this fact was only possible because my parents addressed our world with resiliency and courage. Though our family straddled both sides of poverty’s line, the gifts and graces of my parents allowed them to model how to thrive amidst adverse circumstances. Because of this heritage, I changed the direction of my life and have since dedicated myself to the betterment of children and youth in Canada and around the globe.
Become a monthly donor and bring vibrancy, creativity and personal growth to a young person. Contact Gillian at email@example.com or 416-516-1559 ext: 2901.
“I love SKETCH because it is linked to so many of my passions: the street community, creativity and identity.”
How did you first get involved with SKETCH?
I found out about SKETCH at an art exhibit at my church when I was about 17. I met [SKETCH Artistic Director] Phyllis and got really inspired by what she did. I love SKETCH because it is linked to so many of my passions: the street community, creativity and identity.
Why do you give to SKETCH?
I didn’t have any money back then but as soon as I got a salary I started giving to SKETCH. I give on a monthly basis because it’s automatic and helps SKETCH plan for the future. Using art as a tool for change and confidence-building is beautiful. People are full of potential but the world hasn’t allowed everyone to shine. I love that SKETCH allows for peoples’ potential to surface.
Why is creativity important to you?
I work as the National Director for World Vision in Laos. Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world—it is also a country where people’s creativity is restricted. I see a relationship between poverty alleviation and creativity: where creativity is encouraged, change happens. I’ve worked in some desperately poor villages—no water, scarce food, no schools. Often, just giving moms, dads and kids coloured pens and big paper can be a start to visioning change. Without creativity we can get stuck and nothing moves forward. Making things visual and beautiful is often the start to big change in our villages, resulting in the development of new schools, greater health, economy and community.
What is your favourite thing about SKETCH?
It’s the quality of the art. It’s so impressive. I look forward to getting a calendar or card from SKETCH. I have one that’s framed in my house! SKETCH isn’t just changing lives—it’s changing neighbourhoods. The creative process enriches our lives as Canadians. It’s enriching for me personally to know that I’m part of something that is making Canada better.
Become a monthly donor and bring vibrancy, creativity and personal growth to a young person. Contact Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-516-1559 ext: 2901.
“As a first generation Canadian facing many obstacles growing up, I never knew where I fit in.”
As a first generation Canadian facing many obstacles growing up, I never knew where I fit in. I ended up at a tech high school that had electrical and woodworking classes. I took them as electives and my teacher Mr. Lewis changed the course of my life like no parent could.
My parents wanted me to be in academia, or become a doctor or lawyer. Mr. Lewis saw that I naturally excelled in the trades and encouraged me to pursue what I loved. This early support to follow a passion led me to a very successful career using skills I learned in the trades. This is why I am honoured to help fund the Industrial Arts Studio at SKETCH’s new Creative-Enterprise Hub.
“I really believe in the vision, and that through the arts youth can do anything.”
How did you first get involved in supporting SKETCH?
I was studying at Tyndale University College & Seminary and we had a course called Youth At Risk. We studied SKETCH and came to visit the studio. [Artistic Director] Phyllis Novak let us experience art-making. Each of us copied lines onto a matching grid and then onto a larger piece of paper. We didn’t know what we were doing but all of a sudden you feel like you are a child again!
What compelled you to start giving to SKETCH?
I really believe in the vision, and that through the arts youth can do anything. If given the opportunity to explore and express themselves through art-making, youth can find better ways of thinking, feeling and believing.
What is the most meaningful thing about giving?
I think youth are a very precious resource. We should invest in and empower youth because the world belongs to them. We have a better future if we have better investment in youth, regardless of their economic situation.
Your thoughts on creativity?
Without creativity there are no more new horizons. We need creativity whether we are working in the healthcare field, the arts or wherever. By being creative, you can dream of bigger and better things. You need creativity in life or else you’re like a robot.
What are your hopes for SKETCH?
Hopefully the new space will be more connected with the bigger community. Investment in facilities like SKETCH will reduce poverty in the long run. I want more people to know about SKETCH and support their vision too.