Who we are

Our vision

We see a movement where young people are celebrated and engaged as culture makers, perception changers and collaborators in building creative community.

Our mission

SKETCH is a community arts enterprise based in Toronto. We engage diverse young people, ages 16-29, from across Canada, who are navigating poverty, living homeless or otherwise on the margins, to:

  • – experience the transformative power of the arts
  • – build leadership and self-sufficiency in the arts
  • – cultivate social and environmental change through the arts

We believe

If young people engage and develop in the arts they will increase their Resilience and Capacity to live well and lead in building creative and inclusive communities.

Through a progressive learning framework in the arts, to build leadership in community arts and creative enterprise, prioritizing equitable opportunities, young people enhance their overall wellbeing, skills and connections.

Our land

We acknowledge and humbly recognize that we are living and working on Turtle Island in Tkoronto, the traditional, current, unceded territories of the Haudenosaunee (Huron-Wendat, Seneca) and Ojibwe (Mississaugas of the Credit river) First Nations.

As an organization, we are learning that this includes striving to respect nationhood and lands; as well as the traditional law and governance standing for their protection. We commit to necessary and continuous (un)learning, recognizing past and current impacts of colonization; a process that continues to bestow violence on Indigenous Land, Culture and Bodies.




1996 – SKETCH founded


1998– 200 participants in theatre and visual arts projects. Fix-Arts Festival celebrated the creativity of youth on the margins. Drug Projects conducted annually with young women on the margins until 2004


1999 – Queen West 900-sq. ft. storefront studio opened


2001– Not for Profit status


2002– 580 King West 6500-sq.-ft. Warehouse space opened


2003– Charitable Status


2004– “One of the most innovative programs of its kind in Canada” – Arts Network for Children and Youth (ANCY)


2005– Eva’s Initiatives Award for Innovation and OTF Award of Distinction


2006– World Vision Canada selects SKETCH as partner to end child and youth poverty in Canada


2008– Toronto Arts Council Foundation’s Arts for Youth Award


2009– Vital People Award to Rudy Ruttimann, Executive Director, Toronto Community Foundation. Vital Ideas Award, Toronto Foundation


2010– Artistic Director Phyllis Novak, named “Everyday Hero” by Global Television. Green Toronto Award Finalist


2011– Capital Campaign launched for Artscape Youngplace, Pop-up studios created at Community Health, Recreation and Neighbourhood Centres, and Shelters and Housing initiatives (Central Toronto Community Health Centres; The Dale; Eva’s; St. Clare’s Housing, Masyrk Cowan)


2013– Moved into 180 Shaw Street, Artscape Youngplace. Finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts


2014– Opened 7500 square-foot Creative Hub and Admin Hub


2015– Developed new learning and engagement framework – Toronto Arts Council’s Inaugural Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow, Phyllis Novak, Artistic Director


2016Celebrated 20th Anniversary! Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award, NOW Toronto Best of Toronto Awards for Best Youth Organization, Runner-up. 1700 participants!



2017– William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award to Julian Diego, Program Coordinator. World Builders Award, OCADU, to Naty Tremblay, Program Coordinator. 1300 participants!


What we do

Visit our programs

Art Transforms

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SKETCHWorking ArtsⒸ2017

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Charitable Registration Number is 85912 8332 RR0001