Who we are
We see a movement where young people are celebrated and engaged as culture makers, perception changers and collaborators in building creative community.
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
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.
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.
Mural by SKRATCH WON
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