Arts for Social Justice at Central Etobicoke

This past winter, I had the honour of working with the students of Mr. Beline’s Grade 12 Drama class at Central Etobicoke High School with the amazing director, choreographer, and performer Allison Beula, VibeArts, and the CCLET.

As these ASJ projects are student designed and directed, when we start, we never know how the ideas will manifest which is always very exciting! Throughout our discussions in this session, the students identified many injustices in the world around them and chose to address them collectively in a choreographed group protest. In their performance, they focused not only on what isn’t fair in the world, but also expressed their ideas about how we can change things for the better. Their incredibly empathetic perspective and boundless positivity through the entire process was truly heartwarming and inspiring. Please do check out their work in the video posted above.

It is always so rewarding to see an artwork develop and live on beyond the program. Here is a photo of the students performing their piece at a school assembly! Bravo everyone!

I’ve just started another Arts for Social Justice project for the spring term and I can’t wait to see what the students come up with this time! As always, I’ll post images/videos of the new work when I can. Until then, be well everyone.


Field Trip Season is here!

After a long, long winter here in Toronto, spring is finally here and it’s field trip season once again! Whenever I can, I take my Avenue Road Arts School students on field trips across Toronto. We’ve gone all over the city from Centre Island, to the Toronto Zoo, Guildwood Park, and we once had a photo tour of Spadina House Museum where we were allowed to use our tripods (very exciting!).  While my primary concern on these trips is always to help my students with their photos, there are moments when I get to shoot too! To give you an idea of some of the places we’ve gone, here are some of the photos I’ve taken. You can view the rest of the album here.

Ward's Island Beach - Toronto, ON.

Ward’s Island Beach

Distillery Christmas Market, Toronto


Distillery Christmas Market 2015

Distillery Christmas Market

Nuit Blanche 2014 - Toronto, ON.


Nuit Blanche

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2014

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair



Spadina House Museum and Gardens

Balcony Birds - Kensington Market, Toronto

Kensington Market

High Park Sakura Blossoms 2014

High Park for the Sakura Blossom

Yorkville Toronto



Centre Island


Riverdale Farm, Toronto

Riverdale Farm, Toronto

Riverdale Farm


Arts for Social Justice at Central Etobicoke

I’m very excited to be co-leading another Arts For Social Justice program for Vibe Arts and the CCLET, this time with Allison Beula in Mr. Beline‘s drama class at Central Etobicoke School. I can’t wait to see what these students come up with!

A photo from this morning’s drawing warm up. We listened to the music of Michael Bates and others with charcoal and paper in hand. It’s a great exercise to loosen up any apprehensive artists.


New work from the teen photo class at Avenue Road Arts School

This term, I’m thrilled to be teaching Digital Photography to a group of teens at the Avenue Road Arts School here in Toronto. We’re only half way through the term and already their work is astounding!  Check it out!*

Spring registration has started at the school and one of my classes is already full with a waiting list! If you’re interested for yourself or someone in your family, you can enrol by clicking here for teen, and here for adult photo classes (beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels available).

Composition Assignment - Digital Photo Grades 8 - 12

Composition Assignment - Digital Photo Grades 8 - 12

Composition Assignment - Digital Photo Grades 8 - 12

* I had initially thought I’d wait until the end of the term to share their work, but it’s only been a couple of weeks and I’m way to excited to wait.

Vibe Arts Murals in the news!

This morning, the Toronto Star covered the launch of the Vibe Arts posters installed throughout the Toronto subway system for the NBA All Stars weekend (and a poster made by my program in the Weston Mount Dennis Boys and Girls club is featured in the article)! For each poster, we were assigned a single word to use as a theme for the artwork. The final images were the design and creation of the children of the respective programs. Congratulations to all of the participants. We’re all so very proud of your accomplishments.  Here’s a link to the articleTTC stations display student’s art for NBA All-Star Weekend

And here are some photos of a few of the murals installed:


Perseverance – by the children of the Evelyn Gregory Branch, Toronto Public Library



Cooperation – by the children of the Evelyn Gregory Branch, Toronto Public Library

Last Import - 1 of 1

Encouragement – by the youth of the Weston Mount Dennis Boys and Girls Club (Photo Credit: Aaron Nelson)


Fitness – by the youth of the Weston Mount Dennis Boys and Girls Club

More NBA murals spotted!

I’ve been on a hunt for more murals on my TTC trips over the last few weeks and I’ve spotted a few more from programs that I facilitated! All of the young artists were so dedicated and their efforts certainly paid off. Well done, everyone!