Former Governor General helps out a local graffiti artist

Wednesday, April 30, 2014   by: Staff



The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is delighted to announce the first recipients of its new Young Arts Entrepreneur program funding, as Canada prepares to celebrate National Youth Arts Week.

With the generous support of CIBC and BMO, and the collaboration of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, the program provides start-up capital as well as business and arts mentors to underserved youth seeking to launch an arts-based business over a two-year period.

More than 60 aspiring young business and community leaders from across Canada applied. Cameron Dutchak is among eight youth selected by an expert jury.

Based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the young artist has been active within the arts for the past decade doing large-scale graffiti works and commissioned designs on various mediums.

As his business continues to grow, Cameron aims to increase awareness regarding social enterprises and community art while engaging youth in new forms of urban expression.

Cameron’s business project is based upon re-conceptualizing the idea of what graffiti/ street art can mean within a community.

By mentoring at risk and marginalized youth, Cameron’s business (CTD Designs) will offer open workshops in various forms of ‘street art’ as well as create an on-going youth mentored arts program culminating in a public mural.

In addition to receiving start-up capital of $7,500, Cameron will be mentored in business plan development, marketing and other business skills, and receive ongoing mentoring in arts techniques from seasoned professionals.

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation, which helped to design the program, will also be assisting him with additional tools and resources.

The aim of Young Arts Entrepreneur is to provide participants with the tools, experience and connections in the financial world they need to “graduate” to other ongoing opportunities to build their businesses.

“We are delighted by the caliber and diversity of our young arts entrepreneurs whose innovative spirit and determination have the potential to inspire underserved youth all over the country. Their business projects span such a rich variety of artistic disciplines, providing our recipients with a unique opportunity to make a mark in Canada’s creative industries, which bring billions of dollars to our country every year”, said the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Monsieur Jean-Daniel Lafond, Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation

We support youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health.

In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving Aboriginal cultural resurgence, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info:

About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time.

We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses.

CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.

Established in 1996, CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship. CYBF is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (being held November 18-24 in 2013).

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