The Four Stages

The monarch butterfly is a glorious creature to behold. If you’ve ever witnessed it’s beauty, watching it in flight is a vision you don’t forget.   However, to get to that point in its life there’s a journey and a fight requiring strength and determination.   There are 4 stages in the life cycle of […]

Unicorns & Dragons

  Do you believe in unicorns, jackalopes, fairies, protective dragons, leprechauns at the end of rainbows, singing frogs and baby pigs that dance the jig?   Until 4 years ago my eyes were glued wide shut; to be fixed only on the narrow views seen straight in front with no peripheral options. Thinking there was […]

Mandala Workshop

“Mandalas are an ancient artistic technique used in many cultures around the world as an aid to understanding who we are as individuals and as part of the universe around us. The inside of the circle represents our inner world and the outside represents the outer world.”  This was the perspective that local artist Claudia […]

Resilient Heroes

Resiliency is the ability to recovery readily after being bent or stretched from adversity. I have about 50 heroes in my life; all of which come from the Ottawa Innercity Arts program. A hero is a person noted for courageous acts and that’s exactly what the street-engaged youth at our art program are. These young […]

10 Years of Innercity Arts

As we near the 10th anniversary of Innercity Arts, I wanted to look back on how the program came about. I recently spoke with Jason Pino, the Youth Outreach Worker who started the program 10 years ago. Jason told me that back in 2009 he was doing regular street outreach – engaging with youth on […]

Behold, Real Art

Out of pure curiosity I browsed around on Google yesterday checking out the value of the top 10 paintings at The National Art Gallery here in Ottawa. I encourage you to explore the same in your spare time; some of it is definitely interesting. Most of the paintings and art work exhibited there cannot be […]

Hope Trumps All

The definition of hope is as such: Noun:  The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Other words describing hope? Belief, confidence, desire, expectation, faith, goal, optimism, wish. That’s a BIG responsibility for such a small word…yet that’s exactly what our youth find at the […]

New Bursary Program

For the past several years, the Canadian Stone Carving Festival has raised funds for Innercity Arts. The festival founders are passionate about supporting street-involved youth through the arts, and wanted to make a meaningful impact. We are proud to announce a new initiative in partnership with the Canadian Stone Carving Festival and the Ottawa School […]

Come As You Are

Music playing in the back ground. The rustling of voices. Some laughing, some random chattering. The room is filled with various hues of paint color and textures of fabric. The faint smell of burning wood can be detected in the air. A large plate of home-cooked dinner awaits, with plenty more for seconds and take-home […]