On Thursday September 12, 2013, ArtReach and City of Toronto Cultural Services, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Grassroots Youth Collaborative (GYC), were proud to present the 2013 Youth Arts Pitch Contest.
An annual event, the Pitch Contest seeks to connect young local artists to the funding that they need to get their ideas and careers to the next level. This year saw eight finalists compete for $15,000 in cash prizes and $4000 in supplementary prize packs, to push them closer to their goals of professional artistry, youth empowerment, and community building. 2013's Youth Arts Pitch Contest brought Byron Photography, Francis Atta, Jason Williams of Queue, KeepRockinYou, Outburst! Young Muslim Women Project, Skittlez Gunn, The Starfish Canada, and Victoria Mejicano together on the main stage to display their goods, pitch their hearts out, and vie for the top prize.
This year, we were honoured to have our panel of judges include: Garvia Bailey of CBC Radio 2; Setareh Sarmadi of Sportsnet Magazine; triple threat (actor/ dancer/ choreographer) Ofilio Portillo; Priya Ramanujam, editor-in-chief of Urbanology magazine; and groundbreaking filmmaker Romeo Candido. The ever-fabulous Femi Lawson and Shannon Boodram hosted the event, and took us on a musical, artistic, political, and comedic journey through this year's pitches.
The Pitch Contest aims to help young artists secure hard-to-reach resources for unique elements of their work, provides training towards putting together a successful pitch, and assists in forging connections between the presenters and esteemed members of Toronto's arts community. All in all, the contest was a success not just for the participants, but also for the spectators who couldn't help but feel inspired by the passion and motivation demonstrated by these young artists in pursuing their dreams.
And now for the results…
Creative Business & Career Development Category: First: Jason Williams for Queue Second: Skittlez Gunn Runners up: Byron Photography & Victoria Mejicano
Community Arts Projects & Productions Category: First: Outburst! Young Muslim Women Project Second: Francis Atta Runners up: KeepRockinYou & The Starfish Canada
As always, ArtReach Toronto and our partners congratulate all participants in the 2013 Youth Arts Pitch Contest for their passion, bravery and talent!