PRESS RELEASE: Drive the VIBE Summer Sessions bring FREE Arts Programming to Oshawa this Summer

This June, VIBE Arts launched the new mobile programming initiative, Drive the VIBE, at VIBE Arts Festival. This outreach initiative enables VIBE programming to travel to community events and festivals within the GTA and provincially. The goal of the Drive the VIBE is to engage communities in art-making while creating space for dialogue around area-specific issues affecting youth. We are pleased to announce that Drive the VIBE Summer Sessions will take place from July 5th to September 6th, 2018 at South Oshawa Community Centre! Free workshops are open to youth on Thursdays from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. Programming is funded by Telus with additional in-kind support from the City of Oshawa.

Often operating out of a vibed-up vehicle, arts educators and assistants (from VIBE Arts’ mentorship program) travel to various neighbourhoods and facilitate free art-making activities in response to connecting and engaging in meaningful conversations with community members. Drive the VIBE will offer scheduled programming in collaboration with community partners and additionally boasts an aspect of spontaneous pop-up programming. Anyone can stay informed of Drive the VIBE’s whereabouts by following along on Instagram and receiving live updates with the handle @DrivetheVIBE.

Youth of all ages are encouraged to participate in Drive the VIBE’s Summer Sessions and themes will be curated to resonate particularly with 8-17-year-olds. Drive the VIBE comes to life in spaces where communities tend to naturally mingle and will use accessibility as a leverage to provide productive, hands-on educational opportunities to participants during summer break – a time when education is often far from reach.

The VIBE Arts team is thrilled to get this venture rolling and looks forward to deepening our relationships with neighbourhoods across Ontario and beyond. Interested in getting involved with Drive the VIBE as a community partner or volunteer? Get in touch – we’re looking for groups and individuals who share our love to collaborate.

PRESS RELEASE: Introducing VIBE Arts’ New Artistic Director

Change is in the air. With the turning of the season, more than just the weather is evolving at VIBE Arts. We are pleased to announce that an Artistic Director has joined our roster. Onika Powell brings over 15 years of experience in the arts as a full time dancer, performer and teacher with work spanning as far as Europe, Asia and Africa.

Powell is co-director of the non-profit Dance Company D’LYFE (Dance, Let Your Feet Explore). This company fosters and provides a platform for an abundance of talent found in Toronto’s under-resourced spaces. In the past 3 years, the company boasts the engagement of young dancers with over 30 professional and international artists. To celebrate her successes, Onika was featured on CBC’s The National, as part of the award-winning series ‘HerStory in Black’. Powell is an alumni of York University with a degree in Public Service and Liberal studies. She looks forward to continuing to honour the legacy of VIBE by providing a professional focus on mentorship.

“I am truly grateful to be part of the team and to be working so closely with a cause I am passionate about. I look forward to sharing the flavour I bring to the arts, and diving into communities through my work at VIBE”.

Onika has a love of travel, and “anything pineapple”. She can be found in the VIBE Arts office from Monday through Thursday. Be sure to drop by and say hello – she might even teach you a move or two.

“Onika brings a great new energy to the team. Her unique professional experience and her commitment to elevating young people through the arts makes her a perfect fit here at VIBE.  We feel so grateful to have her.” – Katie Hutchinson, ED



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