Vibrant communities where young people express themselves artistically and use their creativity and leadership to engage fully in community.
To work collaboratively with partners in under-resourced communities to create a lasting impact on the lives of young people through arts education programming.
Bring the power of community and creativity to the children and youth of Ontario.
Established in 1995 by founder Lola Rasminsky as Arts for Children of Toronto, our organization initially functioned as a provider of arts scholarships. Our goal was to ensure that any child, regardless of means, could benefit from high-quality, hands-on arts experiences. In 2002, we shifted our programming away from awarding scholarships to a focus on outreach programming. This move stemmed from our belief that we could reach more children increasing accessibility by ensuring that artists are facilitating programming directly in neighbourhoods. Our no-cost programming is now offered in over 50 neighbourhoods across Southern Ontario.
Arts For Children Of Toronto is founded.
Arts For Children Of Toronto is established as a charity and functions as an arts scholarship provider.
Art for Children and Youth (AFCY) outreach programs are offered at no cost to young people and are structured as after-school programs or schoool-based workshops.
AFCY recieves 9 acclaimed awards and 4 awards for outstanding work in arts education to both our Founder and Executive Director.
We change our name from AFCY to VIBE Arts.
VIBE works in 22 of 30 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAS) as designated by the City of Toronto, running 1,462 arts-based workshops in 111 schools & community locations.
Reached 6,000+ children and youth through our programming.
Julie Frost steps down as Executive Director after 16 years. Katie Hutchison is appointed Executive Director and Onika Powell is hired as Artistic Director.
Organizational commitment is made to Anti-Racism Initiatives.
As a result of COVID, VIBE offers online suite of programming in 28 of 30 NIAS, delivering over 400 programs in 2020 through our direct-to-community digital programs.
80 professional & 35 emerging artists on the VIBE Arts roster are provided with paid employment opportunities.
2021 – Now
Now offering a significant increase in our mentorship and artist development programs to continue building a diverse pipeline of young creatives to be the next generation of artists.
We continue to reach over 7000 children and youth annually through free arts education programming.
Pillars of Our Work
Programming is free, reflects pride in diversity and is easily accessed within each community.
Programs engage communal assets; VIBE Arts develops lasting multi-stakeholder partnerships and mentors Emerging Youth Artists to continue the programming.
Opportunities for youth to develop leadership and life skills; the ability to deal with adversity over the long-term and make positive choices in their lives
Safe and Accessible
VIBE Arts operates at the intersection of arts and belonging. We know that not everyone has access to the arts; this is felt especially by people who live outside of the urban core.
Members of equity-seeking groups including newcomer Canadians, racialized young people, Indigenous youth, the LGBTQ+ community and individuals living in poverty face complex barriers. VIBE works directly within these communities to involve thousands of people each year in free arts experiences.
We bring young people together to collaborate in safe and accessible spaces and tap into the creative potential that lies in every corner of our province. VIBE programs develop life-long skills, nurture community connections and spark creativity.
Together, we work to realize a future where every young person is equipped to contribute creatively to society.
VIBE Arts and COVID-19
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, VIBE has been called on to assist front-line organizations by delivering arts programming to bring joy and combat isolation to Ontario‘s most vulnerable children, youth, and seniors including those living in long-term care, shelters, correction centres and hospitals. We continue to keep these populations engaged, connected and creative through hybrid program offerings.
Read our Resilience Report and Look Back on a Year of Resilience.
VIBE Arts strives to tell the stories of the many communities we serve, both past and present, and we recognize that we cannot do so without first reflecting on the rich Indigenous history of the land on which we live and how it came to be possessed by settlers. Many of us have grown up, lived and worked in this city not knowing the history of Indigenous peoples, or the names of the traditional territories on which we now stand. In order to create better understanding, and help give visibility to the Indigenous peoples who live, and have lived, on this land for 13,000 years, we would like to acknowledge that the land on which we are located is part of many nations: the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Anishnawbe, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron Wendat.
Today, the meeting place of Toronto (which comes from the Haudenosaunee word Tkaronto, meaning “where there are trees standing in the water”) is home to many who are Indigenous to Turtle Island. VIBE Arts is grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory, and we recognize that our acknowledgement–like reconciliation-is an ongoing, ever changing, dialogue.