Arts in the North

ArtsCan Circle is an organization whose work I’ve been covering almost since my first day on the job here. They send teams of Canadian musicians and artists to remote indigenous communities to give kids a shot at creativity and a chance to escape from everyday life, which as I’m sure you know, is sometimes not always the greatest when you’re in a remote, rural, Northern community.

A few months ago, a team had planned to go up north but awful weather grounded their plane at the airport here in town, and making the best of it, they toured local schools and set up an impromptu benefit concert. I had the pleasure of hearing founder Mike Steven’s story of an intense experience in remote Labrador started the whole endeavour, in person, but I highly recommend you take a few minutes and read or listen to it for yourself, here.

The team has a mandate to only visit communities to which they can return, so the children involved have continuity. To that end, ArtsCan Circle can only work in a limited number of towns due to limited resources.

I had an email from one of the crew yesterday letting me know about a few upcoming dates and asking me to pass along the message that this is ArtsCan Circle’s Aeroplan Miles campaign month. Donations of Aeroplan Miles help ArtsCan Circle’s teams get out to Labrador and up to Thunder Bay, from which they continue to travel to the far-flung remote communities.

To donate, check out

If supporting youth arts programming sounds like a good idea, I would also suggest you take a look at DAREarts, an organization doing similar things for youth all across Canada and specifically in Aboriginal communities.

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