Please make sure you spare some time between Thursday September 15 and Sunday September 25 to be part of a very special event involving Thinking Forward. Our organization has been involved in a collaboration with Blank Canvases, an art program that ‘uses the authentic artistic approach to inspire children and stimulate creative thinking’. Some students from Central Toronto Academy have been participating in art and leadership workshops to prepare for a multi-disciplinary art exhibition. The in/Future event is being hosted at Ontario Place on the dates listed above.

The Thinking Forward-Blank Canvases project is entitled ‘Beautiful Waste’, and is leading students to discover how found objects can be repurposed as artwork. One Grade 10 student explains: “the lead up to this point has been an enriching and learning opportunity. The first thing we did as a group was create individual vision boards which had to represent what we wanted the future of Toronto to look like. This guided me into the final project, what did I want to see our future as – with our waste in it. As a group we had to collaborate and organize which taught us more about working on big scale art installations but also the importance of group leadership.”

Each of the students will be further exercising their leadership skills as they take part in facilitating Thinking Forward’s programming in elementary schools. Another student says, “I’m looking forward to leading classes and helping kids make their project and seeing their love for art shine through.” That art, of course, is part of Thinking Forward’s anti-bullying character education.

My initial thoughts were to encourage anyone reading this to attend the in/Future event in order to show support for Thinking Forward and for Blank Canvases. As I ruminate on the idea and the dates get closer, there is another great reason to attend: as we go to the event prepared to be led by and to learn from these students and pass on the positive things we take away from the presentation, we too can help build a stronger community. See you there!