Youth Arts Council 2017/18

Place des Arts' 2017-2018 Youth Arts Council

Meet the 18 talented teens in our 2017/18 Youth Arts Council (YAC)!

Place des Arts formed our Youth Arts Council to encourage local teens to engage with the arts community. This dedicated group of volunteers meets regularly to organize and host two youth-oriented events each year and advise Place des Arts on teen engagement.

Youth Arts Council Executive

Kara Han, President 2017-18 Youth Arts CouncilKara Han: President

Kara attends grade 12 at Dr. Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam. She joined the YAC because she feels it’s a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community whilst learning new skills and adapting to new situations. She very much enjoys creating something meaningful and feels that being on the YAC will help her achieve that.

Kara is a pianist and junior piano teacher at Place des Arts and believes participation in the arts is important for youth because it’s the perfect way to express yourself. She says, “There are no rules, no right or wrong; you just take whatever you imagine in your head and translate it into reality.”

Alice Pinheiro, Director of Marketing Youth Arts CouncilAlice Pinheiro: Director of Marketing
Alice attends Urban Academy school in New Westminster and joined the YAC because she believes in the importance of arts education and hopes to help expose more people her age to the arts. She enjoys the performing arts and is part of the Rock Band and Drama Club at her school, which she finds allow her to step out of her comfort zone and learn new skills.

Through participating in the YAC, Alice hopes to strengthen her leadership and communication skills by meeting new people and learning to work with others as a team. She also wants to bring new ideas to the Youth Arts Council and promises to work hard to create events that will give teens opportunities to explore their artistic side.

Jaimie Lee, Director of Community Events Youth Arts CouncilJaimie Lee: Director of Community Events
Jamie is in grade 11 at Port Moody Secondary and is back for her second year with the YAC. She joined the YAC because she has been part of the Place des Arts community since she was six and wants to give back for all the valuable experiences she has had throughout the years.

Jamie has studied a variety of art forms, but her passion is for dance. She believes there are many benefits from participating in the arts that allow youth today to strive for a greater tomorrow, such as developing the ability to adapt to different situations, bringing richness and meaning into their lives and establishing confidence and self-esteem.

Maggie YangMaggie Yang: Director of External Relations
Maggie is a grade 12 student at Port Moody Secondary. She joined the YAC to get involved in the local community and to challenge herself and work in a collaborative setting with like-minded peers with a passion for the arts.

Maggie is a singer, dancer and musician who believes that the arts provide a positive outlet for youth to express themselves in meaningful ways and can be a rewarding distraction from the monotony of everyday life. The arts promote a deeper understanding of culture and teach meaningful skills that are critical to the development of youth.  Although she plans to major in biology at university, she hopes to set aside time to continue her pursuit of the arts.

Monica Bassili, Director of Internal Relations Youth Arts CouncilMonica Bassili: Director of Internal Relations
Monica is in grade 12 at Dr. Charles Best Secondary and joint the YAC to give back to her community. She is particularly interested in reaching out and giving back to her peers and helping them find balance in their lives through participating in the arts.

Monica writes regularly and credits it with providing a means of self-expression, achieving academic excellence and even landing a job. She believes the arts are critical for youth, even those who are academically oriented, because they bring creativity and light to a person’s world, alleviate stress and provide opportunities for self-fulfillment and pride. She bemoans the lack of arts education in public schools and feels youth therefore miss chances to discover their passion.

Yeji Kim, Director of Finance Youth Arts CouncilYeji Kim: Director of Finance
Yeji is a grade 12 student at Port Moody Secondary. She joined the YAC to become involved in a broad arts community and help make the arts more accessible to anyone who is interested. She enjoys participating in the visual arts and plays in a string orchestra as a violist. Yeji finds that participating in the arts provides a valuable outlet for creative self-expression.

Yeji believes the arts have the capacity and potential to enrich lives, whether as a hobby or a career. She hopes to pursue animation and/or the visual arts post-secondary.


Members at Large

Aariyana SayaniAariyana Sayani
Aariyana is a grade 12 student at Moscrop Seconday in Burnaby. She joined the YAC to further develop her leadership, teamwork and communications skills and as a way to ensure her passion for the arts is expressed into the community.

Aariyana has played guitar for five years, participates in her school dance program and is a published writer. She says, “Providing youth with arts education not only gives them something to do, but also gives them a safe and creative way to discover what they are truly capable of.”

Anella SchablerAnella Schabler
Anella is a grade 9 student in the French Immersion program at Riverside Secondary. She joined the YAC to use her immense passion for art and share it with others. She wants to work with the other committee members to engage other teens in any form of arts.

Anella is a multi-disciplinary artist who studies and practices visual art, photography, dance and music (piano). She says art helps her get through challenging times, and she immerses herself in her art practices to express her emotions, help with problem solving and relieve stress. She hopes to pursue the arts as a career, but has yet to decide which artistic path she will follow.

Annette ChenAnnette Chen
Annette is a grade 12 student at Burnaby Mountain Secondary. She joined YAC because it combines two of her passions: serving the community and the arts. Annette loves learning and discovering all types of visual art forms and says her passion for the arts inspires her to invest in a future career related to the field.

Annette believes art is important to youth because it provides a unique and creative outlet to freely express yourself and your emotions. She says, “Participating in the arts is like taking a breather - finding a moment of peace to relax and have fun.”

Anika KimAnika Kim
Anika is a grade 12 student at Charles Best Secondary. She joined the Youth Arts Council because, she says, “I love what Place des Arts is trying to create: an environment for more youth to engage in the arts. Giving the youth in our community more opportunities to express and connect with themselves through different mediums is a great idea, and I am thankful we have an art centre that inspires the artist in everyone.”

She joined YAC to give back to the Place des Arts community and help teens get enged in the arts. Anika wants to use her abilities and passion to help organize the YAC events and be a positive influence to younger artists in our community.

Calvin ChoiCalvin Choi
Calvin is a grade 12 student at Centennial Secondary in Coquitlam, and this is his third year on the YAC. Calvin is a keen writer and enjoys reading literature, skills that have helped him as a passionate and award-winning public speaker. He joined the YAC to make new connections, make an impact in his local community and hopefully better himself as a well-rounded person. This is his third year with YAC, and he hopes to build on the success of last year’s council and help make the events more organized this year.

Calvin says, “Teens nowadays face a myriad of problems every single day. Art allows the modern-day student to escape, if even only for the time it takes to paint a picture, sing a song, and/or write a story.” 

Carrie LiCarrie Li
Carrie is in grade 12 at Burnaby Mountain Secondary. She joined the YAC to enhance her extracurricular activities and strengthen leadership and communication skills. She hopes to contribute positively to the YAC, meet new people and build new skills.

Carrie says that the arts are very important because youth are so busy and stressed out all the time, it is very hard to find a quiet time out. She says, "The arts are fun, creative, enjoyable and limitless - they have only benefits. They help people develop skills and create a stress-free environment where everyone can let go and express emotions in a positive way."

Deon Fong IllustrationDeon Feng
Deon is a grade 10 student at Gleneagle Secondary. She joined the YAC to gain leadership skills in an art-related setting. Deon is a visual artist currently studying with Don Portelance at Place des Arts. She believes that creating art brings a momentary escape from reality into the zone of the imagination and says, “My skill in visual art has helped me incorporate a higher level of creativity and view subjects with different perspectives in school projects.”

Deon feels that participation in the arts is important and says, “The creative impulse is found within every human, and if we provide opportunities for youth to explore this form of self-expression, I think it will literally open up endless possibilities of richness to their lives.”

Francesca LimFrancesca Lim
Francesca is in grade 12 at Little Flower Academy. She joined the YAC to learn and develop leadership skills and to work with people who are creative and team oriented, as well as those who enjoy all forms of art. Her goal is to organize and host successful and entertaining events for youth.

Fransesca practices dance in various styles such as ballet, tap and hip hop. She enjoys dance because it takes her mind off school and has helped her become more focused, creative and hard working. She believes the arts are important for youth because they allow people to be creative in anything and everything and allow youth to explore and learn things not necessarily provided in schools.

Himaja MankalaHimaja Mankala
Himaja attends Port Moody Secondary in grade 11. She joined the YAC to share her passion and experiences, and encourage youth to explore the world of art. She looks forward to meeting new people of different backgrounds and cultures and feels it will be a great leadership opportunity and learning experience that will bring her closer to her community.

Himaja practices a variety of art forms including music, visual art and the performing arts. She says, “I take pleasure in spending my time creating, because it allows you to grow and improve; seeing other creations keeps your ideas fresh and shows you all the possibilities.” She feels it is crucial for youth to participate in the arts because, as she says, the world of art accommodates all skill levels and interests with opportunities for everyone.

Kelsea VanceKelsea Vance
Keslea is a grade 11 student at Gleneagle Secondary. She joined the YAC in 2016/17 to contribute to her local community and impact it in a way that includes the arts. This year, she hopes to contribute her creative wit to all future events the YAC plans and to provide artistic opportunities to people who may not always have the time to pursue such interests.

Kelsea says she has an intense love for visual arts and is working to sharpen her skills in drawing and painting, which she’ll need to pursue her dream career in animation. Kelsea believes that art creates an outlet for youth who are having a hard time with school, family, etc. She says, “It’s not always easy being a teenager, and the arts are a great way to express oneself when struggling with things.”

Matthew MiharijaMatthew Miharija
Matthew attends grade 12 at Centennial Secondary and joined the YAC to build leadership and teamwork skills.  He also wants to challenge himself to become more outgoing.

Matthew draws and has studied piano. He says that drawing helps him relax and focus on new projects and gives him the edge in history and geography class when he needs to draw maps! Matthew believes the arts help improve creativity and imagination and support teamwork.

Ruby TaylorRuby Taylor
Ruby is a grade 10 student at Port Moody Secondary. She joined the YAC to better connect with the local arts community and encourage other youth to pursue their interests in the arts. Ruby has been singing for a while and says it has made a big difference in her life. She says, “The ability to communicate feelings and emotions through song that you can’t with words has opened up my eyes to a new world of musical expression.”

Ruby feels that the arts are an essential part of any person’s education and help people develop the skills necessary to community with others and learn more about yourself.