Youth Art Showcase

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Arts of August is a free, city-wide initiative of artistic expression, dedication and humanitarianism by Hamilton youth (13 to 25) and their children, inspired by the Anti-Racism Initiative of Living Rock Ministries in 2003. Youth present themes of peace, equality, love and culture and encouraged to see themselves as global citizens.


The vision of this initiative:

To foster creative expression and talent in youth-at-risk and engage them in opportunities for art expression which foster social inclusion, confidence and creativity


There were 26 formal workshops at Living Rock, community programs, guest artists, mentors and Rock volunteers. 

Celebrity judges choose “closest to the theme” prizes and youth are honoured with flowers, certificates and prizes for their efforts.


The greater community will encourage youth and help celebrate “Youth Matter” Campaign.

         With Hamilton’s 2015 focus on the Pan Am Games, the 13th Annual Arts of August started with a very positive

outreach opportunity at “It’s Your Festival” at Gage Park.  The community was invited to do art and inspirational comments relate to the themes of peace, equality, love and culture, while learning about Arts of August.  Youth models and artists registered at the festival.

At all the Fashion Show practices, there were games and exercises that promoted team building, shared learning and respect.  There was a real effort this year to create an environment at The Gas Works venue that youth will feel special and like celebrities.  Groom for Men came on-site and the girls went to Lorenzo’s School of Hair

Design.  Each youth got a picture with Larry Strung from Stungfoto.  Larry does an incredible job treating youth with professionalism and making them feel important and valued.  The hard work of summer staff created a magical experience for models and Celebrities.  Community encourages the youth through “Comment Cards” at the Grand Finale. 

The media helped to promote and cover the positive message of youth through the initiative. Lisa Hepfner, CHCH Broadcaster was the MC for the Fashion Show.

Youth receive prizes and awards.  David Christopherson, MP for Hamilton Centre provides certificates for all

       models and participants.

There was a September Art Showcase at the downtown Hamilton Public Library.


To provide opportunities for youth to participate in activities that will support a cause which will help them see the needs of others, allowing them to become better global citizens. 


Youth in programs voted on the cause for 2015.  They picked “Human Trafficking in China through World Vision.  World Vision staff used video and a creative presentation to share the cause with community at the event.  Youth decorate and learn about the cause through programs and Fashion Show rehearsals. 


Wei (Summer) Jiang is an international student hailing from China and volunteered with the Arts of August Fashion Show, both as a model and as creative designer. Completing her Master’s in finance and economics, Summer has been volunteering in the Living Rock Food Bank. Here is what she has to say regarding her experience:


 “As one member of Living Rock’s Food Bank team, I am glad to take part in the Fashion Show event. I enjoyed the time drawing posters for the event and watching the costume show given by our volunteers and models. This year is the 13th annual celebration of the fashion show, the theme of which is ‘To End Human Trafficking in China’. I also feel honored to volunteer in this event as I came from China just one year ago. It is so creative to combine a fashion show of world’s culture and a presentation of a world focused on youth issues. People within the community came by and enjoyed the costumes from all over the world, from Asian cheongsam to a Scottish kilt. What attracts me the most is to provide a global version and to arouse people’s awareness to care about people all around the world through a world culture show. People’s passion for this show really touched me and makes me feel engaged. The fashion show was a unique and meaningful experience for me, which gives me a deeper understanding of the themes of Living Rock’s Art of August events, “Peace,      Equality, Culture and Love.”



AoA Through the Years

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905-528-ROCK (7625)

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                      2015 Statistics


31          youth models helped to put on

             the Fashion Show


100        people attended the Creativity

             Through Diversity Fashion Show


108        108 pieces of art submitted


125        people attended the Grand

             Finale Including  10 Celebrity 

             Models &  Partners


52         youth artists

World Vision • City of Hamilton • The Gas Works • Lisa Hepfner (CHCH Anchor) • Jamie Clark (World Vision) • Penny Pincher Costumes • Voortman Cookies • The Jump Off • Hamilton School of Martial Arts • Moores Men’s Clothing • Brandom McEachern (Model) • Mark

Hebscher (CHCH Host) • Sarah Tracz (HWDSB) • Hamilton Tiger-Cat Cheerleaders • Jean’s Flower Shop • Kind Exchange • Groom for Men •

Laurenzo’s School of Hair Design • Cable 14 • Snapd • Immigrant

Culture and Art Association • Focus on Youth • Hamilton Arts Council • Hamilton Regional Indian Centre • HARRRP • Re-Create • Art Forms • Liberty for Youth •  Westly Urban Ministries • Centre 3 • Scotiabank • The Pearl Company • NGEN • Hamilton Artsist Inc.• Strungfoto •

Shannon Craig Photography • Urban Green •  The Factory Media Centre