Thrive Youth Development Canada (formerly DAREarts)

Learn Create Explore

Since 1996 Thrive Youth (formerly, DAREarts) has been delivering creative leadership programs to children and youth in under-resourced communities across Canada. Our mission is to create safe and supportive spaces where children and youth can explore creative expression, learn about themselves and the world around them, and develop the skills and confidence needed to create positive change in their lives and their communities. Our in-school and extracurricular programs provide a supportive, hands-on environment for young people aged 9-18 to find their voice, connect with their peers and see themselves as the powerful agents of change they are. Students return to classes, more engaged, with stronger participation rates, ready to learn, challenge themselves, and take positive risks and are more likely to further their educational journey.

Learn Create Explore (formerly, All the Arts) is our longest-running program with a 26-year history. 20 students are selected from 10-15 different schools to come together and form a Thrive Youth cohort. One day each week, instead of going to school, they come to Thrive Youth where they learn, grow, and explore in a safe and supportive environment. Students benefit from exposure to creative mediums including music, dance, visual arts, STEAM, fashion, and beyond. Each day has specific learning outcomes rooted in our leadership development curriculum and Theory of Change Model. Students develop and exercise the fundamental skills of leadership: communication, self-expression, self-regulation, collaboration/teamwork, time management, conflict resolution, problem-solving and critical thinking.

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“The support of the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation enables us to hold space for children and youth to become more confident, capable, and connected through our programs. Because of this, young people who face barriers to opportunities and may not see what they’re capable of are instead given the chance to see their own power and thrive as their best selves. AMDF’s funding has ensured that we can continue to reach youth who are often hardest to reach with our programs, an act that is even more critical now than ever.”

Lisa Norton

Director Programs & Impact and Acting President & CEO