As the co-founder of Sentiment, Michael Robinson has many interesting ideas for mobilizing Saskatoon’s youth and helping people in the community.
Sentiment is a Saskatoon-based organization founded by Robinson and partner Devon Plett in 2010. Through hosting events and the selling of Sentiment’s product – mostly clothing – they are able to fund their initiatives in the city.
On March 9 at the Local Coffee Bar in Saskatoon, Sentiment held one of its largest art shows to date — including live music, products for sale and art displayed by artists who have mostly donated their work to the cause.
The majority of the profit Sentiment makes comes from their clothing sales and art shows, which then goes towards funding all sorts of events and charitable acts in Saskatoon.
“Sentiment’s purpose is to make Saskatoon a better place through the things that we love to do. There are certain passions that I have, there are certain passions that Devon has and then there are certain passions that other youth in the city have,” Robinson said. “Our goal is to unite those passions and create outlets for people in the city.”
In the past Sentiment has arranged a number of ways for Saskatoon youth to become positively involved in the community.
Every Christmas they co-ordinate hampers for families in the Meadow Green area of Saskatoon. This past year they were able to assist 20 families due to donations and an excess of available funding.
“We always give the opportunity for people in the community to come out — anyone’s invited. We’ve found that to be really rewarding, and over the years it has just grown and grown and it seems that every year we can do double the families,” Robinson said.
The organization has expanded rapidly since 2010, allowing for an increase in the scale of community involvement that Sentiment is capable of achieving.
“It’s a really cool thought that we could sell our product and make enough money to actually help that many families out,” said Robinson.
Sentiment has also incorporated other activities into their agenda, including a major longboarding event this past August. They were able to close off certain parts of the city downtown to give youth an opportunity to longboard by the river.
“It’s an outlet to connect with youth in the city and actually give them a place where they can have community together,” said Robinson.
Sentiment is an organization of many initiatives including sponsoring snowboard and skateboard teams who promote their clothing and are involved in youth-oriented snowboard and skateboard days. They also do snowboard and ski waxing, the profits of which go towards supporting a psychology student in Bolivia named David.
Robinson emphasized the importance of youth becoming involved in the community and supporting Saskatoon.
“I think a lot of youth expect older people to give them outlets for things to do in the city. I think it’s really important when youth get involved and actually create those different events because they know what they like and are best suited for creating those things,” said Robinson.
For more information on Sentiment or to order clothing online visit sentimentsk.ca.
A previous version of this article wrongly stated that Sentiment is a non-profit organization, which has now been corrected.
Naomi Zurevinski / Culture Editor