The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

National Youth Arts Week comes to town

By in Culture
NYAW volunteers meet with supporters at media launch.
NYAW volunteers meet with supporters at media launch.

With a multitude of events and workshops to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone at Saskatoon’s National Youth Arts Week.

Taking place from May 1-7, the event is intended as a means of spreading awareness for local arts communities across the country and bringing people aged 13 to 30 together around a shared interest in creative pursuits.

Although started by the Arts Network for Children and Youth in 2010, a national non-profit organization that works to strengthen and support Canada’s youth arts sector, NYAW has been spearheaded by local youth volunteers across the country since its second year. 2013’s exhibition is being overseen by Saskatoon’s Zondra Roy, a spoken word poet and hip hop artist who helps to develop youth outreach programs with the ANCY.

Saskatoon’s NYAW celebration will offer a wide variety of opportunities for people to try their hand at crafting their own masterpieces. Some events include a 24 hour-art-athon on May 1, the Talent Showcase highlighting local artwork on May 3 and the Hula Hoop and Prop Jam on May 6 that will teach participants to build their own hoops to take home.

This year’s NYAW will see Saskatoon’s coordinators partnering with the local chapter of Write Out Loud, a national group dedicated to the art of spoken word performance.

As a part of this partnership, WOL will be offering a lineup of writing and performance classes alongside the week’s other events. Categories include a series of spoken word workshops and showcases, a poetry slam for participants of all ages and the youth poetry slam finals that will bring together the Saskatoon Youth Slam Team.

Mckenzie Stewart preforming spoken word poetry
Mckenzie Stewart preforming spoken word poetry

“Our entire youth slam season builds up to the youth team selection, which is the central event for us at NYAW,” said Isaac Bond, Program Coordinator for WOL, of the youth poetry slam finals.

Although the partnership between WOL and NYAW is only in its first year, Bond believes there to be room for these two organizations to work together in the future.

“I think it’s a strong partnership, and I hope it endures,” Bond said via email. “There are so many different workshops that I’d love to offer in years to come, but as our community grows I’m hoping we can use partnerships to create more showcase opportunities for the young talent that abounds in this city.”

Having previously been funded through private means, Saskatoon’s NYAW has been able to increase its size for 2013 by developing sponsorships with Affinity Credit Union and local gallery PAVED Arts.

“I’m sure the people that go will be really glad,” said city councillor Charlie Clark, who came out to support NYAW at a media launch. “It sounds like there’s going to be some really great performances and they’re bringing in some top-line talent to help work with whoever’s there.

“It looks like it’s going to be an amazing week.”

For more information and a full lineup of events, visit NYAW’s website at

Photo: Zondra Roy

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