AYE 2018 was Fantastic!

At Canada Bridges, we are very happy that our annual A Youth Explosion (AYE) continues to provide the youth with who we work, a much needed stage from which to kindly and bravely share their wisdom stories.

AYE 2018 was hosted on June 9, 2018 at Calgary’s the Big Secret Theatre.  The event saw a total of 10 young leaders utilizing various forms of the arts including singing, dancing, poetry and film production to tell their own stories of strength, struggles, challenges and resilience. All pieces were well received by a hospitable and diverse audience totaling approximately 125 individuals from across Treaty 7.

For the first time, the planning and execution of AYE was led by two youth coordinators ( Alanna and Sandis) with the oversight of a Canada Bridges Program Manager. The coordinators are past presenters at AYE, who, according to their account, benefitted greatly from the AYE experience and wanted to share the potential value of AYE with other presenters and attendees. The coordinators displayed great passion and creativity and the success of this year’s event in large measure can be attributed to them.

The show was divided by an intermission which allowed for audience members to interact with the first set of five presenters at the end of the first half of the event, and the second set of presenters at the ending. Audience members were also encouraged to leave comments for presenters by placing a note below their photographs located in the lobby area. This gesture was greatly appreciated by the presenters.

The feedback from presenters and audience was excellent. One presenter stated “I needed this” and overall impressions of the event from the audience ranged from, “it was well rehearsed” to “powerful brave messages”, and “it was great” to “fantastic – one of the best ever”. Based on this feedback, Canada Bridges remains convinced of the usefulness and importance of staging AYE for the youth with whom we partner, to have their voices heard, and tell their own compelling and empowering stories.  We aim to continue to take the suggestions of presenters, attendees and our partners on board in continuing to build and develop this event.

This year’s AYE was indeed great, and we will do our best to work along with the youth we serve to make next year’s event even greater. We look forward to seeing you there in 2019!

AYE was made possible by the support of the Suncor and all our amazing volunteers and community partners whom we value and appreciate very much.

Click here to see photos from AYE 2018