Art and Recreation Program

Project title: Art & Recreation Program

 Participatory Budgeting funding request: $14,500

 Organization/Individual: Downtown Blanshard Advisory Committee

 Location: Quadra Village Community Centre

What is your project?

 Quadra Village Community Centre (QVCC) is located directly across from the largest concentrated low-income housing development in Greater Victoria and in the heart of a low-income, high-density, inner-city area of Victoria. Addressing a lack of opportunity for low income children and youth is a key focus for our organization.

The Art and Recreation Program (ARP) engages up to 13 youth each session between the ages of 9-15 living in the Hillside/Quadra and surrounding area. The ARP will run weekly and will provide healthy activities. There is a financial barrier for youth living in this area and most of the youth cannot afford the art and recreational activities outlined below.

The ARP will provide 15 Art Night sessions such as but not limited to Victoria Art Galley, Coast Salish art design, cedar roses, pottery, ceramics, canvas art, dream catchers, drawing, sculpting and cedar weaving. The ARP will provide 15 Recreation Night sessions such as but not limited to swimming, skate parks, rock climbing, hiking, and paddle boarding.

QVCC youth have said that they love doing art and love going out and exploring the city doing recreational activities. Our youth have expressed that they have enjoyed going on out-trips as many of them where based in nature. Youth living in the Hillside/Quadra area come with multiple barriers such as financial, transportation and food insecurity. The ARP helps breakdown these barriers of poverty by providing this program for free and providing food at each session.

How does your project benefit the lives of youth in Victoria?

The mission of QVCC is to work together to nurture community well-being by providing services and programs to meet social, educational, health, employment, environmental and recreational needs of people in Hillside-Quadra in a safe and welcoming environment. Victoria’s Vital Sign’s indicated that we could improve the city by supporting arts and providing art opportunities that reflect diverse populations as well as providing access to low-income recreational programs and that there was insufficient support for vulnerable populations. The ARP provides youth opportunity to build their physical, social, creative and emotional capacities while breaking down the barriers of poverty of underprivileged youth living in the City of Victoria.

As well according to the Bissell Centre recreation for [youth] living in poverty has significant benefits that can help mitigate some of the effects of poverty such as loneliness, social isolation, low self-worth, depression, and physical and mental health issues. And the article The Impacts of Art on Trouble Youth states [arts] can have a very positive affect on youth that are facing tough challenges in their lives. Research has proven that at-risk youth who have access to the arts, in or out of school, tend to have better academic results, greater likelihood of college enrollment, increased self-esteem and resiliency, better workforce opportunities, improved emotional intelligence, and more civic engagement, such as voting and volunteering.

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