DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

March 29, 2012 15:20 ET

DAREarts Announces the 2012 DAREarts Cultural Award Recipient

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 29, 2012) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this release.

DAREarts announced today that the recipient of the 2012 DAREarts Cultural Award is Dr. Christopher Spence, Director of Education for the Toronto District School Board. This award will be presented on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at the 10th annual DAREarts Leadership Awards gala, hosted by Jeanne Beker, host of CTV's Fashion Television, as the first public event in the newly renovated Arcadian Court in Toronto.

DAREarts is a Canadian, not-for-profit charity whose alternative arts education programs empower at-risk youth to become leaders and ignite positive change in high priority communities. Each year, DAREarts presents a Cultural Award to an individual who has advanced Canadian culture in youth. At the DAREarts Leadership Awards, six teens whose lives have been forever changed by DAREarts will also be honoured with leadership awards for igniting positive change in their communities.

Dr. Spence is an ideal recipient of the DAREarts Cultural Award. He is a community leader, organizer, visionary and educational innovator and is committed to helping parents and teaching staff give TDSB students the tools they need to succeed. He leads the largest Board of Education in Canada and the fourth largest in North America. Dr. Spence is an advocate for all students and taught in one of the at-risk communities where DAREarts runs its programs. "Dr. Spence is an ideal recipient of the 2012 DAREarts Cultural Award," says Marilyn Field, DAREarts Founder & President. "His values in life and education parallel those of DAREarts, as they both empower vulnerable youth to ignite change in their lives and communities.

"I'm truly honoured to receive this award," said Dr. Spence. "We have to believe in our students so they believe in themselves. One of the best ways to inspire that confidence is by giving children new and exciting opportunities to participate in programs exactly like what DAREArts provides to our school communities."

Each Cultural and Leadership Award recipient is presented with a medallion designed by the late Canadian sculptor Dora de Pédery-Hunt, CM, O.Ont, renowned for creating the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on Canadian coins minted between 1990 and 2003. The Cultural Awards come displayed within an individually designed glass sculpture by renowned Canadian glass artist, Andrew Kuntz.

Past Cultural Award recipients are: the late soloists Maureen Forrester and Beverly Sills, Aline Chretien, Hon. James K. Bartelman, Robert Gillespie, Sonja & the late Thomas Bata, Gen. Rick Hiller, George Chuvalo, Albert Schultz, Karen Kain, Paul Henderson, Eugene Levy, Second City, Richard Patina and Charles Pachter.

At the 10th annual DAREarts Leadership Awards Gala, Canadian event designer Sinclair Russell will enhance the newly reopened Arcadian Court to support the Red Carpet Ready theme commemorating the 10th anniversary of the charity's main fundraising event. Guests will be welcomed into the dining room by the voices of ROC (Rexdale Outreach Choir), enjoy a sit-down dinner prepared by Oliver & Bonacini, silent and live auctions and live entertainment. Dinner will be interspersed with the presentations of the Awards and inspiring personal stories from the children on how DAREarts has changed their lives.

Dr. Chris Spence is a renowned educator, dedicated community advocate and author. He has more than 15 years senior administration and teaching experience, including serving as the Toronto District School Board's Direct of Education since July 2009. He has been widely recognized for his leadership work within the broader educational community managing issues, developing policy and promoting causes that benefit students. He played a significant role in the development of a number of successful initiatives, including Boys 2 Men, Young Women on the Move, Project G.O. (Girls only), and Read to Succeed, which motivates and teaches boys to read. These successful programs were featured in a documentary about Dr. Spence's life, Person to Person and in Reader's Digest. He serves on the Council of the Canadian Education Association and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in September 2011. For more information please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/director.

DAREarts gala host Jeanne Beker is one of the most iconic and influential women in the fashion industry, both here in Canada and around the world. Beker is host of CTV's FashionTelevision, Canada's leading fashion series, which also airs on E! and FashionTelevision Channel - Canada's first and only 24-hour channel dedicated to fashion, beauty and design. Jeanne is also a contributing editor for The Toronto Star, a columnist for Metro, a published author of five books (the latest two released in Spring 2011 - Finding Myself in Fashion and Strutting It: The Grit Behind The Glamour) and a regular style correspondent for Canada AM and etalk. Last year, Jeanne added a dose of style to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics with regular fashion segments for CTV and launched an exclusive clothing line titled "Edit by Jeanne Beker" available at The Bay stores across Canada. Recently, Jeanne travelled to London, England as a CTV Royal expert covering all things fashion as the world tuned in to watch William and Kate tie the knot at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011.

"Fashion represents the one creative exercise we're all compelled to take part in daily...," said Jeanne Beker. "It's also a great forum for personal expression and addresses the question of individuality and reflection of self. Studying fashion art as part of one's formal education gives young people a chance to not only reflect on, and better understand themselves, but also society as a whole. As a barometer of our times, fashion serves as a fascinating gage of popular culture, and has the potential to really bring artistic expression home for students."

About DAREarts

DAREarts is a Canadian, not-for-profit charity whose alternative arts education programs empower at-risk youth to become leaders and ignite positive change in high priority communities. DAREarts provides at-risk youth the opportunity to leave their routine classroom setting and visit renowned arts institutions, while learning to paint, sculpt, sing, dance and create from arts professionals. As the world of arts and culture opens up to them, the core power of the arts - Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence (DARE) - are harnessed. The result is that they build their confidence, courage and leadership potential to ignite positive change in their own lives and in their communities. In its 16th year, DAREarts has influenced the lives of more than 160,000 Canadian children in both urban and rural areas across Canada, including inner city GTA neighbourhoods and remote fly-in-only Aboriginal communities where this is such a high need.

Tickets for the 10th anniversary DAREarts Leadership Awards Gala are $300 or $3,000 for a corporate table and are available online at www.darearts.com or by calling 1-888-540-2787. The 10th anniversary of the DAREarts Leadership Awards gala is sponsored by Northbridge Insurance, Guy Carpenter and Scotiabank. For more information on DAREarts and how to get involved, please call 1-888-540-2787 or visit www.darearts.com.

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