Mississauga's Limelight Arts Crawl a Success


Mississauga didn't have to crawl too far this weekend to find talent at the Limelight Arts Crawl.

On May 5th, this first time event attracted over 100 people in celebration of National Youth Arts Week, which is a coast-to-coast celebration of youth-led creative expression and community involvement from May 1-7.

Presented by the Mississauga Arts Council's Limelight Youth Association, the walking tour featured live performances in music, dance and spoken word, as well as a variety of different visual arts.

"People didn't know that this kind of talent existed in Mississauga," said MAC youth program coordinator Heather Brissenden. "I feel like events like this are good to get everyone here so that we can see each other. Cause not only are musician's performing, but they're seeing visual art and they're seeing film makers and they're seeing dance artists."

What is so unique and different about this event are all the different artistic disciplines coming together and learning and sharing from each other.

"I never seen so much different art in one day," said Brissenden

What's even more amazing is that everything that was performed, produced and created was done so by local youth, and presented to the community for free. Brissenden said this allowed for a lot of families and kids to come out and get exposure to the arts, which she believes builds self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.

The festivities began on Saturday at the Living Arts Center lawn, where local musicians SEAM and Arlene Paculan performed original songs.

After performing, SEAM's lead singer Sean Sroka led the crowd through a seven-stop tour of different artistic forms.

"It's like we got the gang together and then it was follow the leader and we all went together," said Brissenden.

The first stop was through the Living Arts Center gallery where attendees saw "Visual Voices" a youth art exhibit.

Moving the tour down the street and back to the outdoors, guests saw grassroots break-dancing legend Marcelino DaCosta aka Frost perform alongside other local dancers. DaCosta, who started one of Canada's best-known B-Boy crews "Ground Illusionz" in 1999, gained some serious attention by stopping traffic on Saturday said Brissenden.

The traffic resumed and the crowed moved on to the next attraction just outside Second Cup. Here guests were treated to a live performance of Jennifer Cortez's new album, which features Latino pop and R&B tracks. Tour goers were also treated to international known James Faulkner who performed original songs of his debut album The Facts of Life. As if it couldn't get better, there was also a surprise visit and performance from world class singer and entertainer Cindy Ashton.

Moving on to Celebration Square guests gathered in front of the giant screen to watch a screening of Jeffrey A. Pike's original film. An art exhibit at the local YMCA, which was entitled The Woman in Us, followed as the next stop on the tour. This exhibit featured hot and fresh art by local painter Aveen Ismail.

"It explores healthy body image and is all for self-esteem and self-worth for young women," said Brissenden, which is a truly great message.

Moving things back inside, guests were taken to The Great Hall where they were exposed to spoken word from Matt Miller, ballroom dancing from Luiza Sadowski and aria's from MAC's own Sandra Cina.

Ending of the festivities was an open mic that was hosted by Iman Wain in the Living Arts Center's Rogers Theatre. Here guests of any age were allowed to showcase their talents to the crowd and other artists. The open mic featured everything from harp players, violinists, guitarists and pianists, as well as singers and poets. It was also a way for many local talents to network, which Wain says has helped her immensely in her own career.

"I got a lot of gigs in Toronto from pure networking," said Wain.

What was so amazing about the open mic, besides the talent, was that performers were inspiring other artists to go up and showcase their own talents. This was the case for Matin Khandwala who said that he started doing spoken word because of poets like Kareem Abdul Jabar (known on the Poetry Slam Circuit) and MAC intern Teddy Aksel. 

Overall the first ever Mississauga Arts Crawl was a massive success and has truly let the community know how amazing their natives are. To continues this success and allow youth to develop their skills even more Limelight is working on a mentoring program.

"We are linking up professional artists that make their living from the arts with emerging young artist. It's specialized so that we are matching each person's different skill set with the right mentor," said Brissenden. For more information about Limelight or how to get involved visit: http://www.mississaugaartscouncil.com/

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