Last November, the heartwarming smiles on the faces of newcomer students and parents from the SWIS Byng Project 3B added glitter to the already shining Kits House. The exciting three day Kits House Housewarming attracted over 2,500 guests and visitors from near and far. The 60 newcomer students and parents from the SWIS Byng Project 3B were particularly proud to be invited to wow the crowd on the Community Main Stage of this brand new community facility. Their fabulous multicultural performance with rich colour and tradition was one of the highlights showcasing the talents of newcomers in our community.
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House ('Kits House') is a non-profit charity organization dedicated to providing social services and programs to families, youth, newcomers and seniors, with a particular focus on those most vulnerable, such as isolated seniors and newcomer families. The new facility features preserved heritage buildings, 15 units of affordable senior housing, a 25-space daycare, a commercial kitchen for food security programs and a community hall for future gatherings and events.
Earlier in May, the SWIS Byng Project 3B also hosted the Art Shines for Love variety show, a large scale fundraiser that brought together over 150 young artists, volunteers, professional artists, as well as community leaders throughout the city to contribute to the event. The fundraiser consisted of an "Emerging Young Artists Painting Silent Auction," as well as a multicultural variety show. Collectively, the two programs raised $4,800 contributing towards the Kits House redevelopment project.
Art Shines For Love is an excellent example of our community-building community. The initiative was organized by the VSB SWIS Program: Byng Project 3B, Canada Youth Arts Development Foundation, Sacrificium Society of Productions (SSOP), and the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House (Kits House), along with the support of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Association as well as MOSAIC. The event brought community talent and resources together to build and enhance the capacity of our newcomer and immigrant community in schools.
This year, Project 3B will be embarking on three projects. Early February 2015, the program will be offering "Newcomer Youth Leadership Training" in collaboration with S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and with funding support from the City of Vancouver. From January to May, Project 3B will be co-organizing the third Youth World Cup Live Painting Competition with the Canada Youth Arts Development Foundation to provide opportunities for newcomer students to use their artistic talents to support global youth art development and charitable causes. In addition, Project 3B will be hosting the UNICEF "School In a Box" Youth Ambassador leadership project with the support of the UNICEF Canada. It is hoped that these projects will provide valuable opportunities to train, connect, engage and empower newcomers in schools, communities and around the globe.
Click here to revisit Project 3B at Kits House's Housewarming Celebration or click here to view the Art Shines For Love photos.