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DAREarts Toronto All-The-Arts Program

All-the-Arts core program offered in Toronto is a out-of-school workshop program for children and youth aged 9 - 14, who are facing life challenges. Hands-on participation in all the arts Visual Art, Architecture, Music, Dance, Drama, Literature, Fashion/Design and Culinary Arts, and interaction with arts professionals, leads the children to discover their abilities while building self-esteem and motivation. The children share their experiences with their peers, with support from their teachers, and lead others in shaping a vibrant community.

The arts empower children by providing opportunities for positive risk-taking and creative self-expression. By building confidence, courage and leadership, the arts enhance learning and help kids make wise life choices.

Take A Look at a DAREarts Day


Registration Forms

  • Winter Program (Northwest Etobicoke & Area) registration is now closed
  • 2018 School Registration Package - Spring Program (Downtown Toronto & Scarborough Areas)


Frequently Asked Questions for Parents/Guardians, Schools & Teachers


My school would like to participate in DAREarts. How do we sign up?
The registration form can be found on our website in the DAREarts Toronto section under “Programs”.  Please contact us as soon as you are interested in registering, as spaces fill up quickly and there may be a waiting list.
Why should I register my school/child for the DAREarts program?
The DAREarts program offers unique arts & culture educational opportunities to children who are in need of bringing out their inner leader and who would not otherwise have such opportunities. An ideal DAREarts candidate is at risk of not reaching his or her potential. If you have a child who fits the criteria of being "at risk" and needs experiences that promote leadership skills outside of the classroom, DAREarts is a perfect fit!
What is the cost?
The cost of the program is a minimal $25 registration fee per child, and additional fees for transportation if needed. Either the school or the parents can pay this fee.
My child has been chosen by the school for the DAREarts program. Is he/she going to be registered just for this school year or for every year following, through grade 8?
Each registration is for one year only.  If you would like your child to continue in future years, consult with your school to see if they will register your child to continue in the program for subsequent years.
My child was chosen for program by the school last year, but this year the school chose different children. Why did this happen, and what are my options?
While DAREarts encourages schools to send children from previous years back to the program if they are still in need of the leadership opportunities we offer, the decision is the school's discretion. The schools may decide that another child may be in more critical need of these opportunities. If you strongly feel that your child is in need of additional years at DAREarts, please contact us directly at 1-888-540-2787. If space is still available, we may be able to include your child again.
My child participated in the program last year, and we would like for him/her to continue. However, we have moved and our child has changed schools. Is it still possible to send him/her to the program?
If your child is still in the greater Toronto area, he/she might be able to continue attending DAREarts pending space availability and access to transportation. Please call 1-888-540-2787 or email info@darearts.com to discuss possibilities.
A child at my school is signed up for DAREarts as an "independent" student, but my school is not registered for the program. What does this mean, and who is responsible for the child on his/her DAREarts days?
When a parent/guardian wants their child to participate in the program but the child's school is not registered, they have the right to register the child without the school's involvement. If the child is approved for registration by DAREarts, they are registered entirely under the parent's consent, without principal signatures. The parent/guardian of the student is entirely responsible for his/her involvement in the program, and for taking steps to notify the school and call in an absence to the school on each DAREarts day.


What does "at risk" mean?
To ensure that the students being selected by their schools for DAREarts meet our criteria, we have chosen to use the words "at risk" to define our target demographic. The reasons that a child may fit into the 'at risk' category depend on the child's personal circumstances; examples include lack of opportunities, a challenging home life, bullying, low self-esteem, challenges learning through traditional methods, children who find school "boring" or "too easy", social anxiety, or impulse control challenges. A child can have very supportive family or teachers in his/her life, but still be considered 'at risk' due to external or systemic challenges they may be facing.
Why was my child chosen by his/her school for the DAREarts program?
If you are unsure as to why your child was chosen for the DAREarts program, it would be best to speak to his/her teacher. The reasons for selecting a child for the program can vary widely, from issues such as shyness, impulse control, or boredom in the classroom to lack of opportunities or challenges with bullying. The common connection between all DAREarts children is that they have incredible leadership potential – they just need the opportunity to unlock it.
Why can each school only send two students per grade to be 'delegates'?
By only accepting two students per grade from each school, each DAREarts class is made up of children who do not know each other well. This means that the children have the opportunity to learn in an environment that is free from the labels or peer pressure that may be the norm for them at their school. By encouraging children to step out of their comfort zones in a safe environment, they are able to more quickly become leaders who can ignite positive change.


What is a DAREarts day like?
Each DAREarts day runs from 9:30am to 2:15pm. Once all student delegates have arrived, the class begins with an "opening circle", where delegates are introduced to the topics of the day, including the five "hand words" that they will share the next day with their peers at school, and are encouraged to participate in warm-up discussions. For half of the day, the delegates will engage in workshops with artists and educators, and for the other half of the day the delegates will participate in an arts activity that engages their creativity and knowledge. The workshops, artist-educators, and activities vary each day. At the end of each DAREarts day, the delegates have a "closing circle" to reflect on the day and to prepare them to share their knowledge with their peers at school.
How many children are in a DAREarts class?
We aim to cap our Toronto classes at 30 students per grade to ensure optimum safety. Most DAREarts classes operate at capacity due to the high demand for the program.
How many teachers/supervisors are on site each DAREarts day?
On each DAREarts day, there are at least 3 DAREarts staff members with the class at all times. This includes an OCT certified teacher, plus two teaching assistants. For DAREarts days with more movement or venues, we include a second certified teacher on site. All DAREarts staff who are in contact with the students on a recurring basis are required to have a recent vulnerable sector screening check.
As a teacher, I am concerned that our student in DAREarts will take up too much class time with his/her presentation, or make other students who are not involved jealous of the experience. Are the next-day presentations necessary?
The next-day classroom presentations are vital to the success of the program, and are mandatory for schools to be involved but they need take no more than five minutes. At the end of each DAREarts day, we prep the student delegates to present to their class, but we need your help to ensure that they keep the presentation focussed on what they learned rather than the "field trip" aspect of the day. At the end of each DAREarts day, all involved classroom teachers and schools are emailed a summary of the Day plus questions to prompt the student delegates during their presentations. Having this summary and the questions on hand during your DAREarts student's presentation is key to keeping the presentation focused on the five words rather than on the activities. This will ensure that your entire class benefits from the presentation as they share in the knowledge of the five "hand words" learned, rather than any missed experience.
What should my child bring for his/her DAREarts days?
Please have your child bring his/her lunch and DAREarts duotang. The duotang is received on the first DAREarts Day. A nutritious morning snack is provided by DAREarts on each DAREarts Day.
Should I send my child with a packed lunch?
Yes. Please ensure that there are no nut products in the packed lunch, as other children have severe nut allergies.
My child has food allergies. How does DAREarts accommodate this?
When registering your child, be sure to indicate all known allergies and/or health conditions on his/her registration form in the spaces provided. Allergies are noted by staff prior to the start of program, and we ensure that the snack provided or any food items given to delegates do not contain the known allergens. If your child has an anaphylactic response to a food item, please indicate this on his/her form and we will contact parents and schools to ensure that this allergen is not brought in any student lunches. The DAREarts first aid kit does contain an epi pen and the DAREarts Teaching Team is trained in First Aid/CPR.
Does my child/student need to attend the end-of-term showcase?
The end of term showcase, or Promenade, is critical to the success of each child. Each DAREarts day works to build on different elements of the showcase, and attendance is critical to completing the program. Please plan to attend the showcase to celebrate your child's success in learning and in becoming a leader.


What do I do if my child will be absent for a DAREarts day?
If your child is going to be absent for a DAREarts day, please call the DAREarts office at 905-729-0097 or 1-888-540-2787 to report your child's name, his/her school, and the reason for the absence. If a child Delegate has repeated unexplained or inappropriate absences, DAREarts reserves the right to remove him/her from the program. Appropriate absences, such as illness, family emergencies or field trips, will not be counted against a Delegate's overall involvement. If your child will also be absent from school for the day, please also ensure that you contact your child's school directly.
My child/student is very active in school teams and will likely be absent for multiple DAREarts Days. Is it still possible for him/her to attend?
If the child's priority is his/her school club activities, it is in the best interest of everyone that his/her space go to another child who is less involved and more in need of the opportunities we provide.
Should I be concerned about my child/student missing school on his/her DAREarts Days?
When your child is at DAREarts, he/she is engaged in incredible learning opportunities. Our teaching team has very high expectations, both educationally and in behaviour. While they may be missing a few days of school to take part in the program, students in the program return to school with more enthusiasm and the desire to learn and be their best possible selves. The majority of DAREarts students report little to no difficulty in catching up on missed schoolwork.
How are absences handled on DAREarts days? / What are your safe arrival procedures?
At the start of each DAREarts day, the Teaching Team reports any absences immediately to the Program Coordinator at the DAREarts office. Once reported, the coordinator phones the absent Delegate's school to report the absence and to check if the school knows the reason for the absence if a parent/guardian has not already reported it to the DAREarts office. If no reason is known, the coordinator will then phone the Delegate's home for further information. We strive to ensure that the location of any absent Delegate is known by both us and the child's school to ensure that the child is safe.
As a teacher, I have decided to keep one of my DAREarts Delegates at school instead of sending him/her to a DAREarts Day. What are my responsibilities in this situation?
If you decide to keep a child at school instead of sending him/her to a DAREarts Day, you must ensure that the parent(s)/guardian(s) are aware of the situation and have agreed to the change for safety purposes. After the parent(s)/guardian(s) is notified, please call the DAREarts office right away to explain the situation and the reasoning as to why the child is remaining at school for the day. Please reserve these types of decisions for situations that cannot be altered, such as EQAO testing.


How will my child/students be transported to and from the DAREarts program?
Transportation to the DAREarts program varies per school. Please contact us directly for your options. If a student is registered independently, the parent/guardian is responsible for transportation arrangements. Parents should contact us directly if assistance is needed in getting a child to/from program.
There is no DAREarts bussing available at my child's school. Why do some children have access to the bus and others do not?
Transportation provided by DAREarts is limited due to our budget as a charity. We can only provide transportation that we can afford and so we prioritize students who are in areas with limited access to transit, such as those furthest away from downtown.
There are no transportation options available for my student/child through DAREarts. How can he/she get to the DAREarts program?
If transportation through DAREarts is not available, it is left to the registered school and/or parent(s)/guardian(s) to work out how their students/children will be transported to and from program. The venues used for DAREarts Days are located in downtown areas that are easily accessible by TTC, and we suggest that Delegates living near the subway utilize the TTC with parental permission and/or supervision.

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Everything I learn at DAREarts never goes away.