DAREarts Leadership Awards 2018: Empowering Kids Igniting Change!

The 22nd annual DAREarts Leadership Awards, hosted by Jeanne Beker CM on May 10, 2018, raised $418,000 to help DAREarts empower 10,000 at-risk kids across Canada to ignite change.  Karl Subban was honoured as the 2018 DAREarts Cultural Awardee. Then seven youths were recognized for practicing leadership in their lives as they utilized the DARE of Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence.

These young Leadership Awardees were each introduced by their sponsor hosts: national supporter, Northbridge Insurance, lead supporters: Scotiabank and TD; and gold supporters: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Noront Resources and RBC.

The youths are: Sandy Amador-Olarte of Vancouver, Emilie de Caen of Toronto, Omar Hafidh of Rexdale, Sylvia Prodhan of Toronto, Tyler Shewaybick of Webequie FN, Aidan Soostar of Don Mills, and Patina Prize recipient Mariba Douglas of Scarborough. They each bravely took to the stage to share their stories of overcoming adversity including bullying, abuse, racism, sexism, anxiety and depression.   Guests were inspired by their messages that all children, no matter their challenge, can flourish with DAREarts programs, led by its fine teaching team.  Read their stories and those of many more kids across Canada in the new National Storybook at DAREarts.com.

From left to right: Mark LeBlanc of Northbridge Insurance with Aidan Soostar, Kristal Au-Yong of Scotiabank with Sylvia Prodhan, Gabriella King of Bank of America Merrill Lynch with Sandy Amador-Olarte, Kaitlyn Ferris of Noront Resources with Tyler Shewaybick, James Rausch of RBC presenting for Omar Hafidh, Judy Patina and Patina Prize recipient Mariba Douglas, and Tarik Muzaffar of TD Bank Group with Emilie De Caen
DAREarts Founder & President Marilyn Field presents Karl Subban with the DAREarts Cultural Award

This year’s Cultural Awardee Karl Subban, renowned Canadian educator, hockey dad to NHL stars, and best-selling author, further inspired the 400 supporters in attendance.  He spoke with passion about how we all can help kids achieve their potential by ourselves being ‘difference-makers’.

DAREarts Chair Tarik Muzaffar, shared the auctioneer role with Martin Ross, and ensured that, beyond five unique items, fifty guests raised their hands and generously sponsored children at $1,000 each to benefit from DAREarts programs!  Earlier in the evening, auctioneer Martin Ross introduced special guest, Wendel Clark, who welcomed the attendees and then auctioned three donated sets of signed Toronto Maple Leafs captains’ alumni hockey jerseys!

Auctioneer Martin Ross, Wendel Clark, and four of our most recent DAREarts Toronto grads

As guests arrived, they were warmly greeted by 20 recent DAREarts teen ‘graduates’ from Rexdale, who wore custom DAREarts hockey jerseys.  This special ‘team’ represented the 10,000 DAREarts kids across Canada who have been reached by DAREarts this year!

The elegant décor at The Carlu was generously created by designer Sinclair Russell and his volunteer team of Seneca College visual merchandising students.  Musicians Glenn Marais & The Mojo Train added a refreshing wave of old-school cool to today’s funky hits, plus a special performance of the DAREarts Webequie youths’ song of strength called ‘Spirit of the North’.

It was a triumphant night – all for the kids!


DAREarts is grateful to its National Supporter, Northbridge Insurance and our Lead Supporters: Scotiabank and TD. Gold supporters are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Noront Resources, and RBC.

We appreciate the evening’s many generous donors that included our, Event Committee led by Eileen Crichton, 40 volunteers and alumni, Adam Bower, Canadian Tire, Wendel Clark, Global Automakers of Canada, Play it Again Sports, Presidential Gourmet, Martin Ross, Karl Subban, Darryl Sittler, Dr. Robin Harris & Robin Sears, Seneca College, Tom & Aline Sandler and Wallflower Design, as well as auction donors including Northbridge Insurance, Air Canada, Fogo Island Inn, the Yukon Fur Company, The Toronto Maple Leafs, Martin Ross and the Subban family.   Media supporters included Ciarlo Communications, Classical 96.3 FM and Snap’d College.

Please visit www.darearts.com for our detailed list of donors, supporters and activities.