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Visual, Media & Craft Artists

Artist Spotlight - Sylvia Chan

Artist Spotlight - Sylvia Chan

02 August 2017  

About the Artist

Sylvia is an Award Winning Artist and Ontario Certified Teacher who creates opportunities for people to get in touch with their inner ‘artist’ and inspires youth to make a difference in the community by use of their creativity and imagination. Owns and operates successful community art initiatives and events, Sylvia Chan is a professional artist and art educator from Markham with over 10 years of painting and teaching experience. She is the owner of Creative Genius Art Academy. The academy brings art to everyone, regardless of background or experience and teaches students to break out of their comfort zone, explore new mediums and have a great experience creating art! She is also an artist in residence for York region district school board, where she facilitates art workshops for grade 6 – 12 students.

In addition to teaching, she creates original artwork to beautify home and business spaces. She is also the founder of Paint A Smile, a non-profit committed to providing art workshops for kids in need in the community so that they can learn to be confident and unleash their creativity.

She is ambitiously passionate about the arts, which she expresses through her exploration of various art forms: breakdancing, martial arts, performance arts, drama, painting, sculpting, and mixed media. She has been breakdancing for 5 years and has competed in tournaments internationally in Baltimore, Paris, Nanjing and Hong Kong with her dance crew. She has created and facilitated youth inspired workshops in relation to the arts that empowered youth to develop their creativity, self-esteem and leadership skills.

(Art has the ability to bridge gaps between people and bring together a community)

Have you attended any of YRAC professional development workshops/program/events for artists, creative entrepreneurs, and cultural workers? If so, what was your experience? Do you believe that attending the workshops was beneficial to you? How did it positively impact you?

I have participated in the YRAC Artrepreneur program, a program designed to equip independent artists, arts administrators and creative entrepreneurs with vital business skills needed for success across all arts disciplines and industries. My experience with it has been full of engaging workshops, and lessons full of learning. I think as an artist, it is important and vital to learn business skills, in order to be successful as an artist. It positively impacted me by providing resources and new learning skills I haven’t put into practice as much, such as creating an elevator pitch and learning about how to best apply to grants. This experience also allowed me the chance to meet other creative individuals, and we still keep in contact now.

In your mind, what role does YRAC play in building a thriving local arts and culture sector? Why do you support arts & culture in York Region?

I believe the role YRAC play in building a thriving local arts and culture sector is important. I definitely support the arts and culture in York region. As an artist in schools, and a practicing artist and art teacher, I believe the arts make a difference for people in bridging the gap. Art allows people to connect and to communicate regardless of background, race, gender, and age. Art is something that creates inclusivity to happen in the community. Without the arts and culture, we would just be missing the human soul in the community.

I support arts and culture in York Region, because it communicates to people why the arts is important to have, and it is not just something we do on the side, but something that could be integrated into our daily life in the community. I also support the arts because it breathes life into our community for young people. It allows young people a chance to be innovative, to be engaged citizens, to be problem solvers, and to get creative.

The arts breeds people that are problem solvers, creative thinkers, and critical thinkers, and this is something that is much needed in the 21st century and for the future.

Why should community members of York Region be interested in supporting arts & culture?

The arts make a difference for young people. By educating people that the arts is also valuable as math, language, and other subjects, can broaden students understanding of the arts. Everyone is an artist in their own way, and it is about becoming self-reliant problem solvers and self-creators. The arts allow one to imagine and to think outside of the box.

Learn how the 150X150 Fundraising Campaign is helping artists like Sylvia >>


The York Region Arts Council is a non-profit, charitable umbrella organization that serves to advance, promote, represent and connect the arts community across the region.

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York Region Arts Council, YRAC

395 Mulock Drive,
Newmarket, ON. L3Y 4Y9

Phone: 905-726-3278
Fax: 905-726-2788

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