The Youth Centre has now been renamed to the Raven Youth Activity Centre and the rebranding was accompanied by an art show.
It went really well with a good turnout from the community and the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) art class that submitted their work for the opening, says Kira Thomas, a youth support worker for the CFEC. The Raven is a youth drop-in centre there to provide a safe and inclusive space support and recreational activities.
“We wanted to rename the Youth Zone to give a new fresh perspective. A new name that this generation of youth can identify with. We’re getting almost at 10 years now so we decided that it was a good time for some rebranding and a name change and we went with Raven based on a lot of different things. When you looked up the definition of a raven it really kind of resonated with us. They’re birds that are here all year round, they travel in groups, some people are not a big fan of them, they’re smart and resourceful and a lot those characteristics relate in parallel to teenagers.”
They’re hoping for more engagement as a result of the rebranding and for more groups to utilize the space like the art group at PSO, she says.
The Raven approached the PSO art class with the theme of culture in mind, says teacher Monique Corno.
“I gave it to my class as a painting assignment and the kids struggled a little bit to define what ‘my culture’ meant to them. And I think they were a little nervous to embark upon it.”
Corno says she told them to just do what feels right.
“I think what the end result was this really eclectic mix of interesting art that reflects youth culture because they focussed on things that were interesting to them or their influences or what they were interested in.”
Initially, they said it would just be up for the relaunch but it appeared they are very pleased with it and would probably like to see it up for a few weeks at least to give the public a chance to see it, says Corno.
“I think when it came together, they [the students] were quite surprised with how beautiful it was because they had just been working on their individual pieces. So they were focussed on that and we hadn’t displayed it in our school or anywhere else as a collection and so they were pleased.”
It’s exciting for them to have their work up somewhere outside of the school hallways, she says.
The storefront school also had some work they wanted to contribute, Corno adds.
“So it was this really neat collection of sort of two classes coming together.”
Next semester they hope to do another exhibit at the Raven with the new group of students, she says.
The Raven is open for drop-ins for 10 to 12-year-olds on Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for youth from 12 to 18 between 3 and 6 p.m.
Thomas says they extend a big thank you to the PSO senior art class, Monique Corno and all the community members who came out to the event.