News Release

Arts leaders and young arts professionals collaborate in new contemporary mentorship hubs
June 26, 2017

Arts leaders and young arts professionals collaborate in new contemporary mentorship hubs

Ottawa, Ontario – AOE Arts Council and its Young Arts Leaders Collective are excited to bring five of Ottawa’s arts leaders together with fifteen young artists and arts administrators to participate in a new form of mentorship. Made possible by support from the Ontario150 Partnership Program, the new Young Arts Professional Mentorship Program is providing young arts professionals between the age of 19 and 30 with professional opportunities for learning and development in the arts and creative sector.

The bilingual program launched in March 2017 and is now in full swing with mentors and mentees having been placed in five mentor hubs. From now until fall 2017, these groups will each be working to solve personal career challenges and, with their mentor and peers, will work together to develop a comprehensive plan that will be presented at a symposium and networking event in November.

“What I’ve learned is that there is so much I don’t know.  When I spend time speaking with artists about my own career (successes as well as failures!) and the music industry, I realize how much I learn from them in return,” says mentor Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live, “these are the kind of relationships that we need to keep growing, as professionals, always. I learned a lot of things the hard way and that’s one of the greatest opportunities mentoring presents. It helps us to avoid mistakes. I look forward to supporting the future careers of Ottawa’s amazing young artists.”

The program is designed for youth in any arts discipline to be connected with established leaders and peers in their field to share knowledge, transfer skills and showcase the innovative ideas of Ottawa’s young arts community. Mentees and mentors were matched into hub groups based on submitted applications and by attending a ‘speed interview’ session held on May 30th.


New Young Arts Professional 2017 Mentorship Hubs 

HUB #1 

HUB #2

HUB #3

HUB #4

HUB #5

Eleanor Crowder


Actor, playwright and director


Zoe Georgaras  


Multi-disciplinary performance artist


Cullen McGrail


Designer and playwright 



Valérie Soares


Writer and photographer


Myriam Laviolette


Writer, director and actor


Jean-Stéphane Roy


Multidisciplinary artist and educationalist


Angela Schleihauf


Musician, writer and arts administrator


Erin Benjamin


Music specialist


Ariane Bell Vila


Singer and musician 



Erin Pickering


Arts administrator and musician



Cody Zulinski


Writer, actor and musician


Leanne Gaudet


Curator and Master of art history


Paul Kabongo


Visual artist and instructor


Laurraine Nzam





Megan Raddatz


Graphic and user experience designer


Ryan Stec


Media artist and curator

Jaime Koebel


Artist and educator 


Kimberly Lai


Arts administrator



Chelsie Legree


Arts administrator



Sarah MacDonell


Writer and poet



For profiles of our mentors, visit

Over the course of the new Young Arts Professional Mentorship Program, mentees will have multiple opportunities to learn from their mentor, and from their new network of peers—this is one of the key elements that distinguishes our program from a traditional mentorship. Mentors will also be there to propose a case study challenge either to the entire group or personalized to the mentees needs. Working together, the mentees will develop a creative solution and present it at the closing symposium, while also writing blog entries on to document their process.

“Mentoring is an essential act in the evolution of art. The purpose of a mentor is to put everything in place to guide the young creator and spark their sacred fire. It's bringing out their faith in humanity and the purity of the creative act,” says mentor Jean-Stéphane Roy, former Artistic Director of Théâtre la Catapulte.

The new Young Arts Professional Mentorship Program is supported by Ontario 150 with partner support from Cultural Human Resources Council.

All are invited to share their Mentorship experiences by following and sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:  #YALCMentor

  • Facebook: AOE Art Council and Young Arts Leaders Collective
  • Instagram: @aoeartcouncil
  • Twitter: @AOEOttawa and @YALC_Ottawa

Read the new Young Arts Professional Mentorship Program blog posts and follow their process at, and find out more about the program and our mentors at


About Ontario150

2017 is the 150th anniversary of Ontario as a province. This year is filled with exciting events and initiatives to celebrate the qualities and values that define us. 2017 is a festive year where Ontarians have the opportunity to come together and celebrate the incredible province we live in. Find out what’s happening near you


About AOE Arts Council

AOE Arts Council strongly believes that the Arts amplify voices and help build strong communities. The Arts Council is a 30-year-old arts service organization whose mission is to connect, champion and collaborate to bring resources together that build a thriving local arts community in the Ottawa region. We actively work with arts, government, business and non-profit partners to enable arts experiences and are proud to do so for the 150th celebrations.


About the Young Arts Leaders Collective

As an initiative of the AOE Arts Council, the Young Arts Leaders Collective (YALC) is a newly formed group that supports the professional development of young emerging artists and arts administrators in Ottawa. We intend to do this by creating and sharing articles, resources, artist call out opportunities, and relevant events that are interesting and informative for those connected to the artistic community.


For more information contact:

Julie Landriault

Communications Coordinator

AOE Arts Council


T 613-580-2767 Ext. 3

Lauriane Lehouillier

Project Coordinator

AOE Arts Council


T 613-580-2767 Ext. 2


Cassandra Olsthoorn,

Program Manager

AOE Arts Council


T 613-580-2767  Ext. 6