SKETCH Working Arts


What is SKETCH?

SKETCH is non-profit with 7,500 square feet of creative space with studios dedicated to visual arts, theater, industrial arts, culinary arts, screen-printing, music, and more.

We are currently building a digital-media studio.

Who comes to SKETCH?

Young people, ages 16 to 29, who are living on the margins come to create at SKETCH. They live homeless, face poverty, and are marginalized by society.

Why do they come to SKETCH?

Because it’s an inclusive, safe space where they can experience the transformative power of the arts.

How do youth create at SKETCH?

Youth can do 10-week sessions in art disciplines of their choice. They not only get to hone their techniques, but also engage in mentorships, collaborations, workshops, and exhibition and vending opportunities.

What is SKETCH’s impact on youth?

Marked increases in health and wellbeing, literacy, education opportunities, gigs, jobs, paid commissions, and leadership opportunities.

How many people have gone through SKETCH since it was founded?


How many participants come to SKETCH every year?

Over 850 per year.

How do young people find out about SKETCH?

Youth tell other youth about SKETCH, and SKETCH’s community partners, of which there are over 200!—refer young people all the time.

Who founded SKETCH, and where and when?

Phyllis Novak, with a core group of street-involved young people, founded SKETCH in Toronto in 1996.

Who’s on the SKETCH Team?

Youth, volunteers, staff, and a Board of Directors.

Who funds it all?

Generous, passionate individuals, corporations, Foundations, and government grantors fund SKETCH.

Is SKETCH a registered Canadian Charity?

Yes, but let’s go with “community-arts initiative” rather than “charity.”

Why the arts?

Some young people living on the margins crave alternatives to traditional education, therapy and skill building that allow them to determine the pace of their own development. Working in the arts elevates a sense of self, strengthens resilience and invigorates the desire and capacity to learn more.

What does SKETCH need to raise annually to operate?

$2 million.

To contact SKETCH:

Phone 416.516.1559 • Fax 416.516.6286 • •

180 Shaw Street, Suite 201, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

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