Youth Climate Collective

The Youth Climate Collective (YCC) is a group of Toronto-based youth, ages 12 – 16, exploring the intersection of art and activism and the role of creativity in tackling the climate crisis as we plan and activate green initiatives in our city.

We call our YCC youths Change Makers. One of the main focuses of this collective is youth-led initiatives that cultivate bright ideas and innovative action plans. Through planning, creating, and executing their ideas, YCC Change Makers advocate powerful and engaging climate change awareness movements and initiatives. With the support of two mentors, YCC Change Makers will brainstorm, develop, create, and execute an artistic takeover of the Community Project Space at Lakeshore Arts, which will be open to the public in the spring of 2022.

2021/22 Mentorship Program

This 18-week program will take place over two sessions, one in Fall 2021 and one in Spring 2022. Over both sessions, the program will focus on how YCC mentees can take their passions and climate awareness into the community. These sessions will be one part think tank and one part action, developing ideas and practicing making their voices heard, and using art as a catalyst for change.

As this is a professional development and mentorship program, participants who complete this program in its entirety will receive an honorarium of $120.00 in the form of a cheque upon completion. If selected to participate, you will receive a detailed agreement to be signed, stating that attendance and full participation is required in order to receive the honorarium.

Program Objectives

  • Self-Expression: Identify your interests in climate change and find your artistic voice for it.
  • Advocacy: Develop innovative solutions for environmental advocacy within the community.
  • Action: Turn your findings into artful actions through an exhibit at LSA in addition to community outreach initiatives.
  • Impact: Establish lifelong connections with climate-conscious people and learn about other initiatives to continue your advocacy efforts.
  • Professional Development: Gain leadership skills, practice critical thinking about climate change and learn about careers that are making our world better!

Program Details

Available spots: 15
Weekly on Tuesdays
Fall Session: October 26-December 14, 2021
Spring Session: March 29-May 31, 2022
Times: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Fall Session: Online via Zoom
Spring Session: In person at Lakeshore Arts in Etobicoke, or online if provincial Covid-19 safety guidelines recommend it.

Priority will be given to those residing close to the LSA catchment of Etobicoke, as our spring session is planned to be held in person at Lakeshore Arts (please reach out if you have any questions or concerns regarding this).

The application deadline is Tuesday, October 12 at 12:59 pm.

If you have any further questions, please contact our Program Coordinator at

Meet your mentors

Graham Budgeon

Graham is passionate about environmental and systems sustainability. As a complex-problem solver, Graham started a community initiative called Going Green Toronto which aims to support communities across Toronto in solving climate justice issues at the local level.

Nick Sweetman

Nick is an independent, multidisciplinary artist from Toronto. His murals can be found around the city from East to West, and he has partnered with numerous non-profit organizations on community projects and events. He is interested in drawing attention to physical and conceptual sites of intersection between natural forces and human-designed objects and spaces. By this, he hopes to encourage consideration of our relationship with the planet and its non-human inhabitants.

The World I Want to See | Earth Day 2021

Program Funders

The Youth Climate Collective is funded by The Kiwanis Foundation of Canada, the City of Toronto and supported by Ontario Charitable Gaming Association through Delta Bingo and Gaming St. Clair.