Youth Fest May 4 at Leisure Centre

Free events offered for ages 12-18 during Mission's Youth Week

Two big events are being planned during Youth Week, from May 1-7, to celebrate youth in the community.

Mission’s Youth Fest kicks off May 4 from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Leisure Centre parking lot. Youth ages 12-18 can attend and take part in a number of free events, such as art workshops and skateboard, scooter and bike competitions. There will also be a climbing wall, live youth entertainment and a MuchMusic video dance party at 5:30 p.m. to wrap up the event.

“The event speaks volumes to how our community cares about youth,” said Melissa Kendzierski, program coordinator at the Leisure Centre, adding more than 20 organizations and businesses have from together to make this event happen.

The district is partnering with the Mission Arts Council (MAC) to host the event.

The second main event showcasing youth talent takes place May 7 at the Clarke Theatre.

This is a MAC event celebrating youth ages 13-25 in music, dance, wearable art, visual art, spoken art and poetry, said Nancy Arcand, MAC executive director.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for supporters to view the art in the foyer and the onstage performances begin at 7 p.m. A variety of performers have been scheduled, including Alex Rake and the Leaves, Brittany Grant in dance, Saphira in rap, Tony Loyer and Dara Buker in monologues and Matthew Gonzales, a UFV fashion designer, in wearable art.

There is a lot of talent in this group of youth, but there isn’t an event that focuses on them, said Arcand on why this event was put together.

“This is a place they can shine and show off,” she added, noting MAC’s Mission Youth Arts Council (MYAC) is behind it all.

MYAC was created two years ago to bring more attention to young artists, and this is an event to showcase the organization.

Anyone attending the May 7 event can also enter to win a 16GB iPod. Admission is free. For more information about the Youth Arts Festival, visit