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About

Founded in 2006 as For The Love of Learning, we are recognized within the community as an ambitious, arts-based, empowering, and skill-building program, which seeks out and values collaboration with its community partners. 

Recently rebranded as Artforce, we believe in the transformative power of the arts — that all young people, regardless of circumstance, can use art to build resilience, express themselves, and discover what lies within to change their lives and the world. 

We are governed by a volunteer board of directors elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. The organization employs one permanent staff member (Executive Director) and part-time contract staff as necessary and approved in consultation between the Board and Executive Director.

Executive Director: Gemma Hickey

Board of Directors

Marie Jones, Theatre Artist and Administrative Professional

Rebecca Thistle, Early Childhood Educator

Kip Bonnell, Communications Professional and Immigration Advocate

Alisha Morrissey, Marketing Strategist and Artist

Through arts-based programming and connections, Artforce helps young people coping with challenging circumstances develop life skills essential for independence and success.

Artforce works at street level to engage youth and identify their needs. We use non-traditional, arts-based program offerings to enhance creativity and communication skills for youth who have lost faith in conventional learning methods. Artforce provides a safe and productive learning environment with an overall spirit of fun, expression, and achievement. Serving youth are at the core of every action and reaction of the organization. 

We help develop skill sets including creativity, literacy, critical thinking, computer literacy, media literacy, public speaking, and entrepreneurship.

The pillars of our organization are to:

Make everyone feel safe and welcome

Artforce insists on being an emotionally and physically safe place for anyone and everyone. Art requires vulnerability. We come together with the understanding that everyone struggles, everyone matters, and everyone has greatness inside them.

Encourage creativity and fun

We believe everyone’s journey is theirs to own–it doesn’t need to look like or end up in the same place as anyone else’s. We provide the creative opportunities to reveal individual abilities and purpose. Get weird, have fun, and find what makes you tick.

Challenge each other to grow

Artforce knows a person’s hardships are a part of them, but not all of them. Through encouragement delivered through creative outlets, we help youth come to a place of self acceptance that allows each person to become who they want to be and succeed in their own way.

Why We’re Here

Artforce exists to provide at-risk and resilient youth in Newfoundland and Labrador with innovative opportunities to realize and build upon their skill sets, while providing a safe environment that promotes respect and tolerance. 

This non-traditional program enhances creativity and communication skills across a variety of media, encouraging and engaging young people who have lost faith or interest in traditional or conventional approaches.