Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation was born of the actions taken to support underserved youth, the arts and culture during the mandate of the 27th Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, and her husband Monsieur Jean-Daniel Lafond. The enthusiastic response to those actions has fueled the creation of a national organization, which continues to support innovative initiatives that enable underserved youth to unite, share ideas, and act positively to transform lives and revitalize communities across Canada. Mme Jean and M. Lafond have chosen to dedicate the legacy of their mandate to fulfilling that pan-Canadian vision.
The fruit of collaboration between the Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia-based Youth Art Connection, the Justice, Arts and Youth in Action (JAYA) Initiative promotes an arts for collective impact approach to empower youth across Nova Scotia, including Halifax. In this model, organizations employ the arts as a means of both expression and engagement to mobilize youth and a variety of sectors, around collaboratively building safer, more inclusive communities for all residents, irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation physical and mental ability, or socio-economic position.
The 2017 Creative City Summit in Halifax welcomes Mme Jean and M. Lafond as keynote speakers to present the ongoing work of the Foundation. Emphasis will be placed on the ways in which the arts are used to nurture civic and productive engagement from diverse youth perspectives, as well as to foster genuine receptivity for these voices within our institutions and prevailing social and economic structures. Using the JAYA model as an exciting and emergent local context, Summit attendees will hear from partners, mentors and, most importantly, youth artist participants in provoking the question of how youth can marshal the arts to engender a truly contemporary city, and the various perspectives that enlighten and create success for all.