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The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford’s team is pleased to announce generous funding from the TELUS Vancouver Community Board to support a series of Creative Confidence Builder Youth Workshops in Abbotsford. This crucial project has been developed by The Reach’s education programmer in collaboration with local services agencies. It is tailored to meet the specific needs of their young clients to grow their confidence, character and team building in creative hands-on opportunities.

“The TELUS funding allows us to shape and deliver quality critical thinking, hands-on workshops, developed in consultation with non-profit community groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters Fraser Valley, Abbotsford Hospice Society and others. The youth that are supported by these organizations experience a variety of challenges, and the workshops are intended to build their self-esteem, team skills, creative potential and to provide formative and positive experiences in an environment of compassion and understanding,” explains Laura Schneider, Executive Director and Curator of The Reach.

Some of the workshops include pottery with artist and instructor Jake Stelpstra, and drum-making and drumming with Stó:lō artist and educator Carman McKay. Says Cheryl Unger, Director of Programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Fraser Valley: “The clay pieces the matches made at a recent workshop were very creative and allowed each of them to make their very own work of art. These classes provide our young people with the opportunity to engage in unique activities that they would not have had the chance to do. Exposure to art and culture enables children and youth to explore self-expression, their creativity and imaginative side. It was also a treat for our volunteers to get their hands working with the clay for the afternoon!”

The TELUS Vancouver Community Board provided $5,000 to the Reach Gallery Museum for their Creative Confidence Builder Youth Workshops. “The Reach Gallery Museum is an important catalyst for community development in Abbotsford. We are impressed by how well The Reach works with community partners. It’s the youth of Abbotsford who are going to benefit from the opportunity to learn about a variety of community needs and to develop leadership skills for the future,” said Nini Baird, Chair of the TELUS Vancouver Community Board.

The TELUS Vancouver Community Board – alongside 11 other boards nationally and another four internationally – supports its local community partners helping make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people, an approach that is unique in Canada. Since 2005, these TELUS Community Boards have donated more than $60 million dollars to over 5,600 grassroots programmes, and enhanced the lives of well over two million young citizens. Contributions made through the local Community Boards are made possible by TELUS customers and shareholders.