Year 6 - 2011

urbanNOISE Festival

Fri Sep 9 & Sat Sep 10, 2011 at the Albion Library

After 6 years the urbanNOISE Festival is still going strong – and this year was no exception. The two-day event kicked off on Fri Sep 9 with free arts-based workshops that included dance, health and fitness as well as drumming.

The Festival followed on Saturday featuring hip-hop star Reema Major and artists such as the Souls of Steel Orchestra and Grammy-winning beatboxer Scratch, from The Roots. Rexdale youth shared the stage with these professional artists and entertained an all-ages crowd from the Rexdale community.

Presented by Expect Theatre and Arts Etobicoke, urbanNOISE creates a platform for youth to speak out against violence in their communities and includes a free Youth Training Program and Festival that promotes leadership, unity and social change in the culturally diverse communities of Rexdale/Jamestown, located in North Etobicoke.

The program provides part-time employment and mentorship to youth through the Ambassador program. And for the first time, community educator Dalton Higgins joined urbanNOISE and mentored six youth from the Rexdale neighbourhood around management and event planning for the Festival.

“We built it from scratch and wanted to represent the neighbourhood well,” he says. “Putting on events is important to help bring violence awareness, I believe in using arts to bring about social change… We use artists as a vehicle to disseminate strong messages around that violence is wack, youth violence is ridiculous.” (

urbanNOISE is supported by The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, City of Toronto and The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation.


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