THE inaugural SPARK withIN 2018 Youth Conference was held on Sunday, October 28 at the Surrey Arts Centre, featuring a diverse lineup of inspiring speakers, talented artists, and engaging exhibitors, representing a wide-variety of career fields and community organizations.
The non-profit event was the initiative of two volunteer-run, mentorship and community service-focused, non-profit societies: SONG Creative Mentorship and AltruYouth Association.
Over 400 youth attended and volunteered at SPARK withIN from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as they connected with world-renowned humanitarian, Ravi Singh, founder of the international relief organization, Khalsa Aid, Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, Canadian Paralympian Donovan Tildesley, Dr. Vicki Kelly, SFU Professor of Indigenous Education and Art, Natalie Tin Yin Gan, interdisciplinary artist, Paneet Singh, playwright and filmmaker, Abubakar Khan, community activist, Bryan Gidinski, educator and diversity advocate, and Sukhmeet Sachal, Founder of Break the Divide.
SPARK – which stands for speakers, performers, aspirers, role-models, knowledge-sharers – was officially opened by Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, and closed by Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. MLA Ravi Kahlon and MLA Anne Kang also shared their unique experiences and perspectives with the audience.
With the tremendous success of the conference, preparations are already underway for SPARK withIN 2019.