Join us to celebrate the courage and contributions of our 2021 young changemakers.

The DAREarts Youth Leadership Awards celebrates the courage, commitment and contributions of young people who have created incredible positive change in their own lives and in their communities.

Each year, leaders from Canada’s foremost financial, insurance, automotive, legal and natural resource development sectors come together to show their commitment to underserved children and youth and honour our young changemakers.

This year, we stand in awe of the resilience and strength of children and youth. In the face of seemingly endless changes and challenges, they have shown inspiring strength, determination and most importantly, hope. This year’s Youth Leadership Awards celebrate that indomitable spirit.

We’re asking you to follow their lead – to rise and take action with us to make sure more young people have the opportunities they need to find their voice, build their confidence and take their place as our next generation of leaders.

This year has been full of changes, challenges, and opportunities for growth. We have relied heavily on our strength of purpose in order to maintain our sense of community, connection, and wellness, as we navigate the many new stresses in life and persevere through this challenging time. As we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, like so many of you, I stand in awe of the inspiring resilience and tenacity young people have shown throughout this crisis. While true for all of the children in our lives, I am especially inspired by our DAREarts students. In the face of daunting obstacles, we have watched the students in our network rise. Our 2021 Young Changemakers have embodied that spirit, and we are honoured to have been part of their journey. 

Jennifer Wilson
President & CEO

from our President & CEO

this year's Awardees


Name: Adalia
Age: 17
Location: Vancouver, BC

Adalia is funny, open-minded and determined. She prioritizes helping others and is constantly finding nuanced ways for others in her community to be heard and understood. She is passionate about continuing to improve her own life and the lives of those around her and is a dedicated learner who credits leadership programming, volunteering, and her faith as the tools she’s used to becoming who she is today.

At DAREarts, Adalia had the opportunity to share her voice in a new peer group and to use her confidence and drive to unify her team. Her experience has helped her reflect and further shape how she envisions her future. She continues to volunteer extensively and is planning out her next steps toward her goal of becoming a doctor. With her positive outlook, she’s ready to confidently take on new opportunities and experiences as they arise! 

Adalia’s dare to you: Tell each person in your household or a friend what they mean to you and why you’re thankful to have them in your life.


Name: Azel
Age: 17
Location: Ottawa, ON

Dedicated, inclusive, and wildly kind, Azel always brings his own experiences to the table, making sure that everyone around him is heard and respected. To Azel, being a leader is someone who genuinely cares about others, regardless of background, and puts effort into making the world a better place. 

DAREarts allowed Azel to better express himself in a group setting as well as cultivate a healthy work/life balance. In our YLI program, he was met with space where his calm, individual-focused style of uplifting those around him became a powerful skill for motivating his team and ensuring that all voices were heard along the way. He has since brought these skills into practice in his own community outreach projects to support other transgender people, as well as in his advocacy work for environmental and Indigenous causes. 

Azel’s dare to you: The next time you come across a car with their four-ways on, I dare you to pull over and help them. Leadership sometimes looks like compassion.


Name: Conner
Age: 17
Location: Toronto, ON

Conner is articulate, enthusiastic and wholly original. He believes that a leader is innovative, taking the road less travelled. He prioritizes being himself and uses his past experiences to inform his perspective of the world around him.

Conner considers his experiences at DAREarts, particularly the importance of being yourself and not letting others define you, as the foundation from which his leadership has grown. In a new class outside of school with new peers and new experiences, he found a space where differences were embraced, and he could start defining his own personal brand of leadership. Now that he is nearing the end of high school, he is passionate about helping others find their confidence as he has and uses his voice to motivate and encourage people to find their inner strength, stay true to themselves, and persevere through the challenges life presents along the way.

Conner’s dare to you: I challenge all of you to do at least ten burpees during the day! Whether it be at a TV commercial or when you have free time! Leadership sometimes looks like exiting your comfort zone.


Name: Dianne
Age: 15
Location: Vancouver, BC

Dianne is empathetic, open-minded and organized. She believes that leaders should prioritize accountability and foster environments for earnest collaboration. 

Through working with multiple DAREarts programs, Dianne fostered a sense of belonging and confidence to speak about what matters to her. Further, the community partnerships forged through the program have allowed Dianne to contribute significant dialogue at a leadership conference surrounding social justice issues. She has taken her learnings beyond the program, actively finding new ways to give back to her community and to take action on social justice causes that she’s passionate about, including coordinating a school-wide event in support of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre as well as working with other youth to develop action plans that build creative ways of supporting people experiencing domestic abuse. 

Dianne’s dare to you: I dare you to build and strengthen your team members through developing trust.

Feeling inspired? Want to empower more young Canadians?

this year's Sponsors


Northbridge Insurance Logo
HUB Logo


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Shine Bright Logo
Zuber & Company Logo

this year's Sponsors


BNP Paribas

did you know?

As an organization, we have nurtured created over 20,000 young leaders over the past 25 years! All thanks to the support of amazing humans such as yourself! 

We at DAREarts believe in creating ripples of positive change! We invest in youth by guiding them towards harnessing unique leadership qualities. DAREarts students are breaking through norms and preconceived notions while transforming their lives and empowering others.

Feeling inspired? Want to empower more young Canadians?

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Here’s to celebrating our young changemakers of 2021!

May they be bold and courageous, strong and resilient, and dare to shape the world to a place we can proudly call home.