YRAC Artrepreneur Graduation

Talented and passionate members of Artrepreneur
York Region Arts Council Artrepreneur Cohort 2 Photo credit: Louis Li Photography

My thanks

Finally, I graduated from the YRAC Artrepreneur program.  I am so grateful for this program.  I learned so much and met such amazing creatives.  Thank you to everyone who joined us on our expo.

First of all, I would like to thank our teachers and advisors:

  • Samantha Rodin
  • Raphael Costa
  • Jenifer Benakis
  • David Cohen
  • Jane Gertner
  • Jason Theodor
  • Raheela Nanji
  • Eloise Pasianotto
  • Alex Karolyi
  • Brandon Vickerd
  • Eugene Jakubov
  • Sterling Dillinger

I will continue to implement your lessons and advice.

In addition, I give my  thanks to the hardworking Artrepreneur committee who created the program:

  • Robin Fribance
  • Karen Dubeau
  • Jenifer Benakis
  • Raphael Costa
  • Daniela Mazzaferro
  • Don De Los Santos
  • Samantha Rodin
  • Alex Karolyi
  • Ewa Chwojko-Srawley
  • Grazing Tonkiel
  • Jane Melrose

Why Artrepreneur

Artrepreneur is an amazing program.  I highly recommend it for  any creative undertaking any business endeavour or want to be more professional  in their practice.  My intent when I applied for Artrepreneur was to write a better business plan, meet York Region arts community, maybe find a mentor and make new friends.  I achieved those and also learned more about myself.

Receiving my Artrepreneur certificate
Photo Credit: Louis Li Photography

Takeaways from Artrepreneur

During the last 17 weeks, I actually found:

  1. Confidence
  2. Practical business skills
  3. Grit to contact potential buyers
  4. Courage to showcase my art & call myself an artist
  5. Participate in an exhibit & auction
  6. Find fans who aren’t family or friends
  7. Define my creative direction
  8. Gain clarity and take action on things I’ve been procrastinating on (hello website!)
  9. Meet future collaborators
  10. Plan and organize upcoming exhibits

In my case, Artrepreneur is not just a class.  Most importantly, it gave me confidence to take action.  After years away from practice, I felt unsure about re-entering the creative world.  During the last six years, I watched many of my peers build upon their skill-sets and experiences.  While I was busy nurturing my family, the world continued to change.  The impact of social media and the internet has dramatic implications to any practice.  Before Artrepreneur, creativity was the only thing I was confident about.

Consequently, I learned more through Artrepreneur than any online creative business courses or book.  My amazing cohorts always were open to share their life lessons and continued to push me to execute.  They appreciated the value of my work and all that I am trying to accomplish.  I was no longer alone in my studio, fighting the self doubts to create.  I now have their words, support and friendship to continue working.  Success will be the best thanks I can give to everyone.  Therefore, I’m off to work on putting my plan into action.  What I showed at the expo is just the beginning, I will continue to pursue my passions.  Thank you all for your guidance on my journey.

7 samples of Treasured Paper artisan seals and stickers
Treasured Paper artisan seals and stickers Photo credit: Louis Li Photography

My fellows

Most importantly, a shoutout to my cohorts who are truly inspirations and great examples of people pursuing their passions.

Arts Organizers / Program leaders:

Dolly Bhatia-Frolick – a motivating personal trainer and dance instructor who cares about your health and fun

Erin Howley – empowering people with substance and mental issues through art

Veronica Abrenica – kind-hearted mixed media artist focused on connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy and explore art (I.AM-intergenerational arts movement)

Visual Artists & Artisans:

Anya Mielniczek – talented mixed media artist focused on art for a cause and elevating trash into art

Caterina Liberatore – plein air watercolor & acrylic artist from soothing nature to architecture

Cindy Scaife – witty and intelligent foody and mural artist

Claudia Zloteanu – sculptor and installation artist exploring found materials and nature

Deb Reilly – bold, strong and talented potter and avid Kingcrafts promoter

Dianne Green – first nations artist who explores her roots and relationship with nature

Farrah Marie Miranda – bringing an artistic voice to various causes

Katie Argyle – talented wood-block printmaker, carver and potter creating funny and quirky affordable gifts

Patricia Roncone – mindblowing detailed painter of landscapes and portraits

Sharon Kirsh –  mixed media artist who imbues the power of verse into her meditative paintings

Stacey MacNevin – powerful, strong and vibrant mixed media artist creating tactile paintings

Terri Mittelmann – witty master glass manipulator

Tracey Paul – stylish and talented ceramic flower artist


Jamak Hadiyan – classical graphic designer and home stager

Komal Rizvi – event and interior decorator of paper flowers, and lighted mobiles

Performing Artists:

Collette Murray –  talented dancer and dance instructor promoting the authentic African / Caribbean culture

Courtney Keir – energetic and hardworking actress and performing artist

Marcus Schwan – hilarious and kind musician brings the gift of music to the elderly

Patrizia Ferlisi – highly entertaining performing artist, dance instructor and choreographer

Photographer & Filmmaker:

Karen Merk – award-winning photographer who highlights selfless individuals throughout York region / organizer of Portraits of Giving

Kyoko Yokoma – insightful filmmaker which transcends race and borders

May our paths cross again in the future.

Much love,


One Reply to “YRAC Artrepreneur Graduation”

Always helps to hear if my work connects with you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.