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Paris: The Art of Living

Author: Anne Martin Paris: The Art of Living

I recently spent a few days in Paris. Ah, Paris—pâtissiers, cafes, the Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter, the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, le Marais, the Pompidou Centre, the Moulin Rouge, and the Père Lachaise Cemetery, whose residents include painter Modigliani, writer Oscar Wilde, and musicians Jim Morrison and Chopin.

Photo by Anne Martin

Photo by Anne Martin

Paris lives and breathes art, witnessed through its architecture, museums, galleries, gardens, shop windows, the way people dress, street-art, and food. It’s all art, revealing imagination, creating beauty, provoking emotions, helping us better understand who we are.

Given its history, art in Paris takes us deep into the past, challenging the present as the future is created. Time is defined through and by the artistic spirit.

For example, the Picasso Museum was hosting an exhibition dedicated to the story of Guernica.

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Is National Youth Week What Youth Really Need?

Author: Susan Winter Fledderus Is National Youth Week What Youth Really Need?

It is National Youth Week, a week that is designated to celebrate youth and their participation in their communities. Since 2007, the first week of May has been identified as a time to honour the involvement of youth and the important contributions they make to the communities they live in. It is a chance for organizations to “host events and support the principles of intentional youth development that National Youth Week stands for.”

Many communities host special events to showcase the abilities and contributions of youth, for example through art displays and film festivals in Toronto. Other communities honour National Youth Week by creating opportunities for better connecting and listening to their youth, for example, inviting them to tell the Mayor how to improve programs and services in Hamilton.

And our youth are worth celebrating—many are finding powerful and creative ways to make a difference, like these 7 young Canadians highlighted by Kid’s Help Phone for their contributions in areas of emotional and mental health last year.

While designating a National Youth Week can bring attention to the contributions and needs of teens, I’m not sure it actually makes a difference to the lives of the average teen in the families I know. In fact, in a poll of randomly selected teens in my household, 0% have even heard of National Youth Week, never mind participated in an event or celebration related to it.

Sometimes these types of annual grand gestures can leave adults or politicians feeling like they’ve done something for youth, while actually making little difference in the daily lives of most teens in their communities. The City of Hamilton seems to be taking it further through its Youth Strategy, a plan to promote youth involvement and enhance services for youth in a project that is being rolled out over 2018 and beyond.

But what do youth need, beyond an annual week of celebration and special events? And aside from organizational programming, what can parents, teachers, neighbours, grandparents and friends do in order to support “intentional youth development”? What makes the difference for the majority of youth in many communities across the country?

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