Streams Community Hub is a charity based in Shelburne, Ontario that offers amazing, yet affordable, arts programs to youth. It was co-founded by Juli-Anne and Andrew James, and they have some big plans that could spark a new era of creativity in Dufferin!
Our discussion with Juli-Anne and Andrew James begins with a description of what exactly Streams Hub is, its value to Dufferin County, and how it was started. They share how Streams Hub offers a wide variety of youth-focused arts programs, primarily in the form of camps, that are meant to help kids develop their self-confidence. Streams Hub offered its first camp in 2017, but Andrew shares how this idea originated years ago when he started a talent show at a church where he met Juli-Anne.
Andrew and Juli-Anne detail the wide variety of programs offered by Streams Hub. This includes videography, culinary arts, and creative coding! Local youth can even learn the circus arts. At the end of the week-long camp, your kid could be walking on stilts that are six-feet high!
Next, Andrew and Juli-Anne are asked about their motivations for starting Streams Hub, and why Shelburne was chosen as its location. Andrew shares how the arts have always been a way for him to reach people, and how they have a mission to help set up youth on the right track and allow them to shine bright in whatever they are passionate about. Juli-Anne adds how they believe youth want to be involved with positive, productive activities. She states how they want to create an accessible space for kids to discover their passions. Andrew then tells how they decided to move their family to Shelburne and, once arriving, how they wanted to give back to their community. It becomes evident how Streams Hub enables them to do all of this.
Plans, as described by Andrew and Juli-Anne, for Streams Community Hub is to have a dedicated facility that will allow them to increase their offerings and capacity. It would be a creative hub that would be open to youth and other members of the community. Prospective plans include spaces for a commercial kitchen, a recording studio, and so much more. The estimated costs for the creative hub are four to six million dollars. The facility will be a modular design made from shipping containers that will be a true testament to creativity! Shelburne’s Town Council is supportive of this initiative and even made space next to the Centre Dufferin Recreation Centre available!
The Town of Shelburne has shown tremendous support for Streams Community Hub. In addition to donating land for the facility, the community rallied behind Andrew and Juli-Anne to help Streams in an effort to obtain a $100,000 grant. Although they were just barely edged out by a project regarding the Royal Ontario Museum, the number of votes (over 23,000) this small town initiative gained was remarkable. In addition to this, earlier this month, Flato Developments donated $100,000 to the proposed creative hub. This is a big step on the path to realizing something great!
Streams Community Hub has many opportunities available for volunteers! This is a great way for youth to develop leadership opportunities to learn more, check here: https://streamshub.org/volunteer/
The discussion finishes with how Streams Community Hub has managed through COVID and the ‘out-of-the-box’ method of keeping in touch with community youths. Juli-Anne answers how many kids have been served through Streams, which is over 250 in Dufferin County so far, including through volunteer opportunities. This is quite remarkable given the short time it has been around and the capacity restrictions. That being said, if this is what they’ve accomplished so far, one can only imagine the number of kids in our community that will be helped when Streams Community Hub reaches its next step!
If you are interested in helping Streams Hub with its strategic planning, such as what to include in their proposed creative facility, the link to the survey is here: bit.ly/tellstreams. It is open until September 27, 2020, at 5 pm.
References – Streams Community Hub
- Streams Community Hub
- Streams Community Hub – Survey
- Streams Community Hub – The Big Picture
- Streams Community Hub aims to empower youth
- Streams Camps look forward to fall programming
- Votes needed for Streams Community Hub in Shelburne
- Andrew James set to launch latest venture–Streams Community Hub
- ‘Streams’ finishes behind the line, but ahead in hearts
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- Streams Community Hub awarded $10,000 provincial grant
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