Karrie Emms (Nick’s Aunt) and Dani Lynn Redgrift-Berthelot are both working artists who own and operate Gateway To the Arts in North Bay, Ontario.
In 2021 they saw a need in the community to create a center independent of any social banners where youth could learn through the practice of art which as we all know is the first cut in most budgets.
Their vision to create a center where all could come together to learn and grow was made stronger with the loss of Emms’ nephew two blocks from the proposed location on December 11, 2021.
Currently the pair are focused on fundraising to support capital expenses, programming and eventual renovations the building will need including but not limited to new windows, a main floor bathroom and new HVAC systems. They plan to complete the work over the next 12-18 months while running programming.
While it will be a long road, determination is everything and that is something they have in spades.
We are a group of artists providing positive arts-based programming to youth in North Bay and area. Developing leadership skills, self-confidence and volunteerism using the arts while overcoming social issues before they become lifelong barriers.
Our primary focus is youth 13-30 as well as their families, friends and support people independent of social banners. We are a collective of artists with a long history of providing quality arts programming and education for all demographics.
Programming is currently running and is free or low-cost wherever possible.
Gateway To the Arts, the parent organization has been operating since August of 2020. It has seen many challenges including the worldwide pandemic, three lockdowns and the economic downturn faced by most of the world. In the face of diversity they have managed to pivot and keep the doors open to members and the public through various events both online and in person including the Gateway To Diversity Festival held in 2021 and the revamped Gateway To Diversity Arts Festival happening in 2022.
After a flood in their gallery during the spring of 2021 they had the opportunity to take over a second space next door to the gallery in order to host day camps. Thanks to a very understanding landlord they have been able to work to make Nick’s Place For Us a reality and with every day that becomes more of a reality!