Karrie Emms grew up in a small Northern Ontario town where the arts were made a priority despite the community size. She spent 18 years living in a peaceful setting playing in the woods and figure skating in the local community. Her schools put a focus on academics and the arts including music, visual arts and literary arts including public speaking.
As a visual artist and writer who also enjoys music Ms. Emms quickly realized how art can impact youth and act as a bridge to building relationships and mentorships particularly when there
Dani Lynn Redgrift-Berthelot
Dani Lynn has been a professional nature photography for over 10 years selling her work and teaching through her photography business DLR Photography. She is the mother of two grown sons and three years ago she became the co-owner and operator of Gateway To the Arts with Karrie Emms.
A year later they expanded and opened Nick’s Place for Us.
It has been a slow start due to Covid but the pair is determined. The pair saw a need and are determined to fill that need. Dani Lynn truly believes in the old saying ,as cliche as it sounds, “The Children are our future’!
Encouraging a child means life messages are getting though either by words or actions. Youth need to hear, ‘I believe in you, I trust you, I know you can handle this. You are important.’
Member At Large
After spending 40 years on the East Coast JP came home to Sudbury almost 7 years ago and met and married his wife, Dani Lynn 3 years ago. JP returned to university after a 20-year career in the Navy where he earned a Business Degree from the University of New Brunswick. This was a big change however, he has now worked for the Federal Government (Revenue Canada) for over 14 years.
While in St. John.s and Moncton, New Brunswick he was an active mentor with Big Brother’s and has always believed children should be valued and listen too. He believes children need to be children… not adults in training.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us
what life is all about.” Angela Schwindt
Shelby Watson is a youth artist who works in the fiber medium and as a jeweller creating amazing one of a kind pieces. She believes the programs offered at the center help give youth a safe space to express themselves and find alternate ways to express their creativity and connect with other like minded people.
She believes the mission is necessary to help the next generation thrive, especially while a lot of students are still experiencing trauma from COVID (lack of social skills, generalized fear, anxiety depression etc.) At Nick’s Place For Us there are programs for the next generation of artists and creatives to help them grow.
From a personal standpoint Shelby feels she has learned and grown so much through everything she has done with the center and the founding organization Gateway To the Arts over the past three years.
Youth Advisory Committee Representative
I’ve always known that I wanted to be an artist in some way or another growing up. Drawing was my escape and creating comics was a fun way I expressed myself in a world that didn’t make sense.
Now, thanks to Nick’s Place For Us, my dream of being an Artist has become more of a reality than I could have ever imagined. I can now make the next step in my career goal and teach watercolour classes to youth!
Being an artist is not only freeing but also fulfilling.
Alea joined the Nick’s Place For Us team unofficially when her daughter began attending the center for homework help. Recognizing the benefits programming has provided to her daughter Alea decided to become more involved with the place her daughter loved. It is a venture they can partake in together with Emily sitting on the Youth Advisory Committee. Alea’s daughter Emily is the youngest member of the Youth Advisory Board.
Alea is a strong and welcome addition with a heart for youth and a passion for seeing all youth reach the greatest potential they can. She will be spearheading the fundraising efforts of the Center in the coming year and tackling many other issues. She can often be found helping out and offering suggestions on programming for young families.
Educational Program Advisor
Tammy Martel is an Educational Assistant who has vast experience working with youth in various local high school programs. She has experience counselling youth through church youth groups, volunteering at summer youth camps and mothering her own three grown children. Tammy is a jack of all trades with a true heart for the work she does and has experience in many vast areas. She is fluent in ASL and has experience recognizing cognitive and behavioral issues within children and youth. Tammy also works at Staples, Community Living and as a Respite Provider.
She has the ability to recommend resources, techniques and tips for youth and their families as well as to help develop programming to aid in allowing youth to participate in social, recreational and arts based activities in a safe and fulfilling manner. She has volunteered for organizations such as PRIDE and Big Brothers and Sisters over the years and takes every opportunity to heart while keeping the best interest of the child at heart. She is a driven and professional individual who is approachable and makes a positive member of our board.