I have incredible amounts of love for you! Thank you so much for making this summer so memorable for our team, our youth photographers, our mentors and everyone else who was involved in our #CaptureTheStreets project. 

In 2014, we dreamt up an idea to connect established photographers from Toronto with a shelter for at-risk and homeless youth and run a mentorship program where we would use art (photography and storytelling) to empower a community in need. The goal was to inspire a select group of youth to develop a passion for the arts through photography, build enough trust to tell their own personal stories and share whatever was created with our city. We also wanted to demonstrate that by investing our time in art, we could build a new community and encourage growth and healing. 


In four short months this year, we were able to train and empower six youth and display their photography and stories in three separate galleries across the city and TORONTO, you made me so proud! Hundreds of photographs were purchased, thousands of dollars were raised and all of the profits will go back to the youth participants. Most importantly, we were able to build a new community of aspiring artists and lay the groundwork for positive change.

I am so full of gratitude, joy and appreciation for my community. A big thank you to our sponsors Humber College and ArtReach for providing us with the support to make this happen. Much love to our six photographer mentors who took time out of their busy days to inspire and empower a future generation of artists. To the Jayu staff and Board, thank you for the thousands of hours you invested in this because you believed in the difference it would make. For everyone who has complimented us on the look and feel of our project including our branding and video work, we send all of your love and appreciation to Sandbox who led the way with their incredible team of artistic talent. And to everyone who took the time to host or visit the gallery, ask questions, contribute to the discussion, purchase a photo and lend their hearts and hands: thank you! 

We can't wait to show you how this project will evolve in the future to empower even more individuals. 

Be well always,


Gilad Cohen
Founder / Executive Director

Jayu CanadaComment