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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

Overture with the Arts opens a new center in Roxboro to support creative arts for youths.

Overture with the Arts (OWTA) is a non-profit organization on the West Island that offers music, dance, drama, and vocal training education. They offer free and low-cost programs that enable young people to pursue their passion in the performing arts when they wouldn't otherwise have the finances to afford classes.

Since 2009 approximately 65,000 youth have benefitted from OWTA's after-school programs and school tours.

The new center includes visual and performing arts-specific rooms. Founder Akilah Newton shared her excitement surrounding OWTA's new home; "Opening an arts & culture center was an important next step for OWTA. We've been fortunate to use space provided by the City of Pierrefonds, the Lester B. Pearson School Board, and Maison des Jeunes Pierrefonds for the past 13 years. However, it was time for us to find a space exclusive to OWTA that we could call home. We're excited to start running programs at our center as of October."

PHOTO: Overture with the Arts (OWTA)

Some of the programs offered by OWTA include the Imagination Station program that offers creative experiences to youth aged 3 to 5. Three mornings a week, participants will sing, dance, do arts and crafts, and enjoy story time in this exciting new program. Children will participate in structured activities as well as self-led free-play.

OWTA's Beyond February campaign uses their trademark "edutainment" style that combines video, music, Slam Poetry, Hip Hop, stand-up comedy, and audience participation/ interaction to celebrate Canadian Black History and promote anti-racism beyond the month of February. The campaign will continue to educate students, staff, and the community at large, throughout the year about the contributions of phenomenal Black Canadians who helped shape the nation.


OWTA's Founder and Executive Director Akilah Newton has dedicated her career to educating children everywhere. In 2018 Akilah co-wrote the children's book Big Dreamers: The Canadian Black History Activity Book for Kids Volume 1. The book highlights the achievements of Black Canadians whose stories are often left untold. Since then, she has written and self-published several more books and expanded her line of products to include games, sticker sheets, and more!

For more information about Overture with the Arts, phone them at (514) 889-8678 or email them via

SOURCE: Overture with the Arts

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