FLARE Was There: Artbound & Free The Children Get Footloose in Toronto
Since 2010, Artbound—the Toronto non-profit organization which, in conjunction with the Free The Children Foundation, uses art as a means of changing children’s lives the world over—has been working in Kenya where they’ve established an arts centre in the Kisaruni School for Girls. As well as continuing to work in East Africa, Artbound is currently channelling much of their efforts, and philanthropic dollars, into Free The Children’s project in Rajasthan, India, where they are building a sustainable village.
Presided over by hosts Melissa Grelo of CP24 and MTV’s Aliya-Jasmine, the party was an homage to the Kevin Bacon classic Footloose. Appropriately, high waists, plaid and cowboy hats were in abundance. Plenteous food matched the down-to-earth aesthetic: a candy bar, a Kernels popcorn buffet and cupcakes followed pit stops at sandwich and chicken-and-waffles stations by Spin Toronto. Following inspiring words by Artbound representatives and a rousing call-for-action speech by Free The Children founder Craig Kielburger, a rocking live band and surprise dance troupes (if you’ve never seen a flash mob of line dancers, you’re missing out) entertained the crowd. In between, ’80s music (think Journey and The Boss) kept the 800+ partiers sweating to the oldies well into the wee hours. One hundred percent of the evening’s profits were handed over to Kielburger and Free The Children. Any excuse for a party? This time, a really great one.