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Nike Women Toronto celebrated a weekend of Women in sport from June 11-14th. Approximately 13,000 athletes participated, supported, encouraged, and came together to run and train their way to a personal best. As part of the Nike Women’s Race Series, 10,000 women gathered at the start line on Toronto Island on Sunday, June 14, to fuel their passion for running.

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After a solid 10 weeks of training, some 10,000 runners pushed themselves to go farther and faster while running the Nike Women’s 15K on the Toronto Islands; through neighbourhoods, parklands and along the runways of Billy Bishop airport, all set against the backdrop of downtown Toronto. The adrenaline was at an all-time high. Hearing and feeling the planes take off and land as you ran across its runway was exhilarating to say the least! Spectators and supporters cheering you on as you crossed each kilometre made you push even harder and faster. Performances from bands and choirs were a refreshing surprise after running a few kilometres surrounded by just nature. And the scenic view of sailboats floating atop an oasis of serenity waters while running on the bride before the finish line put runners at a place of Zen. Everyone finished peaceful and strong.

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It was my first official race and my nerves the night before were going bonkers – I barely slept! I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew I was anxious and ready to run!

Firstly, I was put in Wave 4 which clocks in at a pace between 5:30 to 6:00 per kilometre when I really wanted to be in Wave 3 (5:00 to 5:30 pace) with the rest of my running crew. They had made an announcement that runners weren’t allowed to go up a wave, only down. Nonetheless, I didn’t stress it at all. I thoroughly enjoyed running on my own and getting in my own zone. Secondly, it was a cold and very wet start to the race but that was least of my worries. I was actually hoping for rain or cooler temperatures rather than hot, humid, and muggy. I guess it worked in my favour. Thirdly, I can’t say I’m proud of my time because I knew I could have finished a solid 10 minutes before my clock time. I was stuck in a sea of runners for a chunk of the race path and found it difficult to maneuver and get in my groove but I guess that comes with it! Next time I know, use them elbows (kidding but not kidding)! Nonetheless, I’m very proud to have successfully completed my first race ever! I felt good by the end of it; I wasn’t overly tired and I was in complete control of my breathing the entire time. It was definitely a proud and memorable moment for myself. Now I’m addicted to running and motivated more than ever to try new challenging marathons!

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Marlen Esparza is a professional female boxer and olympian who finished 14th alongside Joan Benoit Samuelson, an American Olympian Marathon Runner in a time of 1:01:44. Paula Findlay, Canadian triathlete finished first in a time of 53:40. It was inspiring to have personally met and shared my first 15K race with such motivating and supportive athletes, let alone 10,000 other amazing women! It was such an honour. I was emotional by the end of my race, I shed a few tears because I was overwhelmed by the entire race weekend. It was such a blessing and an all-time adrenaline high to have experienced it all. I physically and mentally challenged myself and I am #BETTERFORIT.

Currently, I’m in preparation to train for my first half-marathon race in October for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

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Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #JustDoIt

PIQUE 2.0 Toronto

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Last year we told you about PIQUE, a project by Imad El-Sheikh, profiling 100 Torontonians. This year we’re excited to know he and his team have put together a second instalment — PIQUE 2.0.

One of the best parts of the project is not only highlighting some of Toronto’s unsung creatives, but also providing exposure and encouragement to these emerging and even established artists in a genuine, yet strategic way. “We consider their artistic merit, age and geographical location (to make sure each area of the city is well-represented) …ultimately it comes down to whether selecting the artist or creative in question will serve our goals” says Imad.

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Along with help from popular Toronto photography blog, Streets of Toronto, they’ve also curated a few photographers as part of the newly featured 100 participants. With the focus still exploring the sphere of social media and the context of immediate info, this year’s edition also features interview sessions and a six-part music video. “The new interview series is called GREY NOISE. We selected 10 creatives and asked them a series of questions. The catch was they needed to answer in the form of a teaser…short and sweet and fit within social media time frames.” The music video, features “six talented Toronto dancers of difference disciplines, each with their own teaser…”

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The progression of the PIQUE series serves as indisputable proof of the immeasurable amount of untapped creative resources the city holds. Follow @piquetoronto for all the upcoming event details and info and we’ll see you there!

Previously: PIQUE TORONTO

Posted by Samira

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A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the Street Dreams Photo Walk #SDWalks held here in Toronto with The Creator Class, Explore Canada and Highsnobiety. Well, here’s a closer look at the creative team behind Street Dreams Magazine in this 3-part video partnership entitled #TCCSTories, housed on: youtube.com/thecreatorclass.

Watch as they connect with some of Toronto’s emerging and established artists & phtographers like Jayscale, @Jacbeale, Jazz Cartier, and more.

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Previously: The Creator Class – A Movement In The Making

Follow @1LOVETO #TCCStories

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Calling all visual artists, photographers, multi-media, new media, muralists, digital media and graffiti artists! MANIFESTO Festival is now accepting Submissions for the 2015 Festival!

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HOW TO SUBMIT
Applications are accepted at mnfsto.com/apply — just go to the webpage, select the discipline you’d like to apply to, and fill in the type form. All applications, with the exception of volunteers, require a $25 fee to cover administrative costs. As well, please include a sample of your work, and a headshot.

Just for applying, you receive FREE entry to the 2015 Art Exhibition that you are applying to, and half-off the Summit. All successful artists will be notified in early July.

The Festival will be running in September 2015, so apply now!

Any inquiries or questions, please email: ashley@themanifesto.ca

Follow @1LOVETO & @MANIFEST_TO #mnfsto9

NXNE BLOCK PARTY

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Toronto’s newest creative workspace and members only lounge East Room have partnered with Collectif NUDE to bring you the “NXNE Block Party.”

On Saturday, June 20th, East Room and Collectif NUDE are offering Toronto’s cultured city a new and exciting afternoon filled with music and live art in celebration of NXNE. The event will showcase performances by Toronto-based artists and musicians including: Drew Howard, Birthday Boy, Prince Innocence, Clairmont The Second, Shagabond, and other surprise guest performances. In addition, a live art installation by LovebotTheRobot (Matt Del Degan) will also be in attendance.

The block party will commemorate the second stop in LovebotTheRobot’s “The 2015 Love Invasion” multicity endeavor; the unveiling of a brand new icon; and a live preview of Drew Howard and Birthday Boy’s latest collaboration entitled, “88 Berth”.

Tickets can be purchased online at: collectifnude.com

For the complete list of NXNE events, visit nxne.com or download the official NXNE 2015 app on iPhone or Android.

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It’s official!!

We will be on the road TOGETHER at this year’s Toronto Caribbean Carnival as Guinness Extra Stout partners with Team Saldenah & 1LOVETO alongside International Soca Artist Machel Montano, who will be playing in Che Kothari’s “LIKE AH BOSS” section, designed by Project Runway Winner Anya Ayoung-Chee, co-hosted by Toronto native, International Supermodel Winnie Harlow and 1LOVETO ambassador Tyrone “T-rexxx” Edwards in Saldenah Mas-k Club’s presentation of “The Chronicles of Machel Montano” on Lakeshore Blvd, Saturday August 1st, from 8am-6pm.

Be part of this monumental collaboration as we all jump down lakeshore bringing together Soca, Mas & Culture.

REGISTER NOW at the MAS CAMP (2220 Midland Ave #84AP) between 1-10pm daily or visti saldenahcarnival.com

Spots are limited and are selling fast, we urge you not to miss your opportunity to be a part of this iconic experience as our cut-off date will be SUNDAY JULY 5TH!

For more information email: LikeAhBossToronto@gmail.com or call 647-870-4662

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ABOUT SALDENAH + MACHEL MONTANO + ANYA AYOUNG-CHEE
There is only one word to describe this year’s ScotiaBank Toronto Caribbean Carnival presentation… Iconic.

In an unprecedented collaboration, three creative giants will unite in Toronto’s annual one-of-a-kind Carnival parade to give the world a remarkable show.

It begins with Louis Saldenah, who is regarded as a formidable pillar of North American Carnival, after being a driving cultural force in Toronto for over 35 years. This 17-time winner of the Band Of The Year title has stunned all with his ingenuous ability to bring Mas to life in the city’s streets.

Also adding her internationally recognized talent this year is trailblazer and entrepreneur Anya Ayoung-Chee. The philanthropist holds the distinct honour of being the 2011 winner of the Lifetime Network’s highly competitive Project Runway, where her unique designs astounded judges and marked her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago as a fashion capital to be closely watched.

Accompanying them in this venture is Machel Montano, whose 33 years in Soca Music serves as the inspiration behind this alliance. His well-earned legendary status as an entertainer, as well as the numerous accolades bestowed upon the Soul Train Music Award winner makes the 17-section Mas presentation based on his music, must see viewing come festival day.

It has been almost 50 years that the city of Toronto has put on this transcending event. An explosion of revelry and arts through which the wondrous beauty of its Caribbean community has been displayed, and which over time has grown to be the largest North American showcase of Caribbean culture.

Louis Saldenah initiated this extraordinary partnership, when he revealed to Machel his desire to pay tribute in Mas to his 33 years of work. Humbled and excited by such a generous gesture, Machel immediately thought to include Anya, to ensure Toronto had a direct infusion of authentic Caribbean culture in this year’s presentation. For many years the city has made Montano a part of its celebration and finally through this group effort, he is able to reciprocate that love in a show of true unity and positive creativity.

The main focus here is to inspire others and to establish a continuous fellowship built upon the strength gained from working together.

Helping to make this happen is Machel’s new manager, Toronto native and well-known cultural ambassador and youth advocate within the city, Che Kothari. He once again takes up the familiar mantle of encouraging artistic development across borders as the section leader for “Like Ah Boss”, which is based on the Road March and Power Soca Monarch winning song. This section will be hosted personally by Montano and has been designed by Anya.

With absolute certainty the time has come for peers around the world to blend together much like the multiracial and multicultural metropolis of Toronto.

Not surprisingly, the Montano brand leads the way as this combination ideally demonstrates the power to be found when everyone forges forward in unity.

Written By: Mystie Thongs

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Over the years, many families emigrated from Portugal to start a new life here in Toronto, Canada, making Toronto’s ‘Little Portugal’ a place the Portuguese call home. As Toronto ages, so do the neighbourhoods in which we live, and with time comes change. That being said, Director Sarah Goodman captures todays ever-changing neighbourhood landscape with stories tucked away in the pockets of Little Portugal, in her film entitled “Porch Stories”. The film opens today, June 19th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

About Porch Stories
Packing to move to her new home with her workaholic fiancé, restless thirtysomething Emma (Toronto indie musician Laura Barrett) is suddenly confronted by a man from her past (José Miguel Contreras, lead singer of By Divine Right). As the day progresses, Emma begins the inevitable comparison of the two men, and as she uses the vantage of her porch to observe her neighbours — including an elderly Portuguese couple arguing about divorce, and a musical brother/sister duo who are pursuing their dreams without worrying about the consequences — her perceptions about love, her past, and her future radically shift. Making her narrative feature debut after the acclaimed documentaries Army of One and When We Were Boys, writer-director Sarah Goodman crafts a keenly observed portrait of both a neighbourhood and a young woman watching her carefully planned-out life slipping into utter confusion.

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While Sarah was creating her film “Porch Stories”, another filmaker, editor and photographer Nadia Tan was also paying homage by capturing the spirit of the neighbourhood through an intimate photo series. The photos were shot on the same streets as the film Porch Stories, and actually includes a photo of Director Sarah Goodman’s landlord.

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For more info please visit: tiff.net

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Street Dreams Walks Toronto

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Thanks to The Creator Class’s collaboration with Street Dreams plus support from Explore Canada and Highsnobiety, we witnessed one epic experience!

The hilarious, Steven John Irby, led a photographer’s meet of about 200 people who all came to explore the city through their lenses. It was a huge mix of seasoned photographers to ones who told us they only recently picked up a camera or started using Instagram. The walk was supposed to start at 2pm and at 2pm sharp, the rain came pouring down. For the rest of the world, there was a mad dash to get indoors but all the photographers were itching to get outside. As soon as we all gathered, we headed down Queen St. to Nathan Phillip Square and everyone scattered all around the grounds and started taking photos. When we encountered a second installment of Mother Nature, we took the PATH (thank God for the PATH) to Brookfield Place.

There, the photographers took advantage of the public art installations which acted as the backdrop to a lot of the photos. It was chance for us to talk to some of them, some even coming from the U.S to participate in the weekend. Neivy, a talented photographer from Connecticut came with his friend Andrew, from Florida, to capture Toronto. “I really like lines, I focus on the design of a space” Neivy explains, and then proceeded to show us how he’d photograph the area we were standing in.

Interpretations, styles and techniques of each artist, truly added an amazing depth to their photos. It was interesting to see how the same shot, taken by two different people, could take on a completely different vibe.

To check out more photos taken during the walk, check out the hashtag #SDwalks on Instagram and Twitter.

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Photos by @s_looch and @qursed

Posted by Samira

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Toronto’s indie film and music fans will get another chance to watch their favourite stars under the stars, as the Open Roof Festival #ORFTO returns for its 6th season, running every Wednesday from June 17 to August 19 at 99 Sudbury (just south of Queen St W & Dovercourt). The 10-week festival offers urbanites an al fresco take on hit cinema from Canada and across the globe, paired with live music by emerging artists in a variety of genres. ORF tickets are on sale now for $15 each and can be purchased here: OpenRoofFestival.com

1 LOVE T.O. is proud to announce our continued partnership with Open Roof Festival, co-presenting this year’s opening night film screening of “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”, the authorized documentary by Brett Morgen. Using material from Cobain’s personal archives, the documentary, which earned rave reviews coming out of its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, examines his music career, from his early days in Aberdeen, to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana, until his untimely death.

For more info about Cobain, visit: cobainfilm.com

Previously: Open Roof Festival 2014

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On Saturday, May 23, Nike Women hosted a special #NTC #DoneBeforeDawn studio workout at the Arcadian Loft with Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath, and special guest Spencer O’Brien, Canadian Olympian and professional snowboarder.

“Eva is such a great trainer, I’ve had such a good time getting to know her over the last few years and I’m really excited to finally do one of her classes!” Spencer said.

One of the main reasons for Spencer’s appearance and participation in the live studio workout was to encourage and empower women, especially those training for the Nike Women’s 15K to remember that they’re only getting #BetterForIt. Athletes train for those big events and big moments, but off-season training is equally important and infinitely harder to keep yourself on track. As a professional snowboarder, Spencer understands the dedication and motivation required to train all year round, but also knows that she’s always better for it in the end.

Despite an early morning wakeup call, a crowd of media influencers arrived for 6:00 a.m. to interview Spencer O’Brien, and enjoy everything Nike Women and the Arcadian Loft had to offer prior to the scheduled 7:00 a.m. studio session. DJ FeelGoodSmalls also had the tunes bumping to get the ladies in their morning groove. Floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the city of Toronto was an added motivation in itself.

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Upon arrival, guests were greeted by their personalized Nike lockers and gifted studio wraps and sports bras. In addition, fresh pressed juice and other breakfast goodies were also included to fuel everyone up. And Nike Women wouldn’t be Nike Women without a hair-braiding studio to have you looking cute while you sweat!

Spencer is a firm believer of NTC as she squeezes workouts in between her off-season training.

“I use NTC all year round because it’s such a good program for me when I’m on the road and don’t have time to get to a gym.” she said. “I’m always in ski resorts and sometimes there isn’t a gym available so NTC is great because I can pull it out and do it in my hotel room. There are so many different workouts!”
Spencer is the first and only Canadian to have a workout on the Nike+ Training Club App., called, “Power Legs,” and recommends her training regime to those training for the upcoming Nike Women’s 15K in June.

“I think Power Legs would be a great workout for training for the 15K because just like it says in the name, it’s all about legs which for me as a snowboarder, is the most important muscle group.” she said.

“It’s really about building explosive muscle power so things like squat jumps, scissor jumps, box jumps; really dynamic and quick explosive movements. It would be a great thing if you’re training for the 15K to break up your workouts.”

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Spencer is currently training on her off-season and focuses around building her endurance and strength at the gym in preparation for her competition training at the end of the summer season.

“Everything in the gym is recovery so foam rolling, biking, stretching, core, and maintenance for the strength that I built in the off-season is key,” she said.

When in training mode her favourite go-to gym pieces are the Legendary Tights and the Nike Free TR Flyknits.

“I’m a big, big tight girl – I love tights! And Free TR Flyknit is my favourite to train in; it’s almost like wearing a sock on the upper but you still have that good support and traction for the sole. I’m really into those and they come in some really cool colours!”

Maintaining her endurance and stamina is key to her on and off season training and her go-to runners are the Nike Zoom Pegasus.

“I switch to the Pegasus when I’m out for a run because they have so much support,” she said.

“There’s a big difference in competition training and off-season training. In competition, I’m obviously on snow about five to six days a week for three to four hours a day, and then I usually have a gym session after that for about two hours.”

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Her off-season go-to moves can be found in her Nike+ Training Club app – Power Legs.

Spencer says her off-season training has been heavily intense and plans on taking a vacation before hitting the slopes in August for her first event in Australia.

In addition to Eva’s live studio class, the event ended with the opportunity to explore and privately shop the new Nike Women’s Concept space at Hudson’s Bay, while getting complimentary make-up touches courtesy of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath certainly gave the ladies the ultimate wakeup call on Saturday morning with intense and challenging upper and lower body training. Nonetheless, every woman left feeling #BetterForIt and ready to tackle their weekend. They were #DoneBeforeDawn and feeling accomplished.

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Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #NTC

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Toronto’s Nike Run Club hosts monthly runs called “The Local”, where they have some of the cities most influential people lead an exploratory themed run through Toronto. This month’s run was built around the concept of ‘Hip Hop’, with our very own Tyrone “T-reXx” Edwards leading the run, sharing stories from over the last 5-10 years. The run had 4 scheduled stops over a 6KM route, including some hidden historic parts of our local hip hop scene.

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First stop was none other than the MUCH MUSIC studio at 299 Queen St. West, which aired the iconic television show – RAPCITY, with hosts like Michael Williams, Oliver, Master T., Namugenyi Kiwanuka, and in 2011 our very own Tyrone “T-RexXx” Edwards.

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Second stop was only a quick jog down Queen West to BARCHEF (472 Queen St. W), to meet with Owner & Mixologist Frankie. Frankie & Tyrone shared a few classic moments from the secret Jay-Z afterparty in 2009.

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The group ran up to College Street to the now famous Italian restaurant – Vivoli (665 College St.), to speak with Manager and long-time friend Mario. Over the years, Vivoli has become a second home to many of Hip Hops royalty, including the 6ix’s own Drake. If you ever get a chance, ask for a pitcher of Sangria!

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The final stop on the 6KM run through downtown Toronto was the new OVO store, located at 899 Dundas St. West. The OVO store represents so much in terms of growth, community, artistry, entrepreneurship, and of course representing Toronto.

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Big thanks to Nike for supporting local talent and allowing us to be a part of their running experience. Plus, thanks for the exclusive 1 LOVE T.O. x Nike Running Tees!

Follow @1LOVETO & @mr1LOVETO #NRC #JustDoIt

FF4

Byron Gray stands on a stage at Pine Point Park on a Saturday afternoon. The sun is shining down. On stage with him are dignitaries including MPP Laura Albanese. There is a crowd in front of him and they’re all cheering.

They’re here to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Freedom Fridayz, a platform Byron started with Kofi Frempong, Felix Cabrera and Andrew Newsome in the Jane and Finch community. We wanted to provide a platform for community members to both showcase and celebrate their skills, talents and knowledge,” explains Kofi. “There wasn’t really an art-based initiative that spoke to artists where they could come together and showcase their art. It was a place you could find established as well as amateur artists so in that sense, Freedom Fridayz filled a void.

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The group began holding monthly events at the Black Creek Community Centre where young people could display their art, whether it was visual works, poetry or musical talent. The first event drew a small crowd of 10 people. “I think it was just some random youth that had nothing to do,” laughs Byron. But word quickly spread and every month, the crowd got bigger and the acts got better.

They had to move to The Spot drop-in centre when they outgrew their initial location and now, they once again find themselves nearing capacity. “We’ve had events where we had over 500 people show up,” recalls Byron. “I don’t think we expected to grow so quickly but because of how organic this all came about, the response has been really good,” he adds.

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Freedom Fridayz is also gaining momentum outside of Jane and Finch. Their event at Pine Point Park is part of the Pan Am Path Art Relay, a city-wide relay of art installations and events that are happening along the Pan Am Path between May and August. Each week, the festival travels across Toronto to celebrate some of this the city’s greatest assets: nature, arts and active outdoor living. “We saw that they created a welcoming, inclusive, non-judgmental, and safe space where youth could come together, share and celebrate one another and we were impressed,” says Gracia Dyer Jalea, programming manager for the Pan Am Path Art Relay. “It’s effectiveness as a program has spread throughout the City and now youth groups from across Toronto, including communities outside of Jane and Finch, are looking to Freedom Fridayz as a model and often flock to their events each month. “

“We got involved with the Pan Am Path Relay because we believed that it would allow us to do what we do on a bigger scale while fitting into the spirit of the Pan Am Path… Diversity, community, arts, and togetherness,” says Kofi.

As the event draws to a close, the Freedom Fridayz team contemplates what’s next. “We really believe in empowering young people,” explains Byron. “There’s so much talent out there. We’re looking for future leaders to pass the torch to.” “They’re a success story,” adds Gracia. “There’s so much the rest of the city can learn from them.”

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Photos by Taiwo Bah

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