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Overly Creative Minds


 OCM Mural

Overly Creative Minds (OCM) offers arts and cultural programming for Native youth ages 15-24 years.  Programming is offered after school, on weekends, and during school breaks.  Generally, programming is available 5 days per week.

Goals/Purpose of Program

The goal of Overly Creative Minds is to encourage skills-building, leadership and community engagement amongst Native youth, while celebrating, developing, and sharing their voices and perspectives through dynamic arts and culture programming.  

OCM offers 15-24 year old Native youth a safe and welcoming space to explore cultural and creative activities that are important to them.  The program offers hands-on learning opportunities and experience related to the professional arts, and fosters the development of specific knowledge and transferable skills to help youth develop their leadership abilities and encourage them to pursue their own educational, personal and career goals. 

Youth can choose from various activities (one-time, weekly/ongoing, or time limited projects) that allow them to learn, share, and practice new artistic and cultural skills.

Native youth can learn, explore and express themselves creatively through community-based arts and culture projects that are chosen by youth, for youth.  OCM is a creative space where youth can also gain leadership skills and volunteer experience by facilitating workshops and mentoring other youth through their cultural and creative journeys.

OCM provides opportunities for youth to explore their identities as Aboriginal people, and share that knowledge and pride with others as mentors and by sharing with other community members.  OCM focuses on cultural development and community/youth engagement by involving youth as mentors and learners, encouraging their cultural and artistic curiosity, and helping them to become confident representatives / ambassadors who present themselves and positive messaging about Native youth to the community.

IK Photo Mural

Program Activities

Lino print-makingCurrent weekly programming available in the OCM space includes:

  • Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Traditional Arts (including powwow and hoop dancing, and visual arts)
  • Open Studio 

Other programming which may be offered by OCM includes:

  • singing
  • beading, sewing and regalia-making
  • photography and graphic arts
  • music recording and engineering
  • a wide array of visual arts programming

Through OCM, youth also have opportunities to learn about and participate in various cultural activities – including Talking Circles, Smudge, and other cultural activities that are important to them.

How Youth Can Become Involved

Drum-making workshop

OCM is open to Native youth ages 15-24 years.  

Youth who access OCM must follow basic guidelines set-up by youth themselves, to create and keep a safe, positive, and healthy space for youth to explore their creativity and share their ideas and experiences.

Youth are also encouraged to share their knowledge and/or skills, and learn from each other with in a respectful way and open mind, and all the while having fun in the process.

Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome volunteers (especially Native youth!) who are willing to facilitate and support a wide range of arts and cultural programming for Native youth.  If you're interested in participating in OCM as a volunteer, please contact us today!

Program Funders

Overly Creative Minds is funded through diverse donations and in-kind contributions from UNYA, volunteers, and community partners.
Currently, OCM is hosting the Spectacular Professional Arts Resume Kick-Start (SPARK) Program.  The SPARK Program is supported by the Youth Stream of the Urban Partnerships Program, which is funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and administered by the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

How to contact us:

1618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5L 1S6
Phone: (604) 254-7732
Fax: (604) 254-7811

Training the Leaders of Tomorrow

1618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 1S6 Call: (604) 254-7732 Email: