Monday, November 18, 2019


By Eva Fydrych

The Talk returns with Transparency of Success
A provocative panel discussion moderated by Sylvia Mantella in support of
youth arts charity UforChange

Photo courtesy of Magnet Creative Management

TORONTO, ON – On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, five of the country’s most brilliant and innovative minds will come together in support of one of Canada’s most creative charities UforChange for the second annual “The Talk” – a live panel discussion with producer and director Barry Avrich, award-winning writer and editor Sabrina Maddeaux, celebrity fashion designer Christopher Paunil, and CBC broadcaster and writer Amanda Parris, moderated by philanthropist and Mantella Corporation’s Chief Marketing Officer Sylvia Mantella, and hosted by Nicole Servinis of Breakfast Television.

The Talk’s topic this year “Transparency of Success” will uncover how these creative leaders paved their inimitable path in their respective industries through candid, unforgettable, and motivating stories of struggle and achievement.
A diverse audience of Toronto’s most influential creators and business leaders along with emerging artists from the UforChange program will come together to enjoy a one-hour networking cocktail prior to the panel discussion to be followed by a reception with wines courtesy of Vinologist and beverages courtesy of Perrier.
"I am so thrilled last year's fundraising event was such a success and so well received that we are doing it again with The Talk 2.0,” says Event Co-Chair Sarah Paterson“Our incredible speakers will share their stories that may surprise you. Success doesn’t happen overnight; there is a long battle uphill that you don’t necessarily learn about. Through these struggles, we can learn through their eyes. Education comes in different forums. This one is special and I am proud to be a part of UforChange. Without the support of our sponsors and community, we would not have been afforded to help change the narratives of youth who need it the most."

Last year's event:

#TheTalk18, November 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Toronto is a city filled with incredible opportunity but with the rising costs of living and tuition combined with funding cuts to programs for those who need it most, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for youth from all genders, backgrounds, and races to find opportunities to explore the arts in a safe and positive space.
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year, UforChange has been committed to providing young people, ages 16 to 29, from all over the Greater Toronto Area, with a combination of creative, practical, and soft skills that will help them develop their careers in a safe, supportive, and collaborative environment. They achieve this through their Core Arts program, offered to over 30 young people every year, along with a series of industry partnerships that lead to workshops and mentorships, which empowers another 350 youth every year.
Since 2009, UforChange has served over 2,450 youth from all over the Greater Toronto Area, over 600 youth have graduated from their Core Arts Program from which 323 joined post-secondary education, 555 were offered paid employment opportunities, and 665 volunteer opportunities.
Proceeds from ticket sales and donations help fuel the next generation of young creatives at the charitable organization by allowing youth to obtain an arts education during the next program cycle. Those unable to be present for The Talk 2.0 can purchase tickets to sponsor UforChange youth to attend on their behalf. Last year, the inaugural event raised over $77,000. This year, the goal is to reach over $100,000.


Date: November 19, 2019
Location: Artscape Daniels Launchpad, 130 Queens Quay East, Toronto 
Doors Open: 6:30pm 
VIP Cocktail: 7:00 pm 
Panel Talk: 7:30pm 


VIP Reserved, includes VIP cocktail and reserved seating - $250
General Admission with VIP Reception, includes VIP cocktail - $175
General Admission - $125 
Sponsor 2 Youth - $125 

Tickets can be purchased through Canada Helps here.

This event would not be possible without the generosity of supporters and donors, including Mantella CorporationPaterson Partners, and Artscape Daniels Launchpad.

ABOUT UFORCHANGE | @uforchange 
UforChange provides young people, ages 16 to 29, from all over the Greater Toronto Area, with creative and practical skills in a supportive and collaborative environment to help them thrive as entrepreneurs and professionals. The eight-month program is taught by industry professionals who provide the youth with opportunities to apply their skills in theoretical and practical scenarios.
Operating out of its downtown Toronto studio, UforChange has served over 2,450 youth with over 612 program graduates, 323 enrolling in post-secondary education, and over 1,220 youth finding opportunities to volunteer and work in the arts. UforChange began in the heart of St. James Town, a Toronto neighbourhood thriving with young people from around the world. The founders identified a void in the area; the community was lacking an arts organization in the diverse neighbourhood. From there, UforChange was created offering young people the opportunity to pursue their creative passions with a spectrum of arts programs from DJ to fashion to film. Initially serving young people of St. James Town, UforChange has grown to serve Regent Park and the Greater Toronto Area. Their mission is to mentor young people in the pursuit of their artistic and aspirational passions in an inclusive community.
The Core Arts program includes 8-month courses in Fashion Design, Photography, and DJ Arts that teach youth the fundamentals of each subject and also provides them with opportunities such as post-secondary education support, non-traditional educational programs, access to paid and unpaid industry opportunities, and more. Beyond their Core Arts program, one of their biggest initiatives is Workshops in the 6ix, which provides youth unable to commit to the 8-month program with short-term, high-impact forums in a variety of arts-related topics.
Despite the economic challenges the charity faced over the past year, they were able to not only continue offering these services but also responded to the needs of youth and launched innovative programs to address these. In the fall of 2017, they offered a series of workshops focused on personal and professional development, which prepared 72 young people for the rising freelance economy. Additionally, they launched a 3-month program for female-identifying individuals in Graphic Design and Web Development that will serve 30 participants by March 2019. By offering these services they over-delivered their target and served 467 young people during the 2017-2018 term alone. For more information, visit


Sylvia Mantella is a Canadian philanthropist, conservationist and Chief Marketing Officer of Mantella Corporation. She currently sits on and advises a total of 12 boards and committees in the philanthropic arena. Sylvia has devoted the last decade to the protection and preservation of wildlife through the Sanctuary founded by herself and her husband.

Sylvia recognizes how critical it is to support the Canadian fashion industry and is dedicated to the ongoing support of Canadian fashion designers. Paired with her inherent nature to give back to the community, makes Sylvia an exceptional role model.

Through attentive, strategic and very selective branding decisions Sylvia has been an integral asset to the growth of Mantella Corporation. Mantella Corporation is one of the largest privately held family-owned real estate and land development companies in Canada. Sylvia and the Mantella Corporation are honoured to support UforChange, and continue to be strong supporters of the Canadian fashion industry.


Barry Avrich is a Canadian director, producer, author, and advertising executive. In a career spanning 30 years, Avrich has made over 45 notable films and was also responsible for creating The Daniels Hollywood Theatre, the world's first movie theatre inside a children's hospital. Last year, Barry released the critically acclaimed film Blurred Lines: Inside The Art World on Netflix. Avrich has philanthropically been involved with a myriad of charities including; Prince’s Charities, Sick Kids Hospital, TIFF, Strafford Festival, Hot Docs, and The Canadian Opera Company.


By day, Amanda Parris writes a weekly column for CBC Arts, hosts three CBC television series (CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS, THE FILMMAKERS and FROM THE VAULTS), and is the radio host of MARVIN’S ROOM on CBC Music. By night, she writes stories for the stage and screen. Her play Other Side of the Game was co-produced by Cahoots Theatre and Obsidian Theatre Company in 2017 and published by Playwrights Canada Press in May 2019.


A celebrity favourite, their glamourous designs have been seen on the red carpets of Hollywood movie premieres, Toronto Fashion Week, Keyshia Ka'Oir (The Mane Event), Laura Vandervoort (Bitten, Supergirl), Natasha Negovanlis (Carmilla), Natalie Brown (The Strain, Dark Matter), Stacey McKenzie (America’s Next Top Model), ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey, Lauren Hammersley (Orphan Black, Mr D), and many more.


Sabrina Maddeaux is a National Magazine Award-winning writer and editor. She's currently the society editor and an arts & lifestyle columnist at the National Post. Sabrina is also a beauty expert for Cityline, the longest-running and most successful daytime show for women in North America. Sabrina's writing has also appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, FASHION Magazine, Vox, ELLE Canada, NOW Magazine, Bay Street Bull and many other publications. She's also been seen/heard on Entertainment Tonight Canada, CBC Radio, Newstalk 1010, Breakfast Television (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver & Calgary), CP24 and ITV's The Lorraine Show.


Nicole Servinis is the Community Correspondent for Breakfast Television. Nicole’s love for TV started in high school after completing a co-op program at Rogers TV in 2007, and she hasn’t looked back since. Breakfast Television, Nicole was an Entertainment Producer where she interviewed many A-list celebrities, including Meghan Markle, Natalie Portman, and Melissa McCarthy.

Tickets can be purchased through Canada Helps here.

See you at the Artscape Daniels Launchpad tomorrow!

*Special thank you to Magnet Creative Management for inviting Fashion Studio Magazine to this event.

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