Markham Creates showcases local talent

Markham Creates challenged residents to share their creativity in a variety of disciplines: exhibit design, creative writing, performing arts and visual arts.


The quality of submissions across the board gave the jurors in each category the difficult task of selecting only five finalists.


“The level of creativity displayed by the community was amazing,” Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said. “The challenge was meant to encourage creativity and connection during this very difficult time, and all expectations were exceeded. The level of art and expression we received blew me away. I encourage all those not selected as finalists to continue their creative journey. Congratulations Markham for rising to the challenge.”


The 20 finalists will also get the special opportunity to be mentored in their field by professional artists such as Jully Black, George St. Kitts, John Abrams, Missy Marston and more. Markham Creates challenged residents to share their creativity in a variety of disciplines: exhibit design, creative writing, performing arts and visual arts.

Finalists’ submission will be available in various formats in the near future. The city will highlight more details on when the submissions are on display.

The Markham Museum invited all collectors to submit photos of their collections and a statement as to its importance or inspiration.

The following finalists will receive mentorship from curator, Janet Reid, exhibit designer, Mark Scheibmayr, and the Museum programmer, Andrea Carpenter with the end goal of creating live (when permitted) and virtual exhibits of their treasured collections.


  • Frances Yoong is creating a memorial collection during this time by crocheting a flower every day since emergency orders started on March 17.
  • Jamie Quan shares her 95 year-old grandmother, Yeung Shin Lee’s, beautiful paintings that she has been working on and collecting mostly since she entered her 90s.
  • Emma Zheng is four years old and shares her dog, Teemo’s, collection of favourite, and not so favourite, things while celebrating Markham as a pet-friendly community.
  • Grace Low has been creating fashion studies exploring each person’s story and examining how what we wear reflects ourselves and the world around us.
  • Lesley Wooton’s passion for arts and crafts is reflected in her collection of unusual craft tools from around the world dating from the 17th century to today.

The Markham Public Library called on all writers to submit one piece of original, unpublished creative writing centred around their experience arriving, settling or living in Markham.

The five finalists will be mentored by professionals in the writing community, such as Missy Marston, author of last year’s Markham Reads selection, as well as, Ariana Ferrone, author and Community Librarian, Culture and Creativity. Finalists’ works will be showcased by the library and other culture venues, as well as be part of an eBook that will be available through the library’s digital collection.


  • Adam Keung with “Once Upon a Day”
  • Libby Li with “The Toogood Monster
  • Hannah Flores with “If the World was a Movie”
  • Ken Wightman with “Watching in Markham”
  • Meilun Yu with “Say Something”

The Flato Markham Theatre challenged the Markham community, including vocalists, dancers, singers, actors, choral groups and other talented members, to submit an online performance.

The five finalists will receive mentorshop from the following professionals: George St. Kitts, Juno Award nominee, producer and singer (music), Emily Cheung, Artistic Director of Little Pear Garden Dance Company (dance), Alan Kinsella, Director of Lower Ossington Theatre, Toronto Youth Theatre and Artistic Director of Flato Markham Theatre camps (acting) and Jully Black, Platinum recording artist, multiple Juno and Gemini Awards nominee, singer-songwriter, producer, and actress (all disciplines). Finalists will also have the unique opportunity to perform live on stage at the Flato Markham Theatre.


  • Ganesh Thavarajah and his moving and reflective monologue from the movie “American Beauty”.
  • 11 year-old, Rachel Huang, performs her award-winning Dai dance.
  • Father-Daughter duo, Alex and Katharine Reyes, share their love of music together, through a cover of “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman”
  • 15 year-old, Julia Cuozzo and her self-choreographed dance piece to the song “Falling” by Harry Styles.
  • Sam Dominique sings her beautiful rendition of Elvis Presly’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”.

The Varley Art Gallery invited artists to submit current work in a paint medium, created within the last 12 months, along with an artist’s statement.

The five finalists will receive mentorshop from by senior artist, John Abrams, virtually meet with the Director of the Varley Art Gallery, Niamh O’Laoghaire and experience a virtual studio visit with the award-winning Varley Curator, Anik Glaude.


  • Celeste Cameron with “Recognition” in acrylic honouring and empowering black women.
  • Phillipa Hajdu with “Steve 4” in acrylic from a series being created during this time of lockdown.
  • Linda Kalianteris Picerno with “Forced Cat Snuggles” in oil celebrating her love of brilliant light and colour.
  • Carter Tam with “Self-Reflection” in oil as part of a series reflecting the correlation between a state of mind and the past.
  • Suki Zhang – “Unlimited Space and Time” in acrylic focuses on the relationship between humans and universe and the roles each individual can play in the world.

Visit for more details.




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