Earlier this month, Brampton had a free event for youth which drew hundreds of young people, aged 14 to 29. They gathered at the Lester B. Pearson Memorial Theatre for We The Future, a two-segment event featuring a symposium and social.

The symposium segment of the event featured workshops and info sessions on entrepreneurship, civic action and the law, as well as marketing your brand. The youth in attendance got to interact with professionals in their fields of interest, take in their presentations, and participate in a Q & A forum with the experts.

During the social segment, emceed by Supreme Irie, there were stage performances from Brampton talent such as Selena Dhillon and Reeko Riffe, and dance performances from youth groups.

Mayor Patrick Brown and two councillors made an appearance and addressed the attendees. He told his story of running for an office while he was 22 years old, and how a drive to care is important for success.

“Age is not a barrier,” Mayor Brown said, as he talked about the opportunities youth have in the city to succeed. He also indicated that there will be more opportunities in the future as more collaborations between the city and its young people come to fruition. The Mayor then introduced Peter Katz, 2012 JUNO nominee, and Emerging Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

During the social, Peter Katz told the story of how he built his career by performing at multiple shows despite his initial open mic stage fright incident. “Vulnerability is a good thing – it’s a sign you’re doing something you care about,” he told the gathered youth.

Also taking the stage was youth amateur band ‘Glory’ from Saint Roch Catholic School, with Toby Patrick performing in a duet with classmate Gilda. Patrick tells Bramptonist that he was encouraged by their teacher to perform at the event when he heard them play at school. Brampton-born, with his proud parents in attendance, Patrick had this to say after the performance, “It was a great experience… All glory goes to God.”