Combining her artistic talent with love for her community, Connie Tong is an accomplished leader in Scarborough. Named Youth of the Year in 2007 by the City of Toronto for her work creating murals and beautifying public spaces, Connie believes in accessible arts programming and enjoys bringing people together in the creative process – an outlet that she says can reduce stress, encourage self-expression, and build skills that can be applied to life.
“I believe that we are all creative individuals – we just need to know where to start.”
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design, Connie spearheads a youth mentorship program called Plate It Up in the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park neighbourhood where she grew up. The program, funded by ArtReach, is a blend of ceramics and the culinary arts—participants serve meals in ceramic plates and bowls they create. She also leads the Healthy Living Through Art program.
Connie has taught art at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre, Riverdale Farm, Artbarn School and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.
The artist and marathon runner’s most recent achievement was starting her own art service company, cater2create. She received a grant from the Business in the Streets program, which enabled her to pursue her passion, and continue her work in art facilitation.
“I always believed in the motto “When you do what you love, the money will follow.” And I always wondered what it would be like to be your own boss. So far it’s been a remarkable journey.”