The Big Little Caravan of Joy is the arts ProGRAM For Childhood Now.

The Big Little Caravan of Joy

arts programming

1. big - adjective: of considerable size or extent, as in a big vision or purpose

2. little - adjective: (of a person) young or younger as in little person

3. caravan - noun: a group of people travelling together with a shared purpose

4. joy - noun: a long-lasting, inspired feeling that arises through connecting to and caring for others

We run year-round and specialty arts- and play-based programming in many countries in Africa, and in First Nations and Métis communities across Canada.

The Big Little Caravan of Joy is the arts program of Childhood Now. We run year-round and specialty arts- and play-based programming in several countries in Africa, and in First Nations and Métis communities across Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

Through these programs, we are able to bring thousands of deserving children engaging and creative arts experiences designed to engage, educate, and empower.

WHY THE ARTS?

  • Central aspect to cultures around the world
  • Foster creative problem solving
  • Empowering facet of identity
  • Enhance cognitive processes
  • Inspires partnership in learning process
  • Outlet for sharing gifts
  • Convey spirit and identity of community
  • Natural language for the young child
  • Children learn about themselves and the world
  • Fun!

OUR IMPACT

Since 2009, we have made a difference in thousands of lives around the world.

  • 1,000 arts educators and childcare workers empowered
  • 8 African countries visited
  • 75 Indigenous implementations
  • 15 Indigenous Youth and Community Leaders running their own programs
  • 68 Indigenous Communities Visited
  • 30,000 children reached

Explore The Big Little Caravan of Joy’s programming:

Painted Turtle Arts Program

Location: Canada

Programs: Summer Arts Camps, After-School Arts Club, Youth Training Programs

Sun Bird Arts Program

Location: Africa

Programs: Arts Camps, After School Arts, Educator Training Community Programs

Empowered Child Arts Conference

Location: Africa, Canada, India

Programs: Educator Training Programs

Striped Tiger Arts Program

Location: India

Programs: Arts Camps

Upcoming fundraisers:

10TH ANNIVERSARY INAUGURAL GALA

The NEON GARDEN will celebrate 10 years of excellence in arts programming for at-risk children around the world. Proceeds will help us continue to fund our BIG LITTLE CARAVAN OF JOY initiatives for the registered Canadian charity CHILDHOOD NOW.

The evening will be featuring: an etherial neon garden, sumptuous food, open bar, musical performances and DJ, live and silent auctions, special guests, and LOTS of dancing.

This exciting event will attract approximately 350 community influencers that care about in-need children and the art as an educational tool.

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VISION

A world in which all children have the opportunity to explore, express, and connect with their identity through art and play.

MISSION

To empower the lives of vulnerable children and those who care for them, through arts and play-based programming.

VALUES

Compassion, Loving Kindness, Safe and Joyful Space, Spirit of Celebration, Connection and Inclusivity, Engagement and Encouragement

2009
Happy birthday to us! The Big Little Caravan of Joy is born.
2009
2010
We’ve gone international! Programs are running in South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
2010
2012
Home is where the heart is! The Painted Turtle Arts Camp is born in Canada!
2012
2014
We Africa! The Sun Bird program starts an initiative in Kenya and Uganda.
2014
2016
EMPOWERING EDUCATORS: The Empowered Child Arts Conference is held in Ghana.
2016
2019
We Turn Ten! What’s next for the Caravan?
2019

A message from our Director of International Arts Programming

Sarina Condello

As I look back at the last 10 years of implementation of the Big Little Caravan of Joy’s programming, I am reminded on how my love for the arts first began. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that very first dance class that my mother signed me up for at 3 years of age would spearhead my life’s calling.  From my earliest years of training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, to receiving my dance degree at York University; from my Ontario teaching Certificate with a major in theatre, to my Ph.D. studies in Arts and Education focusing on Curriculum Development at OISE, my passion for the arts was always present.  Even as a mother of 3 my deep understanding of the positive impacts of the arts provided for years of creative exploration for my children—whether it be in dance, drama, music, or visual arts. The one thing that always kept me coming back for more was the knowingness on how the arts immediately engaged and empowered people of all ages.

From the earliest inception of our program and with the dedication of many amazing people, it is so inspiring to see how the first little seeds of creativity, planted so many years ago, have now grown into many beautiful gardens of joy around the world. Before the end of this year our arts programs will have been implemented in over fifty First Nations communities and in eight different African countries.

It is my priority as a director to continue to fuel the passion of the arts in community, to earn the trust of my team and supporters, and to remain loyal to our organization’s values, mission, and vision. We are now in a place to reach for great things in Canada, Africa and India.

On behalf of the Big Little Caravan of Joy I want to thank my amazing teams on the ground who have made this all possible. I also want to thank you for your interest, support, and partnership. We are extremely grateful to have you as a member of our dynamic Team Joy, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together in the future.

With gratitude,

Sarina  Condello

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