Youth Leadership Labs

Placemaking in Victoria, BC

Empower Young Voices in the City of Victoria!

Youth are often left at the fringes of decision-making processes—even when it comes to building the spaces and places we want them to enjoy and love. That’s why The Starfish Canada & Aryze Developments have decided to work together to host Leadership Labs.


Leadership Labs is a series of workshops hosted over a 4-month period that provide youth aged 13-30 the opportunity to connect, and engage in positive placemaking initiatives in their communities. Placemaking is defined as “a collaborative approach to reimagine and reinvent public spaces within communities to maximize shared value; considering physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution”. 


The program aims to educate youth about placemaking, connect them with industry experts, and share their ideas on a development project in their community.


About Aryze Developments

Aryze is committed to increasing the quality of homes and communities in Victoria, BC. Using traditional building methods, innovative construction technologies and intelligent design, they deliver thoughtful living environments across a full spectrum of housing types.


A Look at our Pilot Program

In 2021, The Starfish Canada and Aryze Developments successfully launched the very first cohort of the Youth Leadership Labs program in the City of Victoria. This pilot program brought 33 youth (aged 14 to 29) together to provide input to new plans for a community park in Quadra Village.


Through 8 weekly virtual workshops and collaborative sessions with industry experts from across the Capitol Region, the participants learned about sustainable city planning and applied those lessons to pitch their ideas.

Participants were grouped into 6 groups, with each of them producing and pitching a final project idea surrounding one of six themes: nature, sustainability, decolonizing spaces, joyful and playful, functional and useful, transgeneration, and beauty and art. 


Interested in learning more? Check out this article to take a closer look at the program process and see the projects created by our wonderful Youth Leadership Labs participants! 


What’s next? 

After the success of the pilot program, we are so excited to announce that Youth Leadership Labs will be back in 2023 for a second cohort of youth! Stay in the loop by following our social media pages and by subscribing to our email newsletter to learn when applications for our 2023 Youth Leadership Lab Program opens and to get the latest updates on The Starfish Canada activity!


We need your support

Support Youth Leadership Labs from anywhere in Canada! Your contributions will support The Starfish Canada in our critical mission to empower young people at the intersection of environmental, sustainability and justice. If you are interested in supporting the 2023 Youth Leadership Labs Program, please contact


Youth Leadership Labs is supported by REFBC and the Victoria Foundation