Ferdinand Orlain

Youth Artist Spotlight: Ferdinand Orlain

A fireside chat that spotlights artists involved with the Scarborough Made Project.

Scarborough Made launched “Resilience” in 2021 as a multifaceted art project covering documentary storytelling, creative mentorship programming for youth and a public art installation at the Cedarbrae Library branch within the Scarborough Guildwood neighbourhood. We connected with youth artist Ferdinand Orlain from last year’s creative mentorship program to share some insights into why he creates and how his work intersects with Scarborough.

SN: Ferdinand, tell me about yourself?

FO: I’m Ferdinand Orlain, an aspiring filmmaker/photographer from Scarborough. I grew up in Scarborough all my life as a second generation Filipino. I went to Centennial College for Broadcasting and Film. I want my work to be a representation of my life. I want to be unapologetically myself and show where I am from and who I am as a creator, an artist, a friend, a brother, and a kid from Scarborough.

SN: How do you see the Scarborough community?

FO: I see the Scarborough community as people who are extremely hard working and won’t stop until they achieve their goals. Also, I see a real camaraderie between us. Whenever two people in a room learn they are both from Scarborough, they gravitate toward each other and thrive in learning they are from here.

SN: What about Scarborough Made excites you?

FO: With Scarborough Made we get to share stories in the community that usually wouldn’t get told. I’m excited to see people’s voices be heard and their stories get shared.

SN: What impact do you hope to make through Scarborough Made?

FO: I hope Scarborough Made helps to remove the stigma that Scarborough is dangerous. Scarborough is a community that is rich with culture and creativity that people don’t get the chance to see.

SN: What do you think of when you hear “Resilience” in connection to Scarborough?

FO: I think of the people here first. Most people that come here are first or second-generation Canadians so we have to adapt and overcome the hardships that come with being that.

SN: Tell me about the piece you worked on for the Scarborough Made “Resilience” installation?

FO: The piece I worked on for the installation was with a community leader in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park area at the East Scarborough Storefront, Agnes Thompson. She shares her story of immigrating here with her kids and struggling to do so but through the help of the community, she persevered and now helps those who were in her position.

SN: Ferdi, What are your favourite Scarborough Spots?

FO: Dragon Centre, Waterfront Trail, Midland & Finch

Scarborough Made is a social impact project championing storytelling in Toronto’s East.