Millicent Amurao

Youth Artist Spotlight: Millicent Amurao

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 Millicent Amurao from last year’s creative mentorship program to share some insights into why she creates and how her work intersects with Scarborough.

SN: Millicent, tell me about yourself?

MA: I’m an emerging filmmaker based in Scarborough. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies at Ryerson University. My work is a reflection of my upbringing which focuses on sharing the untold stories from my community that capture unconventional roles and hardships of ethnocentric families. As a Filipina artist based in Scarborough, my hope is that my viewers are able to connect to a unique narrative close to home and inspire others like me to pursue their dreams in the arts. 

SN: How do you see the Scarborough community?

MA: The Scarborough community is welcoming, nurturing, and resilient. The community is so tight-knit that everyone feels like family regardless if you first met someone or you’ve known them your whole life. Growing up in Scarborough is such a unique experience that deeply connects you to the community, and in turn, becomes a huge part of your identity.

SN: What about Scarborough Made excites you?

MA: Scarborough Made has provided me with an elevated platform to tell stories that I think are worth documenting and sharing with the world. They have inspired me to explore my identity and reconnect with the parts of myself that I used to be ashamed of. With all of that said, I’m so excited to see the impact Scarborough Made will have in Toronto, Canada, and hopefully internationally! I’m also very excited to hear the feedback and the conversations from local residents about our project!!

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

MA: I hope this project empowers underserved and misrepresented communities as they see and hear the stories, and see the subjects and images that resemble their own community. I hope to see Scarborough Made expand the viewings of their work beyond Toronto, so the world can know who lives here and how we continue to thrive despite our circumstances.

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

MA: I think of the families starting a new life together when I think of resilience and Scarborough.

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

MA: I am working on telling a story of a member of my community named Ifrah Nur. We explore her early experiences and the struggles she and her family faced as newcomers to Canada. Through her passion for Early Child Care, she empowers her community by engaging with the youth and providing them with the guidance and support they need to uplift themselves.

SN: Milli, what are your favourite Scarborough Spots?

MA: Magic Noodle, Pho Metro, Nicey’s, Gerhard’s Cafe, Mr.Jerk, Agincourt Bakery

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