Ryan Veltmeyer is a social innovator, entrepreneur, community builder, educator and musician. In 2012, Ryan Co-founded Youth Art Connection (YAC), bringing together his passion for youth leadership development and the arts. YAC is a registered charity that supports emerging artists, especially from marginalized backgrounds, to develop arts-based businesses and social impact projects. Through YAC Ryan has helped build a growing and connected community of young artists from a broad range of art practices, cultural backgrounds and life experiences.
Ryan’s career in youth leadership started with his early experience in leadership training and outdoor adventure programming for various summer camps in NS and the USA. Ryan worked as a Teen Services Library Assistant at Halifax Public Libraries and as a Senior Program Facilitator at the HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development in Halifax. Throughout this time Ryan maintained a professional music practice as a trombonist, composer, conductor and chorister, collaborating with the who’s who of East Coast musicians and Sobey Art Award nominee William Robinson.
Ryan’s work has been recognized through various awards including the Dalhousie Legal Aid Social Justice Award (2019), the Big Brothers Big Sisters Halifax Inspire Leadership Award (2016) and being a finalist for the Halifax Assistance Fund Social Innovation Award (2017). He was selected to participate in the prestigious Banff Centre for Art and Creativity “Getting to Maybe” Program for System Entrepreneurs in 2016 and the 21 Inc. Emerging Leaders Program in 2012 and 2014.