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Artists for Life Foundation

The James Tolin Memorial Fund (JTMF) was created by four friends in New Jersey in 2003 to honour the memory of their friend James, who had died of AIDS the same year. Each year, JTMF produces an event that raises funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS and its caregivers. After moving to Edmonton in 2007 and being embraced and inspired by the generous spirit of Edmonton’s arts community, one of the founding members of JTMF, Joyce LaBriola, endeavoured to share James’ story and to maintain awareness of HIV/AIDS. Though James had never been to Edmonton, his legacy is familiar to all that have lost loved ones to HIV/AIDS. In 2009 Joyce founded JTMF West – Artists For Life organization. The mission of JTMF West is to bring local artists together to raise funds and awareness with the hope of one day eliminating the stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS, as well as to providing people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS with support and love, and creating an environment for our youth that is free from ignorance and bullying. In 2016, JTMF was rebranded as the Artists for Life Foundation.

Since its inception, Artists for Life has raised $250,000 for beneficiaries such as HIV Edmonton, Camp fYrefly, YESS, Kindred House, Little Warriors and Theatre Network. In 2018, we proudly supported Living Positive Through Positive Living.

Our Cause, Our Mission

To fight for social justice and eradication of stigma and discrimination towards those affected by HIV/AIDS, those who identify as LGBTQ youth, and marginalized, vulnerable and at-risk populations while celebrating the philanthropic spirit of the arts.

The Team

Jeff Keller

Jeff’s favorite artist is Wassily Kandisky. Partly because he used to be a lawyer but decided to be an artist instead. He admires those who push the envelope and use their art to advance a cause and make the viewer or listener or reader have to step out of their comfort zone and see the world through a different lense.

Debra Jakubec

Debra has 17 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. She has been executive director of HIV Edmonton, WildNorth and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.  Currently, she is working as the Abundant Community Edmonton Team Lead for the City.  In addition to being on the Artists for Life Board, Debra is on the board of the Edmonton Community Development Company and a member of WAVE.

Curtis Greenland

Curtis was born and raised in Newfoundland and moved to Edmonton in 1997 and is currently the president and owner of Pixel Blue Inc., in Edmonton, Alberta, where he runs the business operations for both the college and studio. He holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Curtis is a strong advocate of hands-on, project-based learning and support.  With a strong commitment to community investment and as the owner of Pixel Blue College & Studios, he has used this organization to provide support to at risk youth, the LGBTQ community, and Edmonton’s marginalized population. He established Pixel Blue’s Community Investment Program that works with non-profit organizations to provide scholarships, in-kind donations and promotional support.

Joyce LaBriola
Artistic Director & Founder

Joyce LaBriola has nearly two decades of arts and sports marketing experience. As volunteer Artistic Director of Artists for Life Foundation, she has been instrumental in raising over $250,000 for local non-profits. Joyce is also a member of the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton which reports to Edmonton City Council on gender equity issues.

Patricia Eckley CSEP
Back of House Operator

Patricia is a Senior Client Manager with Currie Communications.  She received her designation as a Certified Special Events Professional in 2015.  She is the former Vice President of Communications and Vice President of Education with the International Live Events Association - Edmonton Chapter.  She has a passion for events and giving back to her community.

Cecilia Otezia Ayres
Auction & Art Walk Co-Chair

Cecilia’s first love is music. She obtained a double music diploma from MacEwan and performed with a local latin band for a number of years. A passion and commitment to community building led her to join the board of her community league where she has served on a variety of roles for the past three years. She currently works at the JR Shaw School of Business at NAIT where she uses her creative approach and business savvy to advance the interests of the students and the organization.