Annual Unity Fest happening downtown

The Unity Festival is back for the seventh year until July 24, aimed at using the arts to empower youth with the confidence and skills for success.

The four-day festival culminates in a free outdoor concert at Yonge Dundas Square headlined by hip-hop legends Biz Markie as well as Airplane Boys, Rich Kidd, Ghettosocks and Humble the Poet.

Today (July 23) is the Unity dance with Marlon from Havikoro from 2-7 p.m. at The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W. while tomorrow will have the Unity MC and Spoken Word events in partnership with RISE, headlined by d’bi.young and John River between 6 and 11 p.m. at 918 Bathurst, 918 Bathurst St.

Unity engages youth 10 to 18 by implementing school and community programs helping youth positively express their stress and develop skills for success, using professional artist educators and relevant art forms including break dancing, spoken word poetry, graffiti art and beat boxing.

It also empowers youth to make better choices as leaders, mentors and positive community role models leading to more productive citizens, safer schools, and healthier communities.