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From co-op to career: U of T Scarborough alum works for Scarborough Arts

Marianne Rellin [Photo by Aniqa Rahman]

In the summer of 2011, Marianne Rellin accepted her first co-op placement with Scarborough Arts as part of the Specialist in Arts Management stream at U of T Scarborough. Five years later, she works as their Program and Communications Coordinator.

Rellin (BA, ’14) enjoyed her co-op experience and when the term ended, stayed in touch with staff and continued to volunteer and freelance. Her enthusiasm and proven work for the organization paid off and in 2014—the year Rellin graduated from UTSC—she was hired full-time. 

Responsible for marketing and communications for both Scarborough Arts and the the Scarborough Worldwide Film Festival, Rellin ensures information is communicated effectively while enhancing audience experience at the Festival and through Scarborough Arts programming.

Interim Program Director of Scarborough Arts, Sasha Kovacs, says Rellin’s creative skills shine, from graphic design prowess and strategic communications to keeping in touch with members and truly understanding the Scarborough community. Kovacs says, “Marianne came to our organization through a UTSC co-op placement, but Scarborough Arts just couldn’t let her go.”

Rellin has found a perfect fit with Scarborough Arts—the small team atmosphere suits her desire to immerse herself in various aspects of work and she describes her day-to-day as “working with passionate, creative and driven people.”

“Bigger picture, I really love being part of an organization that contributes to, and supports the growth of, the arts scene in this end of the city that’s often ignored or unexplored.”

Speaking of exploring—Rellin lives in Scarborough and enjoys discovering its diverse neighbourhoods, food scene and picturesque parks—though she admits there’s still much to uncover. She recently stumbled upon a new coffee shop called The Birchcliff that opened near Scarborough Arts and says Pho Metro has the “best Vietnamese food hands-down.” She adds, “I really like going to Scarborough parks—Rosetta McClain Gardens, Rouge Park and Guild Park.”

What’s an important lesson she learned as a student that’s followed through to her career? When working with Asad Raza for Transcend—an e-book Rellin worked on for her capstone project in Arts Management—Raza told her being an arts manager is hard work and that if she really wanted to pursue this career, she would have to genuinely love it and really believe in the value of what she was doing. This resonated with Rellin and helps shape her work and future goals. Though early in her career, she’s built a strong network of supports and advocates in Scarborough at the greater arts community.

“I learned a lot about myself during my time at UTSC: what I like, what I excel at and what I stand for. I think university is the perfect time for young people to challenge themselves, try everything on for size, then take what they like and run with it.”

If you’re a social media savvy student interested in Rellin’s career path, she summed up her current role in less than 140 characters: “Fostering engagement, piquing curiosities, and building relationships one tweet, poster or e-blast at a time.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough