Carrie Whalen is a Kingston girl at heart-having lived here since she was two years old and what better place to be than a city known as an artist`s town. Carrie attended St. Lawrence College and studied fine arts and fashion design, garnering many awards for her fashion creations. She represented Canada internationally at the Air France competition in Paris, France and placed fourth internationally and first for Canada. She worked for a short time in London, England for Bella Freud-Sigmund Freud's great-granddaughter who had her own fashion house.
After returning to Kingston she took a business course at St. Lawrence College and received a $48,000 start up grant for a business she started called The Canadian Designers Co-op. The co-op was a fashion incubator with production facilities that allowed designers to produce their designs and sell them in a boutique upfront. She worked at the co-op for four years and during that time held fundraisers (The birth of Y.A.K. Camps) to supplement the co-op's income.
"I wasn't making a lot of money so I started doing art camps during March break and during the summer," she said.
Her YAK (Young Artists of Kingston) summer camps proved to be extremely popular and are still going strong-this year will mark the 18th summer. She also offered art camps over March Break, on PA days and after school.