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About ArtBridges – A Hub for Community-Engaged Arts Across Canada

ArtBridges is a unique, emerging and free Canada-wide hub for community-engaged arts initiatives that connects people interested or active in community-engaged arts across Canada. 
ArtBridges’ seeks to nurture community-engaged arts nationwide. We imagine better access to arts and art-making across Canada, particularly for people living in remote, under-resourced and under-serviced communities.

We’re achieving our vision by … ArtBridging

We’ve created our own word to describe what we do – ArtBridging: [ahrt-brij-ing] verb.

We define ArtBridging as

Creating networks and collaborations between community arts projects, programs, organizations and resources with the outcome being positive benefits to Canadian communities.

Origin: 2008 Artbridges/ToileDesArts

Our community

The ArtBridges community consists of diverse communities of all sizes and geographic locations across Canada - every person, organization, initiative or community interested in, involved with or committed to community-engaged arts and arts for social change.

ArtBridges Current Activities (2021):

  • The UNLOCKED Project:

UNLOCKED is a project of ArtBridges:"UNLOCKED is an online exhibit of art created by young Canadians - their personal and creative response to the pandemic. From visual arts, music, poetry, photography, video, we are inviting young artists (ages 9 to 25) to submit their original work. Creative and emotional lives matter more than ever during the pandemic. Young Canadian artists need to be encouraged and their talent recognized. Especially from our most under-served, diverse, and disenfranchised communities. Young artists in communities from across Canada will be represented. 15 submissions will be exhibited and 3 of them will be also awarded with gift certificates from DeSerres. Selected works will be exhibited on the UNLOCKED website and promoted on a wide range of platforms and through other Canadian art organizations."(


One of ArtBridges’ projects this year is “STORIES OF NOW.” This is part of a project we are working on with Judith Marcuse Projects’ ASCN (Arts for Social Change Network) and ICASC. It is about gathering and sharing stories emanating from the field now and about what issues and areas of focus matter.

We will be gathering and sharing stories digitally from community-engaged arts initiatives across Ontario. The stories will be unique vignettes–and together–a chronicle or snapshot of the field and practice now, at this moment in time. 

We hope to share stories about the state of community-engaged arts now– in light of operating during the pandemic and how the field is evolving due to social justice and environmental issues of our time.

If anything, it will be interesting. We hope that in the process, we may learn a few things and be inspired by some of the amazing work and people in this field. Please write in anytime with your stories to: (Video, soundscape, photo, jpeg, pdf, text – any digital storytelling medium welcomed!)

  • The ArtBridges Platform: Digital Outreach and Communications

The ArtBridges’ free, bilingual, online platform about community-engaged arts and arts for social change in Canada is curated via:

  • engaging community-engaged arts and arts for social change initiatives from across Canada to participate, interact, share knowledge, resources and opportunities on the platform
  • maintaining and updating ArtBridges’ online Map and Profile Directory which consists of over 395 (and growing) accessible, free or affordable, diverse and inclusive community-engaged arts initiatives 
  • issuing community blog posts featuring relevant and inspiring stories, highlights, photos, announcements, events, reports and new initiatives (also sent via Facebook and Twitter)
  • gathering and sharing learning and resources opportunities including toolkits, policy manuals, fundraising tips, and professional development, educational and training opportunities

  • The ArtBridges Map and Profile Directory

Find free, affordable and accessible community-engaged arts programs in your own community or online across Canada through the ArtBridges Map and Profile Directory. ArtBridges maps and posts organizational profiles about community-engaged arts initiatives across each province and territory for all ages, in English and French, and within First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) communities, as well as rural, urban, northern, and remote, multicultural, and under-resourced and under-serviced communities. ArtBridges connects with community-engaged arts initiatives that work in all arts disciplines and also ones that have come together because of a special interest or demographic (e.g. homelessness, newcomers, disability arts, seniors’, refugees, LGBTQ2+, ehtc.). To date, 395 community-engaged arts initiatives have joined. This map is always evolving. See: 

  • ArtBridging Service:

ArtBridges provides service online or by telephone to people who ask for help or support. Staff connect people, help find resources, advise and consult.

  • Art Boxes:

ArtBridges matches people who have donations of art supplies with people who have limited or no access to art supplies in communities in Canada. For youth: a sharpie and sketchbook could be an outlet for creativity; for a child: a craft kit could bring out a budding artist. 

  • ArtBridges' Annual Recognition Awards:

The awards highlight remarkable work in community-engaged arts in Canada in three categories: Innovation! Resiliency! and Creativity! The awards process:  We put out a call for community-engaged arts initiatives, community partners, and ArtBridges Member initiatives to participate in award nominations. We ask for submissions that highlight stories of innovation, resiliency, and creativity. Our hope is that these stories may be an inspiration. Perhaps new connections will be made, ideas spawned and amplified, and support generated. The recipient organizations receive a certificate and an award of $300 and announcements are made on the ArtBridges network.