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Welcome to our Community Blog

We invite you to read about and contribute to what’s going on in community-engaged arts and arts for social change initiatives across Canada. We post what people submit to us as well as "all things community-engaged arts" that we find out about. ArtBridges/ToilesDesArts shares all kinds of information:
  • Conferences, workshops, training, seminars, education
  • Events
  • Arts awards, funding and grant opportunities
  • Tools, tips, ideas & updates, project highlights, resources (including books & reports)
  • Inspiring stories
  • Introductions to community-arts initiatives

Send us your story, your tip, your announcement or your opportunity – all community-engaged arts information that others would enjoy learning about.

  • Click here to read the full policies and terms of use
  • We always get permission to post something, unless it has been sent to us for widespread circulation.
  • We don’t change any of the text that’s submitted
  • We post what people contribute in their own words.
  • Posts will be uploaded based on time-sensitivity, variety of region and language.
  • Where possible, we’ll link to profiles in our Directory and our Map and add relevant links to websites
  • We’ll share on our social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter)

Are you ready to submit? Email us!

Report: Impressions of the Impact of the Arts on Quality of Life and Well-Being in Ontario (Ontario Arts Council, Nanos Research)

“A new Ontario Arts Council (OAC) study conducted by Nanos Research shows that Ontario residents recognize the important contribution of the arts to vibrant, livable communities.

Impressions of the Impact of the Arts on Quality of Life and Well-Being in Ontario, the Nanos Research report based on a random survey of 1,004 individuals, found that a large majority of Ontarians agree that the arts contribute to the various elements of quality of life and community well-being. The research also demonstrated how strongly these views are held by Ontarians.

Survey Highlights

Arts and quality of life

  • 93% of Ontarians agree that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.
  • 90% of Ontarians say that the arts are important to improving the quality of life in their communities.
  • 85% say that the arts are important to improving the quality of their own lives.

Arts and identity and belonging

  • 91% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us to understand other cultures better.
  • 88% agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.

Arts and community well-being

  • 90% agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.
  • 97% agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.
  • 80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract businesses.

Government investment in the arts

  • 82% of Ontarians agree that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.
  • 79% agree that government should spend public dollars to invest in the arts.

Positive views toward the arts across all regions and demographic groups

The survey also shows that regardless of the respondent’s region, gender and age, a majority of Ontarians had positive views about the arts and all of the following aspects: quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment.”

For more information and to read the full report, please visit Ontario Arts Council’s website.

-from Ontario Arts Council

ArtBridges Tips & Tools Series #6: Top Five Tips for Building an Inclusive Community Gallery

ArtBridges spoke with Dayna Rainville of the Arts Council of Algoma about the Miinikaan Project, and starting the community arts gallery, Dawaa Dazhi Gallery. Dayna’s tips touch on building relationships first, being responsive to her community, and keeping a sense of humour.

Dayna Rainville is a member of Missanabie Cree First Nation and the Community Project Coordinator, who curates the Dawaa Dazhi Gallery at the Algoma Arts Council situated at 369 Queen Street East in Sault Ste. Marie.  Dawaa Dazhi is Anishinaabemowin for ‘there is space in this place.’  The Dawaa Dazhi Gallery was created through The Miinikaan Project – a project funded with an Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grant.  Miinikaan means seed in Anishinaabemowin. We talked about building and keeping relationships, balancing multiple roles.

Here’s an excerpt from “Engaging & Empowering Youth”:

  1. CREATING A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

“Whether you are an established artist, just starting out, or not sure if you really want to pursue a career in the arts, the Dawaa Dazhi Gallery welcomes people at all levels. The gallery is a place where people can practice, experiment, and fail without a high amount of risk. Four artists are featured a month, and the gallery works on a first come first serve basis.  There is no age or demographic barrier, people as young as ten have pitched their ideas and been welcomed into the gallery as if they were a professional artist who had been exhibiting for years.  For organizations interested in creating a community gallery it is important to create a place for practice, peer mentorship, and experimentation! Dayna’s tips are to hit the streets, meet people face to face, and don’t be scared to ask for help with social media.”

Click here for the full ArtBridges Tips & Tools: Top Five Tips for Building an Inclusive Community Gallery. For more FREE resources and tools like this, please visit the ArtBridges Resource Portal or reach us at info@artbridges.ca.

The ArtBridges Tips & Tools Series is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and translated with support from the Department of Canadian Heritage Interpretation and Translation grant.

Profile Highlight: Miinikaan Project (Sault Ste. Marie)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.

“The Miinikaan Project, meaning see in Anishinaabemowin, is a grassroots project geared towards the learning of traditional and modern Indigenous art practices.The project will involve a series of monthly group exhibits designed and led by young indigenous and non-indigenous artists. Monthly workshops will also be offered at various venues around Sault Ste. Marie, ON. This project has been made possible by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.”

To read more about Miinikaan Project, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Resource Highlight | Arts Equity Video Series: Principle #3, Relevance and Representation

Arts Equity Video Series: Principle #3, Relevance and Representation
Neighbourhood Arts Network | ON | 2017

“The 2nd video in a series of 5 speaks to how reflexivity and relationships starts with critical self-reflection; reflecting on how our own position fits with those we aim to work with. This sort of reflection helps when working to build and maintain relationships.

Visit this page to access the accompanying worksheet for this video and the rest of videos from the rest of the Arts Equity series.

Video by: Meredith Stapon

Meredith Stapon is a creative force and recent graduate from York University. Following her Connecticut upbringing, Meredith returned home to Toronto, where she has found inspiration in the arts community. With experience throughout multiple disciplines, she currently finds peace combining traditional approaches with contemporary technologies.”

Click through the ArtBridges Resource Portal to learn more.

Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts Therapy: Conference (Winnipeg)

International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) Conference

“This year’s conference theme is Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts Therapy in Winnipeg, Manitoba October 4 – 8, 2017. Early bird registration was extended until July 31st. We are also pleased to offer discounted rates for students, seniors, artists, and Indigenous community members, in addition to hosting Indigenous Elders at no cost. Please visit https://ieataconference2017.com/registration/ to register. You can also find further information on all the workshops and 80 + presenters who are participating.

In addition, we are excited to announce the conference’s evening event programming here. Individual tickets can be purchased for some of these events. WHEAT will also be hosting Art Hives travelling community art exhibit on Truth & Reconciliation during this time at our studio in the exchange district. Dates this exhibit will be open to the public will be announced soon!”

-submitted by WHEAT Institute

Profile Highlight: The AMY Project (Toronto)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.

The AMY Project is a free performing arts mentorship and theatre creation program serving young women and non-binary youth. AMY breaks down barriers to participation by providing meals and transportation; accessible, queer and trans inclusive and anti-racist environments; and more. With the mentorship of professional artists, AMY participants learn to tell their stories with honesty, integrity, and artistic rigour. AMY was the 2017 recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Arts For Youth Award.”

To read more about The AMY Project, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Appel à communications : Forum Le Pouvoir des arts 2018 (Fondation Michaëlle Jean)

“La Fondation Michaëlle Jean (FMJF) et le Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) vous invitent à présenter une communication au FORUM LE POUVOIR DES ARTS : LES ARTS, DES ARMES POUR LA PAIX qui se tiendra du 16 au 18 février 2018 au MBAM.

  • Vous faites des recherches sur le pouvoir des arts, plus particulièrement sur la relation entre les arts et la paix, les arts et la santé, les arts et la ville, les arts et les nouvelles économies, les arts et l’inclusion, les arts et la participation démocratique?
  • Vous utilisez les arts comme outils de changement pour affronter les enjeux sociaux majeurs de notre époque : la lutte contre l’itinérance, le pouvoir d’agir des jeunes Noirs, la réconciliation et la justice pour les populations autochtones, l’inclusion des communautés musulmanes, le combat contre l’homophobie, l’intégration des refugiées, la lutte contre la violence faite aux femmes, la prévention de la criminalité et des extrémismes?
  • Alors, vous avez des enseignements essentiels et des expériences importantes à partager avec vos pairs venant du Québec, du reste du Canada et d’ailleurs et nous vous invitons à soumettre votre proposition dès maintenant.”

Pour plus de détails, visitez fmjf.ca

Call for Proposals: 2018 Power of the Arts Forum (Michaëlle Jean Foundation, Canada-wide)

“The Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) invite you to submit a proposal to deliver a presentation at the upcoming POWER OF THE ARTS FORUM: LEVERAGING THE ARTS AS WEAPONS FOR PEACE, which will take place February 16 to 18, 2018, at the Museum.

  • Are you conducting research on the power of the arts, particularly tied to the relation between the arts and peace, the arts and health, the arts and urban planning, the arts and new economies, the arts and inclusion or the arts and democratic participation?
  • Do you use the arts as tools to tackle major social issues: the prevention of homelessness, the empowerment of Black youth, justice and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, inclusion of Muslim communities, the end of homophobia and transphobia, the integration of refugees, the struggle against violence against women, crime prevention and the prevention of extremisms.

If so, you have vital information and experiences to share with your peers coming from Quebec, the rest of Canada and abroad, and we invite you to submit a proposal.”

For more information on how to submit a proposal, please visit fmjf.ca

Resource Highlight | Arts Equity Video Series: Principle #2, Reflexivity & Relationships

Arts Equity Video Series: Principle #2, Reflexivity & Relationships
Neighbourhood Arts Network | ON | 2017

“The 2nd video in a series of 5 speaks to how reflexivity and relationships starts with critical self-reflection; reflecting on how our own position fits with those we aim to work with. This sort of reflection helps when working to build and maintain relationships.

Visit this page to access the accompanying worksheet for this video and the rest of videos from the rest of the Arts Equity series.

Video by: Meredith Stapon

Meredith Stapon is a creative force and recent graduate from York University. Following her Connecticut upbringing, Meredith returned home to Toronto, where she has found inspiration in the arts community. With experience throughout multiple disciplines, she currently finds peace combining traditional approaches with contemporary technologies.”

Click through the ArtBridges Resource Portal to learn more.

Profile Highlight: Temple Art Hive – Kaveret Omanut (Westmount)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.

“Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom is a warm and welcoming congregation of members of all ages, abilities, sexual orientations, family configurations and backgrounds. Our efforts are guided by our commitment to promote inclusion, engage the community and eliminate barriers. The Temple Art Hive addresses a need for families who have trouble finding activities at which family members of all abilities are welcome and can participate equally. We will continue to offer a space that is welcoming, and an Art Hive that is inclusive to those with special needs. We want our Hive to function as a bridge, connecting a marginalized group, (people with disabilities and their families), with others.The Temple Art Hive will continue to serve as a unifier and source of support as people come together and engage in art, gently breaking down the barriers of social isolation.”

To read more about Temple Art Hive, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map