Do you have a unique arts based project

Do you have a unique arts based project – Need funds to get it off the ground? Apply to #BMOSeedFund today!


Countdown for Culture Days! Forgotten Voices: Beyond the Conflict of the War of 1812

Lakeshore Arts and Sirius Theatrical Company present the first in a series of creative writing workshops with a focus on stories of the War of 1812. Material generated in these workshops will be incorporated into theatrical performance with Sirius Theatrical Company.

New Toronto Library, Sunday September 30, 2-4PM. 416-394-5350.


is a not for profit community arts organization that promotes art making, celebrates local artists and uses art as a catalyst to engage, entertain, educate and inspire.


In 1989, Artistic Director, Heather Dick, founded the Sirius Theatrical Company as an independent production company and both produced and starred in the critically acclaimed JEWEL by Joan Macleod. They have produced main stage shows, large scale community arts projects and small Fringe pieces. As an integral part of their productions, they offer mentoring opportunities for emerging theatre artists to work and train with the professionals on their teams.

In all our activities, we value excellence, integrity, inclusivity, innovation and leadership.

Countdown to Culture Days: Steelpan

Steelpan with Suzette at Sanderson Library from 1:30pm – 2:30pm and 3:30pm – 4:30pm on Saturday, September 29, 2012

Steelpan Demo

The Steelpan, the only pitched percussive instrument invented in the 20th century, was created in the twin republic islands of Trinidad and Tobago. It has journeyed throughout the decades to evolve into an accepted and celebrated instrument.

Join Suzette Vidale as she speaks about the instrument’s origins, evolution and current innovations. Have fun while learning the proper technique of holding the sticks, stance and playing a steelpan. Expect to learn a simple song, no musical knowledge required.

In collaboration with Culture Days and the Neighbourhood Arts Network, Toronto Public Library hosts Toronto-based artists and arts organizations in a celebration of arts and culture at library branches throughout the city of Toronto. Culture Days @ The Library takes place September 28-20, 2012. Check out this year’s lineup and make a personalized schedule at

NAN Interns: Where are they now?

We caught up with former interns and volunteers to find out what they have been up to since their time at the Neighbourhood Arts Network.

Alex Pollard

Alex Pollard (September 2011-May 2012)

Since finishing her internship at NAN in May, Alex graduated from Community Work at George Brown College. In September she will start a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with a major in Community Development. Alex hopes to implement her arts background throughout her new course of study as well as in her hometown of Oshawa.

Amy Goudge

Amy Goudge (Summer 2011)

After interning at NAN in Summer 2011, Amy went on to academic research at Ryerson’s Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre. She then started working with the Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS) Initiative, where she coordinated a youth-led art program in Thorncliffe Park. She also programmed a community arts festival with b current and the reConnexion Collective. Amy will be starting a Master’s program at NYU in Visual Art Administration in the fall.

Anna-Liza Badaloo

Anna-Liza Badaloo (February-April 2010)

After volunteering with NAN, Anna-Liza has worked with NAN partner ArtStarts and the Bain Housing Co-operative. She is currently the Adult Education Coordinator at the Toronto Botanical Garden. In every position she has held since working with NAN, Anna-Liza’s NAN experience has helped her to incorporate community-based art practices into her work. Anna-Liza currently runs and curates the Toronto Botanical Garden Art Gallery in the Weston Family Library, featuring some of the best botanical artists in Canada.

Robyn Shyllit (February-April 2010)

Since interning with NAN Robyn has received her Masters in Urban Planning and Certificate in Community Development from the University of Toronto. She also interned and worked for Artscape and travelled to Spain. Currently, Robin works as the Communications Coordinator for FoodShare.

Emily Macrae is the Neighbourhood Arts Network 2012 Summer Intern

Reflection at Gallery 44

Devonne Harbin, Untitled

A security camera, words scratched in sand, curving chrome chairs, a pair of roses, high school lockers. All of these objects are brought together in OUTREACH 2012 – Reflection, a powerful exhibition of black and white photographs by youth from five different community organizations on display at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography until July 28.

I spoke with soJin Chun, Head of Education at Gallery 44 and Devonne Harbin, a York University student and one of the participating artists from NIA Centre of the Arts about this year’s show.

Showing me her carefully composed photo of a window washer, Devonne explains “Really, it’s all about reflection.” Indeed, each photograph presents a different approach to the show’s central theme. From streetscapes to introspective portraits, Reflection showcases diverse artistic visions.

Raven Flynn

For soJin, film photography creates an opportunity for reflection. She explains that, in contrast to “our immediate culture, where we need instant gratification,” the tangibility of film photography encourages artists to frame each image and the development process rewards patience and precision. In fact, soJin believes that “being in the darkroom creates a community environment.” She describes developing film as “magical” and refreshingly “tactile” in a world where point and shoot digital photography is the norm. Devonne adds that, using the camera for artistic and individual expression at Gallery 44, she “rediscovered” photography after her initial exposure to the medium during high school.

Although OUTREACH is rooted in the tradition of film photography promoted by Gallery 44, the program is about more than image making. soJin confirms that the goal is to “push youth to think conceptually, think critically.” For each artist, the challenge is: “How can you make images that say something?”

In addition to conceiving, producing and exhibiting the show, a smaller group of youth also created an e-zine that integrates film photography with digital media. For Devonne, creating the e-zine was an opportunity to collaborate with youth from other community organizations and share ideas in a supportive setting. The Reflection e-zine presents photos from the exhibition as well as additional images and written reflections by the artists.

Visit OUTREACH 2012 – Reflection at G44’s Members’ Gallery at 401 Richmond until July 28.

Check out Reflection e-zine online.

Shawnee McComb

Participating Organizations

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to the advancement of photographic art through education, exhibition, production and publication. The centre is supported by its members and patrons, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

519 Church St. Community Centre is the hub of community life in Toronto’s diverse Church and Wellesley Village. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, two-spirited and queer (LGBTTQ) communities and our allies and friends have always found a welcoming place at The 519.

Eva’s Phoenix is a transitional housing and training facility, which formally opened in June 2000. This organization provides housing for 50 youth, aged 16-24 years, for up to a full year, and since 2002 has also allowed up to 160 youth each year, aged 16-29 years, to participate in its employment and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Harmony Movement was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit charitable organization to combat interracial intolerance and to confront the “us versus them” attitude which was prevalent in Canadian society at the time. Its mandate is to promote diversity, bring awareness to and challenge all forms of discrimination that act as social and cultural barriers to individuals’ full participation in Canadian Society.

Native Learning Centre is a partnership with the Toronto District School Board. This program allows students to work at their own pace with one-on-one instruction, in a non-competitive environment.

NIA Centre for the Arts: NIA is a word of Kiswahili origins meaning purpose. In Arabic niyyah means intent, it is a way to judge someone’s actions. Our use of the word Nia represents our desire to support young people in finding their purpose. Nia Centre for the Arts is a community space focused on supporting the holistic advancement of Afro-Diasporic young people.

Emily Macrae is the Neighbourhood Arts Network Summer Intern

Cultura Festival 2012


“Your chairs are your enemies! You must defy your chairs!”

As the sun dipped behind the North York Civic Centre, people of all ages followed David Rudder’s advice and rose to dance to the beat of his calypso music. Those who didn’t dance filled the benches of the amphitheatre, spread out on the grass and enjoyed the spectacle perched at the edge of a fountain. Others sampled international street food or strolled the plaza while children played hula hoop on the lawn and lined up to get their faces painted by one of the visiting performers.


On Friday, July 6, Mel Lastman Square was transformed by music, movement and the multifaceted celebration of international arts that is the Cultura Festival. Cultura Festival is presented by John Filion in partnership with North York Arts, an initiative of the Toronto Arts Foundation. Every Friday from July 6 until August 10 Cultura brings free dance, music, performance art and film to Mel Lastman Square. The festival kicks off with a drum circle and buskers at 5:00 followed by main stage musical acts at 7:30 and an outdoor movie screening at 9:00.


Come to Cultura this Friday July 13!
Main Stage Musical Act: Autorickshaw                                                                           Buskers: El Jaguar Street Fiesta Mexican Wrestler & Bubalee the Clown                              Movie: The First Grader

For more information visit: