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Community Arts Space

Community Arts Space: Recent Histories

Thu Jul 05 to Sep 17, All Day

Presented by TD Bank Group

Inspired by the transformative aspects of ceramics, both real and metaphorical, the Community Arts Space is the Gardiner’s incubator for arts-based community projects. In collaboration with local artists, designers, and collectives, the Museum will mount five public projects that examine how cultural knowledge is passed on or performed, and the role of a museum in cultivating the so-called lived and living memory. Join us for free art workshops, performances, talks, and more all summer long. Full schedule coming soon.


The Visibility and Representation Project
Co-presented with The 519
Invisible Footprints 0.2: Deep Cuts
July 5 – 19

Invisible Footprints is a series of multi-generational projects that celebrate the history of Toronto’s East and Southeast Asian LGBTQ movements. Created by Vince Ha, Mezart Daulet and fellow community organizers, this ongoing community-based art and archive project revisits the footprints of artists, activists, academics, and groups like Asian Lesbians of Toronto and Gay Asian Toronto to cast light on marginalized community histories. Made in collaboration with Makeshift Collective, Invisible Footprints features new works by artists Aries Cheung, Heidi Cho and Khanh Tudo, and is accompanied by skills sharing workshops for youth and elders exploring community histories at The 519.

Thursdays, May 10 – May 31, 6 – 8 pm
Clay Making and Community Dialogue

Thursday July 5, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Invisible Footprints 0.2: Deep Cuts Public Opening

Saturday July 14, 1 – 3 pm
Invisible Footprints 0.2 Deep Cuts Artist Tour

Public Space Intervention
I wanna dance with somebody
August 1 – September 17

Local artist, writer, and curator jes sachse addresses the negotiations of bodies moving in public/private space and the work of their care. Made with industrial materials, sachse creates a series of outdoor sculptures on the Gardiner Plaza in the form of ramps that foster consideration and play, and address how bodies interact with the architecture of access.

Thursday July 5, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Alice Sheppard Dance Performance

Friday July 6, 6 – 7:30 pm
Alice Sheppard Artist Talk

Saturday August 25, 1 – 5 pm
I wanna dance with some body Daytime Disco

The Young People Project
Co-presented with Art Starts
Reclaiming Artifacts
August 2 – 16

Design researchers and strategists Calla Lee and Prateeksha Singh present an original project for kids, youth, and families based on the imagined discovery of artefacts found during a dig in the year 2050 from the remains of a former Toronto condominium development. Rooted partly in fiction, lived experience, and research of actual contemporary trends and signals, this project involves a series of guided artifact-making workshops with youth from Art Starts that will be featured in this interactive exhibition.

Thursday August 2, 6 – 8 pm
Reclaiming Artifacts Opening

Sunday August 5, 11 am – 3 pm
Family Sunday: Notebooks of the Future

Sunday August 12, 11 am – 3 pm
Family Sunday: Fossil Imprints

Performance on the Plaza
Co-presented with Angry Asian Feminist Gang, Margin of Eras Gallery
Panic in the Labyrinth
August 2 to August 19

Multidisciplinary artist Annie Wong organizes a series of performances centering on intersectional feminist poetics on the Gardiner Plaza. From a nomadic choir recalling and repeating the demands made by women and feminist movements across geography and history to a reading series for local women writers, Wong’s project transgresses traditional poetry reading and spoken word events to explore a feminist durational aesthetic of holding space through speaking and listening collectively.

Panic in the Labyrinth Performances
Thursday August 2. 6:30 – 8 pm
Thursday August 9, 6:30 – 8 pm
Thursday August 16, 6:30 – 8 pm

Sunday August 19, 12 – 5 pm
Ritual Readings

Museum Intervention
Co-presented with Akin Collective, Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak Bluejays Dancing Together Collective
Blood Soaked Soil
August 23 – August 30

Louis Esmé (Mi’kmaq-Acadian, Irish) is an artist, writer, illustrator, and co-founder of Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together Collective, which has gathered knowledge, stories, and desires for re-urbanized Two-Spirit people and their relations since 2012. Esmé’s work is described as granny craft/old media with social commentary akin to Statler & Waldorf from Sesame Street. Esmé is creating seven clay districts representing the Mi’kmaq Seven Directions in the Gardiner’s Exhibition Hall, lobby, and permanent collection galleries. The vessels, referencing Woodland pottery forms, reckon with ongoing colonialisms, while offering witness to Indigenous survivance on the Dish with One Spoon Territory.

Presented by

TD Bank Group

Community Partners


The 519 is committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of the LGBTQ2S community. A City of Toronto agency and a registered charity with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership, The 519 strives to make a real difference in people’s lives while working to promote inclusion, understanding, and respect.

In 2017, The 519 provided in-kind space and resources for artistic workshops in support of the development of two process-driven projects, NU_FORuMS and Collecting Personal Archives. For Community Arts Space 2018, The 519 will again provide workshop space for a process-driven project, supporting the delivery of knowledge and skill-sharing serving the LGBTQ2S community in Toronto and beyond.

Akin Collective is a Toronto-based arts organization that provides affordable studio space as well as arts-based programming through its sister non-profit organization, Akin Projects. Akin provides space to nearly 250 visual artists, designers, and creatives in studios that maintain a friendly and inspiring atmosphere where people can work on creative endeavors and entrepreneurial undertakings of all kinds. Akin builds community through monthly art critiques, free or low-cost workshops, open studio events, gallery tours, exhibitions, as well as various other projects. During the Community Arts Space’s inaugural 2016 cycle, Akin Projects mounted Place/Setting, an exhibition hall project delivering all-ages clay-making workshops and community events. For Community Arts Space 2018, Akin will provide six months of free studio time at one of its studios, as well as kiln firing access.

For 25 years, Art Starts programs have benefited thousands of people living in marginalized Toronto neighbourhoods by providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for self-expression and creative collaboration. They afford opportunities for vulnerable people of all ages to contribute to the creative ecology of their neighbourhoods, using the arts to help end the negative cycles associated with marginalization and poverty.

Angry Asian Feminist Gang

Margin of Eras Gallery

Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak Bluejays Dancing Together Collective