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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!

Become a Member of ArtBridges!

ArtBridges is a hub and forum for connection for anyone interested in or active in community-engaged arts and arts for social change in Canada. More than ever, because of the pandemic, connection and community-engagement matters!

Through the year, we have learned about the many ways that community-engaged arts initiatives have been working with their communities and pivoting through lockdowns, government health and safety mandates, and pandemic relief measures. It has taken great imagination, capacity, and resiliency. We have also heard and read stories about how initiatives are growing in response to the social and environmental justice issues of our time.

Your Membership support will help ArtBridges continue to gather and share about innovative community-engaged arts activities and about how initiatives are adapting their programs through the pandemic and transitioning into a “new normal.” 

Membership fees help support the work of ArtBridges all year! As a Member you will be a vital partner in ArtBridges’ important work by helping us to raise awareness, connect people to community-engaged arts initiatives, gather and share resources, and highlight what’s going on in the practice and field.

Become a Member!

ArtBridges’ Highlights of 2021:

  • UNLOCKED Project: UNLOCKED became an official project of ArtBridges in June!  “UNLOCKED is an online exhibit of art created by young Canadians – their personal and creative response to the pandemic.”  
  • The Art Boxes Project:  ArtBridges matches people with art supplies to community-engaged arts initiatives that reach out.  This year, we received a donation to purchase art supplies and deliver them directly to community-engaged arts initiatives. These included: Thrive Like a Girl, The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at Humber River Hospital and Ernestine!s Women’s Shelter.
  • ArtBridges became a Regional Hub and Steering Committee Member with the recently launched Art for Social Change Network (ASCN): This project is hosted by: Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP) and the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC).ASCN is designed to connect and support hundreds of arts for social change (ASC) organizations and independent artists across Canada”. As a Regional Hub, ArtBridges is leading a project called: “STORIES OF NOW” about gathering and sharing stories emanating from the field and about what issues and areas of focus matter.
  • ArtBridges’ Executive Director, participated for the second time as a mentor in FUTURES/forward – a National Mentorship Program …”designed to connect seasoned ASC practitioners with early-to-mid career community-engaged artists, foster peer to peer exchange with others doing change work with diverse communities, and bridge the urban/rural divide. (FUTURES/forward is hosted by the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), an initiative of Judith Marcuse Projects”.)
  • For almost three years, ArtBridges has been operating as a charitable organization, not-for-profit, and registered National Arts Service Organization (NASO). (ArtBridges was previously a project of Tides Canada for 10 years.)  Like numerous arts organizations across Canada, ArtBridges is navigating through the challenges of working through the pandemic and adapting to new ways of working to continue to be relevant, viable and sustainable.  
  • We have worked hard to keep the information flowing about what’s going on in the field via, with blog posts, Facebook & Twitter, Learning and Resources. We’ve responded to people with special requests—assisting with finding mentorship, connections, art supplies, and writing letters of support. Over the year, we have worked hard to preserve our website/hub.  
  • We concluded the 6th Annual Remarkable Community-Engaged Arts Awards and announced the finalists: Remarkable Innovation: Silver Scenes Film Festival (Toronto); Remarkable Creativity: Indigenous Women’s Augmented Mural Series (Calgary); Remarkable Resiliency: This Way Up Collective (Toronto). Awards were sponsored by the Ruth Mandel – WHO GIVES Fund. We are currently kicking off our 7th Annual Remarkable Community-Engaged Arts Awards. Our hope is that these stories inspire.

As an ArtBridges Member, you or your arts initiative can:

  1. Have your website reviewed for accessibility, mobile responsiveness, and clarity in a one hour professional consultation.
  2. Call for mentorship, brainstorming ideas, networking, or project / organizational development support with the ArtBridges team.
  3. Member Spotlight: Have your community-engaged arts initiative featured on ArtBridges’ Canada-wide Community Blog
  4. Receive consideration for a letter of support for your initiative from us.
  5. Be listed under Membership Recognition on the ArtBridges website.
  6. Receive a Membership card: become a card-carrying member!

Join our Membership today! Please fill out the Membership registration form online at Your membership fee will cover from now through to the end of 2022. 

Thank you for believing in this work!

Wishing you joy, health, and lots of creativity during this holiday season and into the new year!


Tiffany Nyklickova
Membership Developer

& Seanna Connell
Executive Director

Practicing the Social: Entanglements of Art and Justice (Jan 20-22, online)

What is Practicing the Social?

Practicing the Social: Entanglements of Art and Justice is a FREE online arts-based gathering that will merge an artistic and scholarly program in engaging and accessible ways. We strive to promote social justice, via critique and creative engagement, and to explore creative possibilities and innovations by disrupting the methodological challenges and tensions that define our social practices. 

This gathering will showcase artistic and scholarly practices, performances, and works that engage in non- or anti-normative art and cultural production (fat art, aging art); decolonizing and Indigenizing themes/processes; gender and sexuality; difference and identity; Indigenous, Black, queer, trans, and crip pasts, presents and futures; Black feminism and intersectionality; crip and queer culture, access, and activism; and more.

Our programming is entirely virtual and includes more than 80 speakers and performances, plus multimedia exhibitions, a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, a book launch for The Aging/Disability Nexus, a Remote Access + Arts Everywhere Festival – Nightlife and Dance Party, a screening of films from the Rolls and Race project, a virtual social networking space in Gather Town, and so much more.

Check out all of our Event Activities!

Hosted by Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph with Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life (BIT), this gathering will feature artists, activists, and academics from across Canada, the US, Europe, South America, and New Zealand.

Join us ONLINE on January 20-22, 2022. REGISTER now!

For more information, please visit:

-from University of Guelph

STORIES OF NOW: Project: From Harm to Harmony, with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB)


Vignette – Project: From Harm to Harmony, with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB), Fredericton, NB 

 “STORIES OF NOW” is part of a project ArtBridges is 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. 

In conversation with: Juliana Bedoya (she/her), Community-Engaged Environmental Artist.  (Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, BC). on October 26th, 2021. 

If you could tell a story about your community-engaged arts initiative now, this year, what would the story be about? What are the main themes?

JB: We’re working on our second (community-engaged arts) project with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) – this is an extension of the first program (held earlier in the year). We’re looking at deforestation, climate change, food insecurity and dirty energy – 4 buckets to focus our work on – using art for climate action. ‘Action over worry’ is our signature mantra! The project is still called ‘From Harm to Harmony’ (H2H) and we’re looking at re-establishing our relationship with the natural world, healing and making an impact. For this project, we invited artist Laura Barron to co-facilitate. She’s bringing in a new element – music, and using an interdisciplinary approach to writing music. So it’s more than visual arts. We’re collaborating and co-leading sessions. There are about 50% former group participants and about 50% new participants. Values of the original core group have been sustained. 

What are the main issues your community-engaged arts initiative faces? (e.g., social justice, environmental justice, pandemic-related, operational, financial, HR)

JB: We’re addressing the environmental emergency, not only climate change, that’s reductionist. This is tied to social issues, forced migrations, economy, colonization… All these play a huge role in climate issues today.

We’re examining the concept that “climate change has been conceptualized as a form and a product of colonization”. The idea that some powerful countries are extracting from other countries. It’s a larger global climate emergency. We’re incorporating Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing into this project and looking at a values based approach – this is the core of this 2nd phase project. We’re having conversations about values – ‘compassionate’ and benevolence values, biocentric values, environmental values, art centric values in contrast to ‘self-interest’ values and those in the ‘achievement and power’ groups… We’re working with a values map and navigating complex dichotomies. We’re doing research on values and the clash of values- i.e.: benevolent values, individualistic values, empathy, compassion, wellbeing vs.- economic progress, wealth, … this round has had a lot of conceptual input from research and from resources gathered. As co-facilitators- we’re also constantly looking at artist-led vs. community-led approaches. It’s been a learning curve, but we’re getting there. 

How has your initiative been addressing these main issues?

JB: Like warp and weft – the warp is values, the main foundation that holds everything together. Values have been the core structure of our debate and work for this project. Dr. Louise Comeau shared this approach, research, and resources, and we started to navigate this deeper. It has been a personal and group process about values. We are gravitating towards working with biocentric values rather than ‘self-interest’ or individualistic values for this project.

How has the community of participants that your initiative engages with evolved in the past year (if at all)?

JB: We are defining our audience by defining our message using a toll called ecosystem mapping – who are the participants? Who are the users/audience? What are our values? What does the user/audience need to know? Feel? Change and do? If we start with the user/audience, then the user becomes a broader community. Change happens from individual – to community – to services – to institution. How do we touch the one person who then becomes the community? What are the barriers? What are the challenges to the users/audience?

We have a new participant who has accessibility needs, and is a non-visual artist. She’d like to be an activist. Her values are aligned. She can have a digital connection, and we make sure she can participate and contribute. We have more practicing professional artists for this project compared with last year’s project. Because of the exhibit last year, we attracted more participants. We just confirmed exhibit space for this project at the Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews during March Break and at the UNB Archives in April during Earth Week. People are motivated by this! 

How is your organization engaging with your community right now? (Logistics, pandemic public health and safety guidelines & policies, changes in the way we gather)

JB: This group of project participants is evolving into a community of practice. Louise secured funding for this project for all of 2022! We’re also creating a web presence for people to sell their art online, and artists will also be getting a stipend. We also have a co-facilitator for this project. Change can be challenging moving from the first cohort to the second cohort but overall participants have embraced the idea of incorporating an interdisciplinary approach. 

What are one or two new projects your initiative implemented this year?

JB: The art exhibit, & the online gallery and sale. We’re also doing a larger project – a forest lullaby. This is with the project’s interdisciplinary approach to writing music, gathering input from participants for the writing of the lyrics and then recording the song professionally in the studio. This is happening right now.

What is your initiative doing new–digitally–compared to pre-pandemic?

JB: The online gallery and sale! We started our first project during the pandemic, so we already established working digitally together from across the country. That’s the new norm. 

Is there a recent achievement, wonderful moment, or quote you’d like to share about your initiative or its impact?

JB: Two of our artist participants applied as mentees in the FUTURES/forward mentorship program and one of them was selected! The other one will have the same opportunity for mentorship internally as she has naturally started to lead a community group for her project. We are very excited about the additional mentorship opportunities that this project is creating… As part of our collaborative installation, we’re investigating how to create a solar-powered lamp installation where each of us will shed a light on a specific environmental issue.

In conversation with Seanna Connell, ArtBridges

Project Grant: Black Arts Projects Program (Toronto Arts Council)

“The Black Arts Projects Program supports arts projects by Black artists, Black artist collectives, and Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving organizations. For the purpose of this program, “Black” refers to African descendant people across the diaspora including but not limited to African Canadian, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, East African, West African, Southern and Central African, Afro-Arab, Afro-Indigenous, etc. This funding program is intended to support the development, continuation, and flourishing of Black arts communities.

What does this program support?

The Black Arts Projects Program provides support to individual artists, artist collectives of 2 or more Black artists working on a non-profit basis and incorporated non-profit Toronto Black arts organizations.  

TAC recognizes the need to respond to barriers that Black arts communities face due to anti-Black racism. The program is designed to increase access to, awareness of, and participation in Toronto Arts Council funding by Black artists, while amplifying the work of Black artists in the city and creating avenues for sustainable art practice.

This program is multidisciplinary and recognizes a diversity of art practice, including new and emerging art forms, culturally relevant art practices, and multi/ interdisciplinary arts projects. Applicants can apply for projects that engage one or multiple arts disciplines.”

For more information, please visit: For more information, please visit:

-from Toronto Arts Council

Call: Indigenous Artists of All Disciplines (Mississauga Arts Council)

“Call for Indigenous Artists!

MAC is committed to listening to the voices of Indigenous artists in meaningful ways that will allow your work to be properly and respectfully showcased and paid for. We’re looking to connect with professional and emerging Indigenous artists from all artistic disciplines, to create new Indigenous-led projects and commissions that celebrate Indigenous culture through stories, artwork, and music.

Learn more and register your interest in upcoming collaborative Indigenous Art opportunities with MAC:

For more information, please visit:

-from Mississauga Arts Council

Call for Artists: CreateSpace Public Art Forum (STEPS Public Art)

STEPS Public Art believes public art has the ability to challenge the systemic inequities that exist in public space. In support of this important work, we facilitate programs that foster inclusive public art practices, build the capacity of underrepresented artists, and demonstrate how public art can help reimagine equitably designed cities.

We are thrilled to launch CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a digital forum that will virtually convene 50 participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. CreateSpace Public Art Forum runs from January 10-30, 2022. This forum will foster connections, build understanding across geographies and cultures, as well as provide emerging equity-seeking artists with the skills, relationships and support needed to develop public art practices.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum will see the presentation of 10 pre-recorded talks/workshops created by professional public artists and cultural workers. These talks/workshops will be available in both video (YouTube) and audio (Podcast) versions for accessibility, with ASL translations. Each talk/workshop will be themed around various ideas and concepts of public art practices. Participants will engage with these talks/workshops and create an artistic response, with feedback from peers, as well as one on one feedback from established public artists. Their participation will culminate in a profile on the STEPS Public Art website with a virtual presentation of their work.

Program components will be offered primarily in English, with translation and ASL services available as needed to support participation of a diverse community of artists. Interested applicants must submit their expressions of interest by Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST. Those living outside of the Pacific time zone are encouraged to use a timezone converter to ensure your application is received by the deadline.

For more information:

-from STEPS

STEPS Public Art croit que l’art public a la capacité de défier les inégalités systémiques qui existent dans l’espace public. Pour soutenir ce travail important, nous facilitons les programmes qui encouragent les pratiques d’art public inclusives, renforcent les capacités des artistes sous-représentés et démontrent comment l’art public peut aider à réimaginer des villes conçues de manière équitable.

Nous sommes ravis de lancer CreateSpace Forum d’Art Public, un forum numérique qui réunira virtuellement 50 participants âgés de 18 à 25 ans qui s’identifient comme Noirs, Autochtones (Premières Nations, Inuits et Métis), racialisés, ruraux et/ou les jeunes handicapés. CreateSpace Forum d’Art Public se déroule du janvier 10 au 30, 2022. Ce forum encouragera l’établissement de liens, la compréhension et l’appréciation à travers les géographies et les cultures, fournira aux artistes émergents soucieux d’équité les compétences, les relations et le soutien institutionnel nécessaires à la croissance et au développement des pratiques d’art public.

CreateSpace Forum d’Art Public verra la présentation de 10 conférences/ateliers préenregistrés créés par des artistes publics professionnels et des travailleurs culturels. Ces conférences /ateliers seront disponibles en format vidéo (YouTube) et audio (Podcast), pour des raisons d’accessibilité, avec des traductions en langue des signes américaine en anglais (ASL). Chaque conférence/ateliers s’articulera autour de diverses idées et concepts liés aux pratiques de l’art public. Les participants s’engageront dans ces conférence/ateliers et créeront une réponse artistique, avec les commentaires de leurs pairs, ainsi que des commentaires individuels d’artistes publics établis. Leur participation aboutira à un profil sur le site web STEPS Public Art avec une présentation virtuelle de leur travail.

Les composantes du programme seront offertes principalement en anglais, avec des services de traduction et services langue des signes américan en anglais (ASL), disponibles au besoin pour soutenir la participation d’une communauté diversifié d’artistes. Les candidats intéressés doivent soumettre leur expression d’intérêt avant le dimanche, 12 décembre, 2021 à 23h59 HMP. Persons qui vivent en dehors du fuseau horaire du Pacifique sont encouragés à utiliser un convertisseur de fuseau horaire pour s’assurer que leur application est reçue avant la date limite.

Pour en savoir plus :

-source : STEPS

Art for Social Change Network: A New National Community-Engaged Arts Network

“The Art for Social Change Network (ASCN) officially launches! Led by community-engaged arts organizations acting as regional hubs, ASCN is designed to connect and support hundreds of arts for social change (ASC) organizations and independent artists across Canada.

The ASC sector in Canada and around the world works in service to the needs of diverse communities through artmaking, new forms of dialogue and partnerships with local non-arts organizations.

We aim to:

  • Build bridges between diverse communities of practice, including those in both rural and municipal settings;
  • Promote and support local and national initiatives including exchanges and dialogues, advocacy, artist exchanges, professional development and national gatherings; address the challenges of inclusion, equity and diversity.
  • Nurture engagement and participation in community-engaged arts, specifically in the development of partnerships within the sector and with non-arts change sectors such as those focused on environmental, health and social justice and decolonization challenges;
  • Provide connections with scholars working in community-engaged arts research.

Who are we?

Presently hosted by Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP) and the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), ASCN is led by a Steering Committee whose members are:

Alberta: Calgary Arts Development, Calgary, Columbia: International Centre of Art for Social Change, Vancouver, Art City, Winnipeg, Brunswick: Multicultural Association of Fredericton, Fredericton, & Labrador: First Light, St. John’s, • Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Labrador, Territories:
Northern Arts and Culture Centre, Yellowknife, Scotia: Wonder’neath Art Society, Halifax, • Youth Art Connection, Halifax, ArtBridges/ToileDesArts, Toronto, Edward Island: The River Clyde Pageant, New Glasgow, National Theatre School of
Canada, Montreal, Common Weal Community Arts, Regina and Saskatoon, Nakai Theatre, Whitehorse,

What is Art for Social Change (ASC) and why does it matter?

When people make art collectively about what matters to them, new insights, dialogue and actions for change become possible. We passionately believe in the untapped potential of inclusive, arts-infused practices to build and support healthy, sustainable, and more just communities. Our beliefs are founded on a substantial worldwide body of evidence that demonstrates the work’s positive impacts at individual, community, and systems change levels.

What are our current projects?

  • Creation of an Indigenous-directed arts centre program;
  • Youth-created multidisciplinary theatre reflecting histories of their territory;
  • Mapping of Art for Social Change (ASC) organizations;
  • Mentorships of artists and community-based organizations;
  • A youth arts response to the National Day of Reconciliation;
  • Collection of stories about the state of community-engaged arts now;
  • Series of stakeholder roundtables on the role of artist residencies;
  • Decolonization of a former church, now an arts centre, through community-engaged art;
  • Development of video documentation skills with theatre-making in remote communities;
  • A survey of new digital strategies developed during the pandemic.

AND: On January 25 – 27, 2022, ASCN will offer its first national, online public gathering. Art for Social Change NOW will explore perspectives and questions through dialogues, presentations and reports from across Canada. More details to come at”

-submitted by ASCN

Ngashnaa/Our Mother (An insight into the indigenous history of Weston road)

UrbanArts presents Ngashnaa/Our Mother (An insight into the indigenous history of Weston Road) that will touch base on the historic carrying place trail of Weston and reclaim stories of the land that was before the rush of important intersections such as Weston and Lawrence.

Artist spotlight and program will be hosted by Star Nahwegahbo who will discuss the importance of storytelling accompanied by a colouring page and videos on the Humber River. The video is available to view on the YPA website.

An artist talk, interactive colouring page will be available and free to attend on November 25 from 6-8:00pm at Artscape Weston Common.

Folks attending must be show proof of vaccination.”

For more information, please visit: and

-from UrbanArts

Why Art for Social Change? (Nov 25, online)

“In partnership with the Trico Changemakers Studio at Mount Royal University, Calgary Arts Development invites you to join us at a free virtual gathering Why Art for Social Change?

Are you an artist or arts organization who works in the field of Art for Social Change (ASC)? Do you want to learn more about the exciting and transformative ASC work that is taking place in Calgary?

This is your opportunity to hear about what others are doing, look for ways to collaborate and grow your ideas, and learn about the Artist as Changemaker program.


Date: Thursday November 25, 2021
Location: Online via Zoom
Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm MST
Cost: Free”

For more information, please visit:

-from Calgary Arts Development

Call for Nominations: Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award (Native Women in the Arts)

“Nominations are open for the 7th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award. This award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario who are women or other-wise gender marginalized. 

Please note that you can nominate yourself or someone else.


  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • To be considered for an award the artist must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status First Nations peoples).
  • This award is for women and other gender marginalized folks. NWIA respects trans women as women and uses the term gender marginalized to be inclusive of  transfeminine  people who do not necessarily identify as women as well as trans men and transmasculine people, non-binary people, Two Spirit people, and genderqueer people. Cis-gendered, heterosexual men are not eligible for this award.
  • Must be at the emerging stages of artistic career. We define an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stage of their career, regardless of age
    • Has created a modest body of work
    • Has had some evidence of professional achievement but may not yet have a substantial record of accomplishments.
    • One who is not yet recognized as an established or mid-career artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including:
    • Traditional/Customary Arts (Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving etc.)
    • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation and Performance art)
    • Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre)
    • Media Arts (Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary Arts (Prose, Poetry, Creative-Nonfiction, Spoken-word)
  • Live in one of these geographical regions in northern Ontario:
    • Kenora District
    • Algoma District
    • Cochrane District
    • Manitoulin District
    • Nipissing District
    • Parry Sound District
    • Sudbury District
    • Timiskaming District
    • Rainy River District
    • Thunder Bay District
  • All eligible artists are encouraged to self-nominate.
  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.”

For more information, please visit:

-from Native Women in the Arts