Artscape is a not-for-profit organization that
makes space for creativity and transforms communities.
Artscape leads or contributes to strategic research and development projects, which impact on our own development projects and practice; builds strategic partnerships and develops the evidence base for the sector.
On Wednesday, January 26, 2011, a community meeting was held to present the research and final recommendations of Artscape’s feasibility study on a cultural/creative hub in Weston Mount Dennis that was commissioned by the City of Toronto. The full report was submitted to the City in March 2011.
In July 2010, the City of Toronto issued a Request for Quotations (RFQ) for a feasibility study for a cultural/creative hub in Weston Mount Dennis. The purpose of the RFQ was to identify and retain a team of researchers who could create a model for a cultural/creative hub that could be used in Toronto’s Priority Neighbourhoods, and to apply that model to the Weston Mount Dennis area.
To ensure that the model was grounded and well researched, a survey of best practices among cultural/creative hubs in Toronto and internationally was mandated as was substantial primary and secondary research into the state of the cultural and creative sector in the study area. The public’s involvement and input was to be solicited through an information meeting with key local organizations and networks, a Community Open House and a presentation to the community of the report findings.
The report investigates the feasibility of cultural/creative hubs in socially, economically and culturally disadvantaged areas. This report hopes to offer some answers as to how cultural/creative hubs may be one tool that can be used to stimulate economic growth and the broader benefits of culture-led regeneration in Toronto’s Priority neighbourhoods.
In February of 2011, Artscape released a report – Advancing Toronto’s Centre for Creative Sector Entrepreneurship – that presents the findings of a 12-month-long research and sector engagement study that sought to understand the macro-market challenges facing the creative and cultural sector in Toronto.
The report calls for the creation of centre that will cultivate the entrepreneurial capacity and business skills of self-employed individuals and micro-businesses across a spectrum of creative and cultural sector enterprises. The centre would support the development of a resilient, sustainable, innovative and successful sector that makes a growing contribution to the prosperity of the city.
“It is time to give creative and cultural sector workers better tools to help them thrive so that they are better able to spread their creativity across the city and make an even greater contribution to the city’s prosperity,” said Tim Jones, President and CEO of Artscape. “If the first wave of Cultural Renaissance helped put ‘creativity on display’ in our city, the second wave in contrast needs to be about putting ‘creativity to work’.”
The report recommends that GTA needs a place that acts as a portal to what is available, while at the same time clustering and coordinating the efforts of those providing services.
Work on the study was guided by an Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from the City of Toronto Economic Development Office, Cultural Careers Council Ontario, Toronto Fashion Incubator, Toronto Business Development Centre and Ontario Ministry of Culture. The study was funded in part by The Ontario Trillium Foundation Future Fund and the City of Toronto Economic Development & Culture Division.
For more information on the Centre for Creative Sector Entrepreneurship, please visit the project page
(July 2009) Toronto’s identity has been re-energized over the past five years through cultural, political and community leadership. The city’s Cultural Renaissance began with new iconic museums, galleries and training institutions then gained further momentum through Nuit Blanche, Luminato and a host of other programs and events. On the heels of this great adventure, a new wave of energy is building in the city’s cultural and creative sector. It could be said that the first wave of the Cultural Renaissance helped put “creativity on display” with greater panache than ever. The second wave, in contrast, is about putting “creativity to work” to build our city and grow our prosperity.
The Convergence Centres: Building Capacity for Innovation report is intended to contribute to Toronto’s progress in generating a more sophisticated understanding and advancing a more strategic approach to growing the cultural and creative sector. The impetus for the report grew out of the Strategies for a Creative City study in 2005/06. Through this study, a group of directors from Toronto’s creative institutions realized that there was a groundswell of new infrastructure development that was happening below the radar and formed the Creative Convergence Project Consortium. It included more than a dozen major new projects that shared an interesting characteristic – they were purposefully designed to optimize creative work by providing a platform for collaboration. The Convergence Centres: Building Capacity for Innovation report reveals new ways that talent, space and collaboration are being combined and leveraged to fuel our capacity for innovation. It has already been successful in generating numerous collaborations, partnerships, and networks. We hope this work will also provide helpful insight for governments at all levels that are looking for new ways to stimulate the economy, create jobs and build infrastructure for the future.
Download the full Convergence Centres: Building Capacity for Innovation Report
Creative Convergence Project Consortium
Canadian Film Centre
Ontario College of Art and Design
Toronto International Film Festival Group
Ontario Media Development Corporation
City of Toronto