Creative Minds North York Satellite

Thanks to a $1 million investment over four years from the Slaight Family Foundation, Workman Arts is expanding its art training programs throughout the GTA by partnering with Scarborough Arts, Urban Arts, North York Arts, East End Arts, Arts Etobicoke and Lakeshore Arts.

The expanded program tackles the prevalence of social isolation in individuals with mental health issues and the lack of opportunities to build lasting social connections through meaningful engagement outside of the mainstream mental health system.

Workman Arts’ art training programs are unique in the mental health sector because they do not treat the art class as secondary to the mental health benefits. High-quality art classes across all disciplines are facilitated by instructors with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction issues.

Creative Minds North York Satellite Flyer

We hope you can join us for any of the following programs:

   Out of Frame (Online)

    Crochet Stitches and Beyond (In-person) 

    Public Speaking Through Comedy

    Life is a Journey

    Drawing From Imagination

    Eco Art and Design


Out of Frame: Mixed Media 3D Paintings


Out of Frame is a mixed media visual arts workshop where participants learn how to make 3D paintings. The workshop will run for 5 weeks in total over Zoom and each class will be 2 hours in length with a 15 minute break. Each class will increase in detail and complexity, giving the participants the time and space to learn new techniques and apply their knowledge. Each week will result in a differently-themed canvas and subject matter. Using a combination of canvas board, Plaster of Paris, acrylic paints, and more, participants will explore colour, shape, texture, and perspective as their creations figuratively and literally pop out of the frame! Out of Frame requires some dexterity and will include the use of scissors, hot glue, and plaster, so this course is recommended for participants 18 and older. No prior artistic experience necessary, all skill levels are welcome.
*Materials will be provided for pick up. Class limit of 10 participants.

Dates: Sep 7, Sep 14, Sep 21, Sep 28, Oct 5

Time: 2pm to 4pm

Where: Online Zoom Meetings

poster graphic for comedy course, text and microphone

Meet your Instructor : Ashley T.

As a young, Black Biracial, Bisexual Woman with Type II Bipolar Disorder from Toronto, Ashley T. has coined herself as the “Bi-Fecta”. She is a multidisciplinary artist who creates within the realms of abstract visual art, literary art, and performance art. She works with diverse materials spanning from acrylic paints on canvas, to ink on paper, to her voice on the mic, to her body on the stage. She uses art to ground and remind herself of the power she possesses to be a positive change in this world. Each piece she creates is a small chapter of her visual memoir.


Crochet Stitches and Beyond: Calm & Happiness through crocheting


This fun course will equip participants with basic crochet techniques so that you can make you own bracelets, scrunches, necklaces and other accessories. Moreover, you can apply the stitches learned in this course to make wonderful gifts. You will also experience mindful crocheting practice, which makes you feel calmer and happier!

Materials will be provided at the first class.

    Dates: Sep 17, Sep 24, Oct 1, Oct 22, Oct 29

    Time: 3pm to 4:30pm

    Where: Location TBA

    poster graphic for comedy course, text and microphone

    Meet your Instructor : Renee Xu

    Renee Xu is a crochet artist, social worker and a mother. Crocheting provides her with both a creative outlet and stress relief. She enjoys creating unique stitches and patterns for bracelets, necklaces and other cuties. With limited spare time, she focuses on small and fun projects. She uses top quality T-shirt yarns to make chunky statement necklaces. All her chunky patterns are invented by herself, one of a kind. She also uses unusual yarns to generate impressive textures. Her exploration with yarn material including macramé cord, cotton rope and packaging ropes. Crocheting practice has been a channel for Renee to connect with the world. She taught crocheting classes in local community and is an active member of a healing art/craft group. She also crochet on TTC buses or subway trains on her way to work.

    Social media: @yarnwonders4u


    Public Speaking through Comedy Course

    The purpose of the workshop is to overcome the fear of public speaking through stand up comedy. We will use humor as the primary tool in order to become persuasive speakers, improve stage presence, and develop self-confidence.

    Participants will learn:

    – 22 Public Speaking Tips & Techniques

    – Unlocking Your Funny & Breaking The Ice

    – Effective Speech Structuring

    – Self Awareness & Body Language

    – Confidence & Controlling Nerves

    – Embracing Your Accent (if any)

    Grad Show: On Grad Night each student will perform a 2-5 minute set before an audience of friends and family.

    Target audience: Any adult (18-years or older) who:

    1. Wants to improve their public speaking and/or use comedy as a way to become more confident and
    2. Identifies with having lived experience of mental health and/or addiction

    Dates: May 11, May 18, May 25, June 1, June 8, June 15

    Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm

    Where: Casa Maiz (1280 Finch Ave W)

    poster graphic for comedy course, text and microphone

    Meet your Instructors : Stephan Dyer and Juan Cajiao

    Originally from Costa Rica and Colombia, Stephan Dyer and Juan Cajiao are bilingual corporate leadership and communication trainers, who also happen to be award-winning comedians and improv experts.


    Leaving their executive positions in the banking world in 2017 to pursue their professional careers in stand up comedy, they’ve successfully founded MalPensando, a bilingual (English, Spanish) comedy and public speaking school, as well as its corporate training company, the reTHINK Group, and have grown it to include clients in 16 countries including Canada, Switzerland, England, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States.

    Their mission is simple: entertaining, teaching, and inspiring personal and professional growth through the lens of comedy, and they’ve fulfilled that mission by reaching a total of over 10K professionals worldwide and counting.

    Social media: @stephandyer @juan_cajiao @malpensando


    Life is a Journey

    A series of 5 workshops for older adults (55+)

    In each of these three-hour fun-filled workshops, participants will immerse in: exploring basic principles of colour theory and elements of composition; experimenting with art materials, techniques, and strategies; and expressing their individuality through creative language.

    Learning in a supportive creative environment, participants will have an opportunity to connect with each other through sharing their experiences. All levels are welcome.

    1. Painting Workshop
    2. Collage Workshop
    3. Abstract/Intuitive Painting Workshop
    4. Mixed Media Workshop
    5. Arts & Crafts Workshop

    Participants: Members of North York Senior Centre (Seniors (55+) / all backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, culture, race, language, literacy, income, education)

    Objective: Enhance participants’ quality of life and overall well-being by empowering them to engage in creative self-expression in a group setting and combat social isolation by connecting seniors with each other and with community.

    Dates: March 30th, April 6th, April 13, April 20, April 27th

    Time: 9:30am to 12:30pm

    Where: North York Senior Centre

    Life is a Journey promo graphic

    Meet your Instructor : Dana Sewell

    Dana Sewell is a Visual Artist, Creative Director & Designer, and Art Facilitator. She is a founder of Creative engAGING, a program for elder adults (55+) that promotes healthy aging and well-being through artistic self-expression.

    She is passionate about sharing her love for art and facilitating artsy activities for seniors. Dana envisions the initiative of using art workshops and classes as a vehicle to building healthier and stronger communities: addressing the issue of isolation and loneliness by connecting seniors with each other and involving them within the community.



    Drawing from Imagination

    This course will provide a series of workshops exploring the art of doodling and drawing to work towards completing a hand drawn zine of artworks made in the duration of this course. This drawing/doodling workshop is accessible and requires minimal materials to encourage higher participation.

    The early workshops will focus on becoming comfortable working with different dry media including pencils, pencil crayons, crayons and charcoal. As well as exploring different mark making techniques such as hatching, scribbling, dotting and shading. Through this course participants will work with using different drawing prompts and exercises to help develop a drawing routine that you can incorporate in your  daily life as a means of self- expression.

    This course is intended for beginners but those with drawing experience are welcome to join. The outcome and goal of this course is to provide a safe, welcoming and creative space where participants can learn/develop their artistic skills together and complete a personal zine of drawings that trace their artistic development in this course. Additionally, this course aims to provide participants a calming and relaxing space to de-stress from their everyday lives and use art as a means of supporting a healthy well-being.

    Dates: Feb 14th,16th,18th, 23rd and 25th

    Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

    Where: Online

    Creative Minds Drawing From Imagination Workshop Poster

    Meet your Instructor : Ashley Beerdat

    Ashley Beerdat is a visual artist and community arts facilitator of Guyanese descent. She graduated in 2019 from Western University, completing a BA in Criminology and Visual Arts and Art History. Beerdat is primarily self-taught and uses oil paint to explore themes of mythology, folklore and storytelling to navigate the world around her. In 2020, she completed an artist residency at Visual Arts Mississauga Riverwood. Her work is held in Mississauga`s permanent corporate art collection and has been featured at PAMA and Artscape. As an arts facilitator, she is passionate about delivering accessible arts programming in the community and has facilitated workshops for SKETCH Working Arts, Making Space, Figment Toronto & EmpowHer. Ashley currently has an Exhibition “Messengers” with North York Arts as part of the Northbound Exhibition program.

    Instagram: @ashleybeerdatart



    Eco Art and Design: Reusing, Reducing and Upcycling Principles

    Wondering what to do with all of your cardboard, paper and plastic? think twice before sorting them in your recycle bin and consider using them in your art. In this 5 week session participants will transform found objects into one of a kind art pieces while reducing waste. Learn how to create unique design patterns for everyday items like clothing, bags, cushions and more.

    *BIPOC subject matter during African Heritage Month. All are welcome

    Dates: Mondays Feb.14, 21,28, March 7,14

    Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

    Where: Online

    Creative Minds Eco Art and Design Workshop Poster

    Meet your Instructor : Angela Walcott

    Angela Walcott is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her Interests include sustainability; recycling and upcycling practices as well as the use of found objects as a means of reducing waste. She is passionate about the arts and eager to explore via different media. Integrating clay, textiles, photography and embroidery into her stories as well as typography and text-based poetry. Her work has been showcased at YYZ and Project Gallery. She has facilitated courses with Toronto Public Library and Project Humanity. Angela will be an artist-in-residence with Culture Days for 2022.

    Instagram: @artistwritermaker


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    About Us

    North York Arts (NYA)  collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities

    Contact us 

    North York Arts
    5040 Yonge St.
    Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8


    Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

    Join Our Network
    Meet Julián

    Julián Carvajal (he/him) is a Toronto-based award-winner creator & producer of experiences. This Queer Latinx Colombian Canadian Arts Manager/Producer has over 21 years of experience managing, curating and delivering arts festivals and cultural events. He is the Event Producer of the largest PanAmerican Food and Music Festival in Canada, Mentor in Residence at the Neighbourhood Arts Network while working at North York Arts, StreetARToronto and producing "In My Element(s) Symposia" for ArtWorkxTO.

    Julián has collaborated with organizations and artists from 5 continents on multiple artistic projects. He has mentored over 400 self-identified artists for the past 10 years. He is passionate about building meaningful relationships; helping others to navigate the art sector in the city while collaborating with others to co-create an anti-oppressive and more diverse and inclusive vision of the art sector in Tkaronto.

    What does art mean to you?

    The Big Bang of my life