Art Connects

Art Connects

Art Connects 

Art Connects is a cultural competency training program for NYA Staff board, and community partners. The program has addressed how North York Arts can better incorporate/adapt to some of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Throughout this program, we have asked ourselves: As a non-Indigenous organization, what can we do to support the process of decolonization and build right relations with Indigenous communities? 

The program was done in two phases: 

1. A series of consultations between NYA staff and board, an Elder and Indigenous leaders 

2. Community conferences with other arts organizations to share NYA’s findings and discuss our role as a sector. 

Program Consultants :

Elder Joanne Dellaire

Veronica Johnny

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone

  1. Sep 2019NYA received funds from the Government of Canada’s Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anit-Rascism Initatives Program
  2. Oct 2019NYA staff have their first consultation with Elder Joanne and Indigenous leaders Veronica and Aqua.
  3. Dec 2019NYA staff have their second consultation to discuss action steps
  4. Jan 2020NYA board meets with Elder Joanne to discuss the role of the board in making change
  5. Jan 2020 NYA hosts a community Consultation with our sister Local Arts Service Organizations (LASO)
  6. Feb 2020NYA partners with PAONE to host a second community consultation
  7. Apr 2020NYA Staff participate in Medicine Wheel teaching
  8. May 2020Program evaluation by Maria Montejo

Art Connects Outcomes: 

  • An organizational commitment to authenticity, education, and balance
  • Development of a new land acknowledgment 
  • Recieved funds to develop our Community Mapping Project
  • Plans to write an evirornmental policy
  • Shared knowledge and understanding within the arts sector
Funded By:

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

What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? North York and Scarborough

Join in a celebration of reading and writing in North York and Scarborough hosted by award-winning author Catherine Hernandez.

Presented by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization, the Toronto Arts CouncilNorth York ArtsScarborough Arts and the Toronto Public Library.

Date: June 9, 2018


Time: 1-4pm

Place: Victoria Village Library

Address: 184 Sloane Avenue, Toronto, ON

What's Your Story? 2018 Schedule

1:00 – 1:15 pm – A special presentation by Veronica Johnny.

1:15 – 2:15 pm – Author Readings

The What’s Your Story, North York writing competition winners read their North York inspired works.
– Author Lucy Black
– Author Sylvia Warsh

Introducing emerging North York writers:
– Laura Mullin
– Asheda Dwyer

The What’s Your Story, Scarborough writing competition winners read their Scarborough inspired works.
– Author and creative writing instructor Alexandra Leggat

Introducing emerging Scarborough writers:
– Natasha Ramoutar
– Petrose Tesfai
– Nicole Bayes-Fleming

2:15 – 2:30 pm – Refreshments

2:30 – 4:00 pm – Engaging Workshops for Writers

2:30 – Decolonizing Writing Practice with award-winning author Catherine Hernandez
This workshop will give participants tools to liberate themselves from the confines of “conventional” storytelling and find truth in their own literary voice. Participants can expect quick exercises to awaken and empower the writer within.

3:00 – Publisher Speed Dating
Writers, this is your opportunity to chat one-on-one with publishers: Quattro Books, Guernica Editions, Dundurn Press, Cormorant Books, ECW Press and Inanna Publications and get the inside track on what publishers are on the lookout for.

Words Rhymes and Life will be onsite and happy to chat about Saving the Novel.

These authors’ works have been published in an anthology that will be available for free to all attending.

What's Your Story? Winners

2018 Established Writer Winners:
Lucy E.M. Black
Sylvia Maultash Warsh

2018 Emerging Writer Winners:
Asheda Dwyer
Laura Mullin

Read More

2017 Established Writers Winner:
Elyse Friedman

2017 Emerging Writer Winners:
Jennilee Austria
Robyn Hamilton
David Stokes

Read More

2016 Established Writers Winners:
Domenico Capilongo
Richard Rosenbaum
Kenneth Sherman

2016 Emerging Writer Winner:
Sara Y. Cunningham

Read More

Arts Build Space Rental Workshop

Arts Build Space Rental Workshop

Creative Space Rentals Workshop Series

This day of learning combines two workshops key for any creative organization offering space rentals

Date: February 8, 2018

Time: 9am – 4pm

Place: Toronto Centre for the Arts

Cost: $20 for one or $30 for both
No one will be turned away for lack of funds – please contact for more information.

9am – 12pm

Space rentals are a significant revenue source that contributes to the sustainability of many creative organizations and small businesses. Using examples from the sector, this half-day workshop will cover how to define, target and engage with current and new renter audiences.

This workshop is for any arts professional looking for ways to expand their current renter audience or just starting a space rental program. This workshop also serves as a useful tool for any arts professional looking to diversify their skill set around space rentals and revenue development.

This is the first workshop of a two-part series of workshops on the topic of space rentals hosted by ArtsBuild Ontario in partnership with WorkInCulture.

1pm – 4pm

What does it mean to manage risk in your rental space? What is your organization’s attitude towards potential hazards? In this half-day workshop, we will cover what creative venues and small businesses need to know about operational, financial and legal risk when it comes to renting out space.

This workshop is open to all creative venues and small businesses currently offering space rentals. This workshop also serves as a useful tool for smaller/newer rental spaces expecting to grow as well as arts professionals looking to better understand risk in space rentals.

This is the second workshop of a two-part series of workshops on the topic of space rentals hosted by ArtsBuild Ontario in partnership with WorkInCulture.

The Learning Series is presented by ArtsBuild Ontario as a collection of learning opportunities for arts facilities around our core programs: SpaceFinder CanadaArts Facilities Mentoring NetworkEnergy Conservation and Asset Planner for the Arts. The Learning Series is generously supported in part by the Ontario Trillium FoundationOntario Arts Council and the Government of Canada.

The Learning Series is generously support in part by the Government of Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ontario Arts Council.

Beyond Access, Beyond the Creative

Beyond Access, Beyond the Creative

Beyond Access, Beyond the Creative

Cross-Sector Artist Professional Development

A North York Arts professional development program that builds artists’ capacity as producers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. This program teaches artists how to create programming that supports their own artistic vision and leverages the talents of the communities they work within all disciplines and across sectors.’

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

All workshops at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, North York 


Art and Wellness

9am to 5pm

This full day workshop will look at the role of the arts in healthcare. The use of artistic practises in healthcare, wellness and mental health is a wide-ranging movement that illustrates how the arts enhance lives and impact patient care, hospital environments, care for caregivers, and community-building within medical and therapy settings.



Georgia Webber

Georgia Webber is a comics artist and writer based in Hamilton, Ontario. Georgia co-founded and then ran an anthology publication called gangLion comics. Georgia has worked for BookThug, The Scream Literary Festival, The Void Magazine, Trapshot Archives, Rover Arts, and as Comics Editor of carte blanche. Dumb can be seen in Taddle Creek, Descant: Cartooning Degree Zero, and the Irene comics anthology, as well as in kevin mcpherson eckhoff’s Selfie and in various interviews. This year Georgia is a keynote speaker at the Graphic Medicine Conference: Access Points.

Helen Donnelly

An award-winning clown teacher, she has been teaching clown and movement workshops in the US and Canada for over 15 years at colleges and art institutions including Durham and Fleming College, Haliburton School of the Arts, The Second City, (Toronto) and the University of Toronto. Independently she holds her own theatrical clown training workshops. She has been a guest trainer for clowns working in healthcare in both Israel, Portugal and Canada.

Aside from her work in the theatrical and circus clown realm, she is a professional therapeutic clown offering artistic clown interaction through therapeutic play at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Previously, she worked at The Hospital for Sick Children and with Dr Clown (Toronto-serving elders with dementia) for over 2 years as Artistic Coordinator and Programs Coordinator. Her passion in the therapeutic clown field has her directly involved in raising standards of practice through presenting at conferences, training others in the field and in research efforts to bring about a better understanding about how this arts-based practice affects patients, families and staff

Sharona Bookbinder

Sharona Bookbinder has been practicing art therapy
for 20+ years, specializing in geriatrics, palliation and cancer care. She divides her time between working full-time at Sunnybrook HSC, doctoral studies and being a mother to 3 boys. She also provides clinical supervision for art therapist in the community.

Creative Entrepreneur 

Branding & Marketing with True Inner Purpose – A Social Justice Based approach to Business for Artists

9:30am to 4:30am

This interactive, hands-on creative workshop focuses on how artists can tell their story through dynamic marketing and branding. While this workshop teaches hard skills in marketing and branding, it is specifically designed for artists who wish to build careers and creative enterprises that are rooted in their True Inner Purpose, honouring their calling in life, with an equity and social-justice based approach to business. This workshop emphasizes personal development, cultivating focus and clarity, sustainability and well-being in one’s creative practice, while supporting sustainability and practical skills in creative entrepreneurship.

This workshop will cover:

  1. How to Create a Brand centred around your True Inner Purpose: Crystalize the message of your company or personal brand, by identifying what makes you unique, and what aspect of your work is the most aligned with your true inner purpose.
  2. How to Find Focus, Clarity, and Purpose: Grounding in your own sense of power as a creative entrepreneur. Understand who your target market is, and strategize ways how best to reach them.
  3. Social Justice Based approach to Marketing and Business: Learn an introduction to sales funnels, and marketing strategies to build long-term relationships with your best customers.



The Real Sun

The Real Sun is the Creator of Voice of Purpose, a Creative Enterprise that delivers Purpose Driven Education through the Arts. The Real Sun has successfully combined her talent as an artist (singer/songwriter/poet), with her love for education, healing, and social justice to create a social enterprise that allows her to live her purpose and passion every day. She uses her music, poetry, and dance as tools of engagement for education, in Workshops and Musical Keynotes across the province and around the world. Constantly encouraging her students to stand in their authenticity, passion, and purpose.

The Real Sun’s artistic practice invokes a journey of deepening into authenticity, and integrates a wide range of form, including poetry, music, visual arts, theatre, and dance. She has performed on stages across 5 continents, with a deep commitment to contributing to the evolution of humanity. Everything The Real Sun creates in the arts or in business is about making a positive impact on the world. The Real Sun is committed to supporting people to identify, align with, and develop the skills to pursue their true purpose in life.

Producing Big Ideas: From the Ground Up

9:30am to 4:30pm

This full day workshop will provide a step by step overview of what is required to develop successful programming from a production standpoint. This workshop is designed for community organizers who want to use arts to engage their community, as well as artists seeking feedback on their ideas. This workshop will provide an opportunity for artists and communities to network and build partnerships on-site that will help move their ideas forward. Participants will be encouraged to bring their ideas and time will be spent on developing these on-site. Breakout sessions will allow for one-on-one feedback.



Dan Watson

Dan has created, performed and taught theatre across Canada, Scotland, France, the United States and Japan. He is Co-Artistic Director of Edge of the Woods Theatre in his home town of Huntsville. This company produces an annual travelling outdoor theatre festival as well as various community arts projects for youth and seniors. Dan is a co-founder of the international theatre company Ahuri Theatre. Recently this company travelled to Japan to present Yabu No Naka at the prestigious Setagaya Public Theatre at the prestigious Setagaya Public Theatre. With Ahuri, Dan also recently conceived and directed the workshop production of A Fool’s Life at the Japan Foundation in Toronto.

Dan was also a member of Compagnie Houppz! with whom he created and toured the hit show SplasH20 to sold out houses across Canada and France. This production was recently nominated for an Eloize Prize for Outstanding Production in Eastern Francophone Canada. Through an artistic residency at Théâtre Populaire d’Acadie, the company recently created a new piece entitled Mouving.

In Toronto, Dan has performed in Theatre Smith Gilmour’s Grimm Too, Ed Roy’s Golden Thug (Buddies in Bad Times/Topological Theatre), the world premiere workshop of The Finger (Theatre Panik) and in Golgi Apparatus‘ Bigfoot and Ahoy! presented at the Cooking Fire Theatre Festival in Toronto.

Creative Community

9:30am to 4:30pm

This full day workshop explores what artists need to know and what options they have if they want to work in diverse ethnocultural communities. Artists often want to be able to use their skills for social and community initiatives, but do not know how to facilitate these initiatives, or the best practises for working with potentially vulnerable populations. Creative Community will look at the variations between community engagement and arts education outside of the classroom. Participants will learn practical ways to apply their work in community settings working with under-resourced groups and have the opportunity to develop ideas with experts in the field. Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to network with representatives from the social service sector to further their understanding of the unique need of these settings.



Paola Gomez

Paola Gomez is a force of nature: a determined and inspired individual committed to improving lives through the arts. A trained human rights lawyer hailing from Colombia, she works as a legal community worker and is a writer of fiction and journalistic non-fiction; she is also the PEN Canada Writer in Residence at George Brown College and a frequent organizer of art exhibits in the Latin American community in Toronto. In 2012, she co-founded Sick Muse Art Projects with artist Alex Usquiano. As the co-founder of Sick Muse Art Projects, Gomez has fostered community engagement and integrated discussions about identity and inclusion into art programs and writing workshops. She’s currently working on a project with Syrian refugee women, encouraging them to share their stories.

Mary Krohnert

A graduate of Ryerson University’s Theatre School, and The Toronto Art Therapy Institute, Mary Krohnert’s work is driven by an appreciation of storied experience, and a desire to explore and utilize the spaces found between the worlds of fine art and social services in order to make sharing those stories accessible and meaningful to all.  Mary is an actor, writer, and art therapist with over twenty years in community outreach through the arts, including developing and implementing programs and projects for Performers for Literacy, ShakespeareWorks, the YMCA and YWCA, University of Toronto, Variety Village, Durham Rape Crisis Centre, Durham Family Court Clinic, Cornerstone Community Association, University of Oshawa Institute of Technology, Trent University Durham, and Durham College.

Mary is the founder of the LivingRoom Community Art Studio, a registered non-profit Art Hive in Oshawa, Ontario, that provides a safe place for people – including those most marginalized – to make and share art for free in the service of community development and wellbeing.  Art Hives are safe spaces where the processes involved in making and sharing art can be experienced and normalized in an effort to empower individuals and families, and revitalize neighbourhoods. In the three years that the LivingRoom studio has been open, it has witnessed remarkable creative growth in its community with over fifteen thousand visits from Durham Region community members. Working primarily with donated and gently used traditional and non-traditional art materials, Mary and a team of passionate studio coordinators and volunteers work with people of all ages and abilities, and from all walks of life, to provide opportunities for folks to reclaim the power of their hands, hearts and minds through creative expression in a community setting.






My City My Six – North York

A Six Word Story and mixed-media art exhibit that celebrates the stories of North York communities.

My City My Six is led by Toronto Arts and Culture in collaboration with the city’s six Local Arts Service Organizations: Arts EtobicokeEast End ArtsLakeshore ArtsNorth York ArtsScarborough Arts and UrbanArts. In addition to the 150 stories selected for the citywide exhibit, hundreds more will be shared through innovative local exhibits throughout September and October.

Exhibition from September 14 to October 14th

Opening Reception
Sep 14th
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm


Contact Cecilia at to schedule a viewing

Toronto Centre for the Arts
North York Arts
5040 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 6R8

Cursory Artist Talk

Cursory Artist Talk


Four artists from four different countries are coming together to present the art show “Cursory”. This time, multiple art formats such as paintings, sculptures, digital art, and sketches are displayed together interpreted in the uniqueness of each artist to represent their identities. Art works by Hussain Al Ismail, Pradeep Anurag Reddy, Sara Vargas Nessi and Victor Vazquez.

Artist Talk

August 19th, from 1pm to 3pm

Akin Sunrise, 100 Sunrise Ave






Four artists from four different countries are coming together to present the art show “Cursory”. This time, multiple art formats such as paintings, sculptures, digital art, and sketches are displayed together interpreted in the uniqueness of each artist to represent their identities. Art works by Hussain Al Ismail, Pradeep Anurag Reddy, Sara Vargas Nessi and Victor Vazquez.

Opening Reception:
August 10th

Lower Gallery, Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street, North York

Ceramics and Glass Workshop

Ceramics and Glass Workshop


Every Thursday from August 24th- October 12th
1pm- 2:30pm

Toronto Public Library – Black Creek Library
1700 Wilson Ave, North York, ON M3L 1B2

For registration, please email:
Or call: 416 733 9388 ext 7067

Blowout Symposium

Blowout Symposium

Blowout Fest 2017

A Collaborative mixed media experience to celebrate Deeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s 50th anniversary through Caribbean and Afro-Diasporic art.

Toronto Urban Book Expo – What a Bam Bam Visual Arts Exhibit Creatives Connect Live: Interview with Pete Rock & CL Smooth Moderated by Saukrates.

Sunday, August 6th 2017
12pm- 8pm

Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 6R8
Gallery Space & Studio Theatre