By Serena Lopez
If you’re not an up and coming artist in the Toronto area, you probably haven’t heard of or used a space in the city called a creative hub. Creative hubs, also known as cultural hubs, are on the rise in the arts community in Toronto and have become staple additions to the city’s established art scene.
A creative hub is a facility that is specifically dedicated to providing space and support for networking, business, development and community engagement for individuals within the creative, cultural and tech industries.
Many of the creative hubs that currently exist in the city are built under the Toronto Artscape Foundation. According to the Artscape Foundation’s mission statement, they are made up “of a group of not-for-profit organizations dedicated to creating spaces for creatives and expanding arts development in communities.” They currently have 15 developments in multiple locations in downtown Toronto.
Here’s a breakdown of some of Artscape cultural hubs that are already supporting local artists in the community:
Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw St.)
Opened in 2013, Artscape Youngplace is located in the West Queen West neighbourhood. It offers studio spaces for both artists and organizations for rent and hosts artistics programs and events for all ages. They offer various opportunities for artists to show off their work in their space whilst collaborating and networking with other artists both big and small.The facility also features a centre for Indigenous theatre and exhibitions that showcase underground artists’ works that are free and open to the public right in Toronto’s strongest artistic community.
Artscape Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East)
While most creative hubs in the city require membership, this Regent Park facility is completely open to the public and hosts a number of arts programs for youth. This facility hosts a wide range of arts related programs including dancing, art-making, singing and music with various cultural spaces open to the public and organizations. Artscape Daniels Spectrum encourages not only creative expression but to promote community building and a greater appreciation for the arts in the neighbourhood.
Artscape Daniels Launchpad (130 Queens Quay East, East Wing; 4th Floor)
This 30,000 square-foot facility opened last fall on Toronto’s Waterfront and specializes in providing programs and entrepreneurial opportunities for artists. With co-working spaces, workshops and innovative creative studios equipped with the latest technology, Artscape Daniels Launchpad inspires and gives artists a way to expand on their work.
Toronto-based filmmaker, Qais Pasha, got a first-hand experience of what Daniels Launchpad had to offer through a program the hub launched in the summer of 2017 before it opened.
“I hadn’t even thought about a plan to make profit off of my work before starting the program at Daniels Launchpad,” said Pasha.
Having no prior professional experience through Daniels Launchpad, Pasha said he was given a grant to support the funding of his feature film project. In addition, he was also provided the tools to expand his skills and teach him how to sustain himself as an upcoming artist. Memberships are required in order to access the space and range from $50-125 per month. Artscape Daniels Launchpad also shares a joint talent space within their facilities called HXOUSE x Launchpad (a Toronto-based creative hub started by The Weeknd and his team), which also commits itself to providing creatives with the resources they need to successfully develop their ideas.