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Int’l culture leaders to participate in Artscape study tour

Artscape, with support from the World Cities Culture Forum and Canada Council for the Arts, and in association with the City of Toronto, is set to welcome a delegation of policy makers and practitioners from around the world to Toronto to participate in Innovations in Creative Space & Placemaking.

From June 4 to 8, 2018, more than 50 cultural leaders from Austin, Amsterdam, London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Warsaw and cities across Canada will convene to share ideas and discuss successful approaches to building and sustaining space for culture—a pressing concern for cities around the world feeling the impact of a global affordability crisis on their cultural capital and communities.

Innovations in Creative Space & Placemaking will feature a line-up of internationally recognized speakers on a variety of topics, including an opening keynote from Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America, on Monday, June 4 at the Globe and Mail conference centre.

Daily themes for the study tour address Creative Placemaking, Creative Placekeeping and Enabling the Future of Making Space for Culture. Throughout the week, participants will:

  • Receive guided tours from organizations and developers of over one dozen local sites including the Aga Khan Museum, 401 Richmond, Artscape Youngplace, the Gladstone Hotel, Artscape Gibraltar Point and Evergreen Brickworks
  • Hear from leaders and presenters including Jamie Bennett (Executive Director, ArtPlace America), Paul Owens (Director, World Cities Culture Forum), Tim Jones (CEO, Artscape), LoriAnn Girvan (COO, Artscape), Julie Nagam (Chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North America, a joint appointment between the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery), Jane Farrow (urban activist and author), Pru Robey (Consultant), Mitchell Cohen (President and CEO, The Daniels Corporation), Sheherazade Hirji (President, Ismaili Council, Ontario) and a spokesperson for Sidewalk Labs
  • Build meaningful dialogue during sessions focusing on Indigenous Placemaking, private/public/non-profit partnerships, affordable ownership models, social purpose real estate, inclusivity, community design and the impacts of cultural spaces on people, neighbourhoods and cities


Tim Jones, CEO, Artscape: “Toronto is hotbed of creativity and innovation when it comes to making space for culture. However, no cityis close to responding to the scale and urgency of the affordability crisis threatening culture in global cities, Toronto included. That’s why we’re working with the City of Toronto to bring together thinkers and practitioners from around the world for an important conversation about supporting local arts, culture and inclusivity through urban development innovations.”

Assaf Weisz, Managing Director, Creative Placemaking Lab: “Many major cities are facing similar affordability crunches, disappearing arts and culture spaces, and questions about how to enrich urban life. Against this backdrop we’re convening 50 senior culture directors to journey through Toronto and to engage in productive debate on making and protecting space for the creative industries. The participants on board can make real contributions to the cultural experience of tens of millions of citizens, so the potential for change is huge.”

Paul Owens, Director, World Cities Culture Forum: “We are delighted that our Leadership Exchange Programme has enabled seven of our member cities to take part in this symposium led by Artscape. They will be able to learn firsthand about ideas and tools to protect, support and develop creative spaces. This will further build on the important work and research Artscape and the World Cities Culture Forum have developed around making space for culture.’”

Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America: “ArtPlace America would not exist but for the extraordinary work that Artscape has been doing. Toronto is a city shaped by artists and arts organizations partnering with their neighbors around issues like economic development, housing, public safety, and transportation. I look forward to this shared dialogue about creative placemaking internationally.”

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