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Innovations in Creative Space and Placemaking is not a simple ‘show-and-tell’ study tour but a deeply immersive journey focusing on new approaches to building and sustaining space for culture. It features some of Toronto’s most interesting cultural spaces, and a highly accomplished roster of speakers and tour guides as well as impromptu performances. Wherever possible the program has been designed to be interactive, to take advantage of the leadership and experience that delegates will bring from many parts of the world. Lunches and dinners in extraordinary locations will allow delegates to reflect on what they have experienced with their peers and build lasting relationships.

Learn more our speakers, delegates and program - view our Delegate Package in PDF
Learn more our speakers, delegates and program - view our Delegate Package in PDF
Study Tour program
Who It's For
  • Municipal cultural leaders
  • Urban planners
  • Private developers
  • Space-making intermediaries
  • Community development organizations
  • Artist studio providers
  • Social purpose real estate entities
  • School board officials
  • City councillors
  • Government real estate agencies
  • Major cultural institutions
  • Creative placemaking organizations, supporters and enthusiasts

We encourage cities to bring a small delegation of leaders from diverse backgrounds who will be able to work together to advance creative space development in their communities.

Program Options

3-Day Program

June 4 to June 6

A fascinating program of site visits, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

5-Day Program

June 4 to June 8

Three days of tours and networking, plus two additional days of in-depth workshops.

Innovations Explored

Over the course of the week, our program will explore in depth several innovations in creative placemaking, within the context of inclusive, progressive urban development.

Private-public-non-profit partnerships

Private-sector engagement in creative space development will likely be necessary in responding to the scale and urgency of the challenge but partnerships with the private sector can be easier said than done. The program will include eight different examples of how projects have maximized the value of the arts in partnerships with private developers.

Repurposing public property

Many cities have underutilized public properties but lack the insight or resources to re-purpose them for community uses. The program will explore five innovative ways to procure public benefits including arts tenancies through the sale or redevelopment of publicly-owned properties.

Empowering creative space developers

The World Cities Culture Forum is building a toolkit as a resource for cities and creative space developers to strengthen the enabling environment for creative space in its member cities. It will include tools and resources for funding, planning, policy and development. The program will include a workshop that explores the WCCF toolkit now in development and unpacks some of the most effective strategies and approaches to building and sustaining places for culture in the world.

Creative placemaking

Artscape coined this term to describe the practice of leveraging art for change in community and urban development. The program will explore the types of value arts facilities generate and how they can be leveraged to simultaneously support artists and serve multiple other agendas.

The future of creative space

The program will explore how co-working and technology are changing what is possible and might be needed in future creative spaces. It will draw inspiration from multiple projects designed as platforms for collaboration, innovation and social inclusion.

Indigenous placemaking

In countries like Canada, the USA and Australia the land is the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. The colonization of these places and shameful treatment of indigenous peoples over centuries has given rise to a movement that strives to reconcile the past and build a new future that respects indigenous rights and values. Indigenous placemaking is a practice that holds great potential to embrace native values in stewarding land and help make sites become places of reconciliation.

Making cultural facilities inclusive

Making cultural facilities welcoming and inclusive to people of diverse cultural backgrounds usually does not happen by accident. There are many elements to consider when creating a facility that is welcoming, open and accessible to all including: design, governance and community stewardship, outreach, programming and management. The program will explore multiple examples of how cultural facilities have become beacons of openness and inclusion.

Community design

There is an art to finding shared interest among parties with different needs and interests and translating that into a shared vision. The program will explore how shared visions for community hubs can be built from the ground up.

Governance and community stewardship

Community stewardship can be an essential ingredient in fostering inclusive communities where stakeholders have a voice in decision-making. The program will explore how to design governance and community stewardship plans with diverse stakeholders.

New funding and financing tools

Toronto space developers have made use of innovative tools and programs to raise capital. The program will explore how community bonds and city-loan guarantees can be game-changers for non-profit developers.

Affordable ownership models

Artists and arts organization renting long-term are essentially paying someone else’s mortgage. The program will explore how affordable ownership and land trusts can put ownership in the hands of cultural communities.

Impact measurement

Measuring the cultural, economic, social and environmental impacts and outcomes of creative space projects is important in attracting interest and investment in new projects. The program will explore methodologies for impact measurement for creative spaces.

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