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Cultural Hotspot heats up East York and east-end neighbourhoods

The Cultural Hotspot will hold its signature celebration on June 17 at the East York Civic Centre with performances and family events. For a full list of events, click here.

For more on the 2017 Cultural Hotspot Mural Unveiling  – visit this page.

For more on the Cosburn Arts Festival: East York – A Living History – visit this page

From May through October, the City of Toronto’s fourth annual Cultural Hotspot initiative will celebrate and spotlight the arts, artists, culture, food, events and communities of East York and east-end neighbourhoods.

Highlights of this year’s Cultural Hotspot program include projects produced in partnership with local community arts groups, such as:

  • Three new summer community arts festivals: East End Arts’ multi-day Main Squared Festival, Danforth Village Fair and the Monarch Park Arts and Music Festival
  • Cultivating Community through Mural Arts, a large-scale community-engagement mural project bringing together seven East York groups led by VIBE Arts
  • Project Future, an innovative and collaborative project combining permaculture gardening, eco-art installation and theatre led by local Indigenous and Black youth, produced with the Children’s Peace Theatre
  • Exciting community workshops concluding in performances and exhibitions such as Animating Danforth East, Dance with Peacock, Riverside Roots, People and Trees, East York – A Living History
  • My City My Six, a participatory public art project in celebration of Canada 150 produced by the City in collaboration with six Local Arts Service Organizations
  • A HOT Eats culinary program and contest in collaboration with local BIAs and restaurants, and
  • A new East York/east-end edition of the Cultural Loops Guide offering self-guided tours that invite people to continue exploring the area for years to come.

The Cultural Hotspot is produced by the City of Toronto in collaboration with local arts, cultural, educational and heritage organizations, community partners and local businesses. It builds on existing community strengths while developing resources outside of Toronto’s downtown as recommended by the Creative Capital Gains Action Plan.

Since the Cultural Hotspot’s launch in 2014, more than 60,000 people have attended about 180 projects and events presented by the City and its many partners in North York, Etobicoke and south Scarborough. The program has also engaged hundreds of young people in learning and mentorship since its inception.

More information and the program guide are available at and on social media at and


A note from Councillor Fragedakis about this year’s Cultural Hotspot:

Ward 29 is thriving with cultural activities and venues. From the newly renovated grounds at the East York Civic Centre to the always dynamic and engaging events at Todmorden Mills and the Evergreen Brick Works.

The ward also has very supportive arts, community and civic organizations who animate the area with programs, events and opportunities, like the Don Valley Art Club, DECA, East End Arts, and our valued public libraries.

Ward 29 is also home to the second highest concentration of cultural workers in the city! I’m looking forward to the new projects by East York Neighbourhood Initiatives and VIBE Arts, Cosburn Arts Centre, Dreamation, inPrint Collective, Spore Contemporary Art Centre, and of course, the Cultural Hotspot launch at the East York Civic Centre on June 17.

Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth)


Some event highlights include:

Community Art Making Session

When: Saturday, May 6, 1 – 4 p.m.

Where: East York Community Centre, 1081½ Pape Ave.


Mural Unveiling

When: July. See website for details.

Where: East York Community Centre, 1081½ Pape Ave.

About VIBE Arts

Established in 1995, VIBE Arts is an award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under-resourced communities with high quality community and school-based arts education. With a 20-year trajectory, VIBE Arts has become one of the most celebrated community arts organizations in Toronto.

About East York Neighbourhood Initiatives

East York Neighbourhood Initiatives aims to bring community together through sharing knowledge and skills. They support community-led initiatives in partnership with organizations and agencies who share an interest in supporting the neighborhood.


Cultural Hotspot Celebration and Launch

Celebrating Arts, Culture and Community in East York

Free Event | All Welcome

When: June 17, 1 – 4 p.m.

Where: East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.

An afternoon of arts, culture and community on the newly renovated grounds of the East York Civic Centre. Join us for an exciting mix of dance and music performances, interactive art installations and craft-making. Enjoy delicious treats, learn a new art skill and meet the people behind some of the most creative and community-based projects in the area. This one day event will have something for everyone, so drop by for a fun filled, festival style day celebrating the 2017 Cultural Hotspot – East York and the east end. Visit us at for details.


East End Arts presents Main Squared, a free, multi-disciplinary art festival that will activate and explore the public square at the corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue. Drawing on historical clichés of “public squares” as well as tapping into community aspirations, Main Squared invites residents and community members to reimagine the site as a space for social engagement. Boldly mixing contemporary and community art, Main Squared features installations, interactive activities, performances, and more.

When: August 26 to September 3, various times. See website for details.

Where: Main Square, 2575 Danforth Ave.

About East End Arts

East End Arts is one of six Local Arts Service Organizations in Toronto, with the mandate to unite, inspire, and enhance the communities of east Toronto (Wards 29-32) with the transformative power of the arts. East End Arts creates a network between artists and communities that allows for the exchange of ideas, energy, and resources; supports local artists in their practice and projects; promotes engagement with the arts as a means towards increased joy, vitality, and understanding; and encourages everyone to contribute to the evolving story of Toronto’s east end through artistic dialogue.

Project Future

Children’s Peace Theatre celebrates the voices of Indigenous and Black artists while offering mentorship and tools for a new future. Project Future offers land-based creative performance and permaculture workshops. The project culminates in the Language of the Land Festival in September 2017 featuring free public permaculture workshops, interactive tours, discussions and daily performances on the beautiful land that is stewarded by the Children’s Peace Theatre. Visit our website for updates about free public permaculture workshops that will take place leading up to and during the Festival.

When: September 21 to 24. See website for details.

Where: Children’s Peace Theatre, 305 Dawes Rd.

About Children’s Peace Theatre

Children’s Peace Theatre (CPT) was established in 2000 to create a culture of peace by engaging children and youth in the process of collaborative art-making and conflict transformation. CPT creates spaces for new kinds of cross-cultural dialogue and deepening of relationships between diverse young people and with the land. They provide a wide range of arts programs, events and mentorship opportunities for young people and artists that promote personal and social transformation.


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