Arts in the Parks Toolkit

Toronto Arts Foundation, in partnership with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is sharing its expertise animating local parks by offering the Arts in the Parks Toolkit. This resource is aimed at helping community organizations and municipalities envision their own arts events in parks. The toolkit is a guide to help navigate the logistical, financial, and artistic considerations involved in producing arts events in parks and other public spaces, including sections on planning, partnerships, fundraising, outreach and engagement, communications, and evaluation – all in an accessible, easy-to-read format that includes key statistics, case studies, and useful tips.

When summer arrives, arts take to the parks! Launched in 2016 by Toronto Arts Foundation (TAF), Arts in the Parks is a free, annual, summer-long celebration of arts in the outdoors. Working alongside Toronto Arts Council’s (TAC) grants programs, this unique initiative provides opportunities for all residents, particularly those in under-served communities, to access professional arts programming in neighbourhood parks.

Entering our fourth summer, we are pleased to share our Arts in the Parks journey with others who are interested in animating parks with arts. Whether you are contemplating a summer long program or a weekend event, we think you will find useful ideas, links to in-depth information and handy tips in our Arts in the Parks Toolkit.

Arts in the Parks would not be possible without a network of supporters and partners from community organizers who advocate for their local parks, to city builders concerned about public space, and visionaries who see the arts as a way of bringing communities together. Toronto Arts Foundation would like to thank everyone who has cheered us on, especially the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department and Mayor John Tory whose enthusiasm about Arts in the Parks has been a catalyst since day one.

Drawing on our Arts in the Parks experience, we have created this toolkit to help community organizations and municipalities look at the big ideas and the small details that go into planning and producing arts events in parks. Thanks go to Ontario Trillium Foundation for its important partnership and the support provided throughout the development of this resource.

We offer this toolkit as a way to share our findings with you. We hope it will add to conversations about the changing role of parks as social and cultural spaces and serve as a helpful resource for community visionaries to tap into the transformative power of the arts in public spaces. It’s not a playbook, but a guide to help navigate some of the logistical, financial and artistic considerations involved in producing arts events in parks and other public spaces. Make this your own – the concept of Arts in the Parks is absolutely sharable.



Claire Hopkinson, M.S.M
Director & CEO
Toronto Arts Foundation & Toronto Arts Council


Key Points Summary

Key Points Summary - French (Points Saillant)

Our Story


Toolkit Credits

Toronto Arts Foundation & Toronto Arts Council

Written by: Margo Charlton (Research & Impact Manager), Sally Nicholson (Research & Impact Assistant), Erika Hennebury (Strategic Program Manager, Animating Toronto Parks)

With contributions from: Claire Hopkinson (Director & CEO), Susan Wright (Deputy Director), Jaclyn Rodrigues (Community Engagement Manager), Sarah Gladki (Communications Manager), Leslie Francombe (Philanthropy and Sponsorship Manager), Alexandra Loewen (Marketing & Events Coordinator)

Ontario Trillium Foundation
With support from:

Liz Forsberg (Strategy Lead, Inspired People)

Design, Editing and Photography
Design by Trajectory
Editing by Steen Starr of crisp editorial

Photography by:

  • Diana Renelli
  • Jaclyn Rodrigues
  • Jeff Hitchcock
  • Josh Clavir 
  • Monica Salazar Arcila
  • Sarah Gladki 
  • Sean Howard
  • Tania Fitzpatrick