Toronto Arts Foundation Announces the 2015 Emergence Symposium on Arts and Equity

TORONTO – Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network and SKETCH are proud to host the 2015 Emergence Symposium | Arts & Equity: Leading Social Change. The Symposium will be held from November 12 -14, 2015 at Evergreen Brickworks (November 12-13) and Toronto Centre for the Arts (November 14).

The Emergence Symposium will convene over 200 artists, cultural workers, community leaders, academics, youth and policy makers to create dialogue around important questions surrounding equity, diversity and inclusiveness. This facilitated three day symposium experience will create space for critical discussions, leadership development, creative self-reflection, peer-to-peer exchange and cross sectoral collaborations.

This year, the biennial gathering celebrates and nurtures equity-centered leadership development opportunities. Important issues and efforts are communally explored by using community-engaged arts as a spring board. Over three days of workshops, performances, presentations and activations, attendees will investigate questions such as:

What does inclusivity, positive social change and equity presently look like in our communities, creative practices and organizational work?
How are artists and cultural leaders setting examples for true community innovation?
How can we support each other in our development as leaders, artists, community builders, policy makers and healers?

Featured speakers and workshop presenters include: Dora Award-winner d’bi.young anitafrika; internationally renowned social artist and facilitator Nadia Chaney; arts and social justice interdisciplinary artist and facilitator Rup Sidhu. Performers include: two time world championship hoop dancer Lisa Odijig-McHayle; audience favourite Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers, a drumming ensemble with an aptitude for challenging systemic and internalized oppressions.

For the rest of the line-up please visit:

The symposium will include unique panels & hands-on breakout sessions presented by local and national artists, presenters and creative facilitators. Leadership workshops and thematic working groups will also take place, building community action, collaboration, and providing peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities. ASL interpreters will be available and meeting spaces are accessible. Attendees will also be provided with resources and toolkits to continue their learning after the Symposium is over.

The 2015 Emergence Symposium is being presented by Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network and SKETCH, and in partnership with North York Arts and Evergreen Brickworks.

Toronto Arts Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of the following government and corporate partners:

RBC is the Lead Sponsor of the Emergence Symposium. Join RBC at the Emergence Symposium on November 13 for an informal Lunch Chat panel discussion about the role of sponsorship in supporting the arts. Through the RBC Foundation, RBC also supports the Let’s Talk Art workshop series and the RBC Arts Access Fund. RBC’s sponsorship of this event comes from proceeds raised for the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts, taking place on October 26 at the Metro Convention Centre.

Ontario Trillium Foundation’s generous support provided the initial funding for the Emergence Symposium, covering production and marketing costs.

We are also pleased to announce that thanks to TD Bank Group’s Emerging Artist Sponsorship, Toronto Arts Foundation has been able to offer 50 bursaries for emerging arts leaders to attend the Symposium. TD’s sponsorship of this event comes from proceeds raised for the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts, taking place on October 26 at the Metro Convention Centre.

Special thanks to the Catherine Donnelly Foundation for their support of this event.

For more information visit

#ArtsEquity #EquityAsMyLens




About Toronto Arts Foundation

Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that encourages artistic excellence and increases access to the arts throughout the City of Toronto through private sector investment. Our vision Creative City: Block by Block is to connect every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformative socio-economic benefits of the arts. By supporting, celebrating, financing and advocating for Toronto’s artists, we can improve the quality of life for all Torontonians.


The Neigbourhood Arts Network

The Neighbourhood Arts Network is a strategic initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation. With over 1,500 members to date, we create online resources, partnerships and professional development events that help community engaged artists and organizations do what they do best: enrich Toronto and transform it into a more vibrant and livable city.


Contact Information:

For more information about the Toronto Arts Foundation, please contact:


Francesca Perez, Community Investment Manager, Toronto Arts Foundation, at or at 416-392-6802 x 204.