Watch "An Ode to Weston" by Community Spoken Word Artist, PAULINA O’KIEFFE

Artscape Weston Common is Artscape’s newest community cultural hub, located in the heart of the Weston-Mount Dennis community. Opened in spring 2019, this hub builds on the community’s existing creativity and rich culture, histories and traditions, offering a vibrant, inviting gathering place for people to come together to create, learn, experience local art, performance and cultural programs and events and celebrate community. Artscape Weston Common is a collaborative venture, jointly envisioned with the Weston-Mount Dennis community, the City of Toronto and the Rockport Group.  This project is Artscape’s first creative placemaking project outside of Toronto’s downtown core — creative placemaking is the practice of leveraging art and culture as a catalyst for urban and community development.  As part of the project vision, Artscape Weston Common also provides homes for 26 artists and artist-led families, who live and work in affordable units adjacent to the hub, made possible through a partnership with the City of Toronto. Artscape operates the hub with its programming partners, UrbanArts and Shakespeare in Action, who bring the hub to life daily, inviting the community in to participate in programming and events. Artscape is a not-for-profit organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. Artscape’s projects, programs and services are designed to help creatives thrive while enhancing the communities around them to become more vibrant, inclusive and resilient. Artscape is best known for its work as the developer/operator of a growing portfolio of 12 unique cultural facilities in Toronto — including community cultural hubs; multi-purpose creative spaces; artist live/work studio spaces; and 42 performance, exhibition and event spaces. Artscape’s work is accomplished through a range of social enterprises focusing on: real estate development; affordable housing and property management; performance and event facility management; makerspace management; entrepreneurship development; community animation and youth empowerment programming; as well as knowledge transfer, research and consulting services.

MORE ABOUT ARTSCAPE

A community cultural hub is a central gathering place within a community where artists, local residents and community organizations can come together to connect, learn, share ideas, experience arts and culture and express their creativity.

Community cultural hubs are designed to serve multiple needs and interests within the community and can generate strong positive cultural, economic, social and environmental outcomes. These hubs are usually multi-use facilities that include: venue and performance space, public galleries, and other types of public indoor and outdoor community programming spaces, such as offices for cultural and community-based social purpose organizations. They may also include affordable housing for artists and artist-led families.

The vision for a community cultural hub is built from the ground up in response to the needs, dreams and aspirations of community stakeholders and their development usually involves multiple partners, including community organizations, governments and businesses, who work together to create spaces that foster culture and a sense of community.

Artscape Weston Common contains 26 affordable live/work studios for artists and their families.

Interested in becoming part of the Artscape community? Click here to learn more about becoming a tenant.

PHOTOS L-R: ELIOT KIM

Community

VISION


Throughout 2016, Artscape and its project partners conducted an extensive process of engagement and consultation in order to build a Community Vision with members of the Weston neighbourhood.

The community consultation included:
  • a Community Steering Committee
  • Stakeholder meetings with groups and individuals
  • Presence at 50+ community events (festivals, BBQs, Open Houses, Farmers’ Market, local organizations, libraries)
  • a Community Visioning Survey
  • a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) process
  • Sharing project updates through email (500+ subscribers)
  • Visioning Workshop (75 participants)
Our survey asked what activities the community wanted at the hub:
  • 55% Community events and festivals
  • 55% Workshops and classes
  • 53% Performances (music, dance, theatre, spoken word, etc.)
  • 39% Training for young people wanting to work in music, film, fashion, photography, etc.
  • 27% Arts exhibitions and showings
  • 25% Meetings and other activities in bookable rooms
  • 22% Artist studios and arts organizations
  • 13% Assistance/incubation for people wanting to start new cultural businesses

Read the Artscape Weston Common Community Vision Statement: Artscape Weston Common is a gathering place that welcomes and is open to the whole of this community. Artscape Weston Common is a platform for creative talent and participation, a supportive home for creative people and organizations and a place that celebrates and reflects this diverse community’s histories, cultures and traditions. Artscape Weston Common is a vibrant creative community that stimulates economic revitalization and builds community pride and confidence.

Meet the

TEAM


Megan Press

MANAGER


Megan manages the programs and operations at Artscape Weston Common including services and communications for tenants and owners, as well as other building initiatives.

Yonnick Henery

CONCIERGE


Henery provides front of house services, ensuring a safe, welcoming, positive environment for Artscape Weston Common tenants, owners and visiting community members.

Safia Javed

CONCIERGE


Safia provides front of house services, ensuring a safe, welcoming, positive environment for Artscape Weston Common tenants, owners and visiting community members.