The Art Connections program helps foreign-trained professional artists pursue their careers in Toronto. Participants are placed in a customized Toronto School of Art professional studio program where they learn how to market their art practice and apply to galleries, exhibitions and competitions. City staff help participants create job search tools such as biographies and portfolios, and connect them to art organizations and employment supports.

The City works in collaboration with the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Neighbourhood Arts Network, Toronto School of Art and various community art organizations to provide participants with direct access to professional networks and career opportunities. In the past, participants have had the opportunity to showcase their work at the Art Connections Fine Art Exhibit & Sale, which for some was the first time showing their work in Canada.

Some examples of the outcomes achieved by participants include:

  • access to art grants
  • acceptance into various exhibitions
  • acceptance into art and business school programs
  • selected for job opportunities with a City division through the Job Incentive Program
  • acceptance into various programming
  • networking opportunities and connection with a professional mentor in the industry
  • creation of a promotional website to market work online and through social media