Cultural Hotspot Signature and SPARK Projects showcase local artists and organizations that celebrate creativity, culture and community. These projects are free and provide opportunities for the public to participate in arts activities and events. Browse upcoming Cultural Hotspot events.

A Love Letter To Little Jamaica

A weekend-long festival featuring visual arts, music and cultural activities developed by local youth as part of the Reset Residency training and well-being program.

Project lead: RESET

Archiving Black Futures

This oral history project presents stories from Little Jamaica community leaders in a podcast series produced by local youth. A series of interactive sidewalk decals inspired by these stories will be created and displayed around Little Jamaica. The project launches with an event that invites community members to engage with the visual and audio works.

Project lead: Oddside Arts

Beat of Your Own Drum

Beat of Your Own Drum invites seniors living in the Doug Saunders Apartment building in Eglinton West to participate in a weekly African Drumming workshop that culminates in a community performance.

Project lead: VIBE Arts

Bring the Beat Back

A business and entrepreneurial skill development program for youth that focuses on music production and live performance. The program helps participants secure local employment opportunities as musicians and performers.

Project lead: Diversified Youth Initiative

From Me, To You: Community Printmaking Program

A series of printmaking workshops led by artist Khadijah Morley, culminating in a community celebration and showcase at Nia Centre for the Arts. Each workshop invites participants to create visual tokens that showcase Little Jamaica’s history, culture and community members.

Project lead: Nia Centre for the Arts

Get to Know Eglinton West

Eglinton West storefronts, between Marlee Avenue to Keele Street, are animated with art, beauty workshops, live DJ sets and musical performances.

Project lead: Black Business and Professional Association

Little Jamaica Rising Stars

Weekly arts and cultural workshops for children and youth take place from July to August. Workshops include Visual Arts Expression, Cultural Nutrition and Skincare and Cultural Sound and culminate in public events that celebrate the creations and learnings of the participants.

Project lead: Keele & Eglinton Residents (K.E. Residents)

Toronto Pan Afrikan Film Festival

A celebration of movies and documentaries made by local and international filmmakers, exploring themes of African liberation, spirituality and displacement. Films screen at local Toronto Public Library branches in the Eglinton West and Oakwood-Vaughan neighbourhoods over three days with an opening reception, which includes a fashion show by local designers.

Project leads: Lori Beazer and Toronto Black Farmers’ Collective

DiverCITY on the Hill

This mobile community art exhibition showcases work informed by stories and experiences shared at a series of intergenerational art, food and music workshops for Keele and Eglinton area residents.

Project lead: STEPS Public Art

Eglinton West in Poetry

Diverse youth from Little Jamaica will learn to use elements of poetry to write, edit and perform self-made works about their community with a final public performance and a published anthology of their poetry.

Project leads: Clifton Joseph and RastaFest

Friendly Neighbourhood Screenwriting

Screenwriting workshops for racialized youth from the Little Jamaica area in which they learn the fundamentals of narrative and story writing through weekly skills-developmental workshops and one-to-one training sessions, held at the Centro Cultural Latinoamericano offices in Eglinton West.

Project leads: Paul Daniel Torres and Centro Cultural Latinoamericano

Sound of Your Neighbourhood

A youth podcast training project that celebrates and promotes people, places and events from this year’s Cultural Hotspot events. Hands-on workshops teach audio journalism, interviewing skills, script writing and how to record and edit audio for a podcast episode. This project is funded by CIUT-FM, a proud Cultural Hotspot media partner.

Project lead: CIUT-FM

Tallawah Sound

This project features performance art and music developed in workshops for emerging Black youth from Little Jamaica. Each workshop focuses on creative development and leadership through mentorship and production of a live summer showcase in Eglinton West.

Project leads: Sydanie and STRIVE Toronto

This is me, Photovoice!

This project teaches photography and videography skills within a restorative justice framework to Black youth from Little Jamaica. Participants document positive representations of Black leadership and excellence to produce works for a public exhibition.

Project lead: TO Hub 365

Tween Creative Arts Program

A youth dance and theatre project where participants learn hip-hop, jazz and contemporary dance as well as theatre skills, including acting, script-writing, stage managing, directing and costume design. Final performances from this project are presented at Rastafest and Tweenfest in Eglinton West.

Project lead: Canadian Reggae Music Association

Under the Banyan Tree 5

An intensive two-day literary arts retreat connecting second and third-generation diasporic youth to their Caribbean roots and culture. Creative storytelling and spoken-word skill development are the focus of this workshop series held at RESET coworking space and presented in partnership with the Black Business and Professional Association.

Project leads: Patrick Walters and VIBE Arts

Bonded Across Time

This open-air, site-specific exhibition highlights the important role residents play in shaping and revitalizing their neighbourhoods. Bonded Across Time pays homage to the unified bonds of community members in the aftermaths of the COVID-19 pandemic with artworks projected onto Toronto Community Housing. Curated by Anthony Gebrehiwot, this project was created in 2021.

Project leads: Nia Centre for the Arts and Toronto Community Housing

Irie People

This legacy documentary film project captures the dynamic but lesser-known stories of entrepreneurs in and around Eglinton Avenue West. These stories are considered the building blocks of Little Jamaica’s cultural renaissance. This project was created in 2022.

Project lead: Amexem Mu Centre