Today, the City of Toronto is launching the ninth annual Cultural Hotspot program with 26 new community-based arts projects. Cultural Hotspot, a celebration of arts, culture and community, connects and invests in Toronto’s diverse outside-the-core neighbourhoods. This year, the program shines spotlights on the vibrant Golden Mile and Little Jamaica neighbourhoods, with community-based arts projects running from June to October.
Delivered in collaboration with local arts and community organizations, Cultural Hotspot projects celebrate creativity and culture through accessible workshops, performances and events. All projects are community-led and free to participate in, with opportunities to engage as audience members and project participants. Youth mentorship and employment opportunities are embedded in many projects, cultivating the development of creative and life skills.
The City of Toronto is grateful to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) for sponsoring this year’s Cultural Hotspot program, and to Media partner CIUT-FM for providing promotional support, as well as community training opportunities.
Highlights of the program include:
Paint Your Path
Paint Your Path offers multi-disciplinary art workshops and activations in Wexford Park, where the public paint a mural on a section of the walking and cycling trail with emerging Scarborough artists.
Dates: Thursday, June 23 to Sunday, June 26Project lead: VIBE Arts
Block by Block Walks: Golden Mile
Block by Block Walks: Golden Mile fosters community dialogue about the history and future of the Golden Mile area through interactive walking tours and an exhibition of digital monuments.
Dates: Saturday, June 25 and June 26
Project lead: Toronto Ward Museum
Summer Arts Break at the Square
Summer Arts Break at the Square is a series of interactive theatre performances and workshops at Eglinton Square Shopping Centre, engaging the community through interactive storytelling, dance and music.
Date: Saturday, July 9 (live remote broadcast by CIUT 89.5 FM), additional dates are listed on the City’s Cultural Hotspots webpage.
Project lead: Prologue Performing Arts
Scarborough Made: City of Industry
Through cinematography and photography, the documentary storytelling project Scarborough Made: City of Industry showcases the entrepreneurial spirit of Golden Mile business people while providing young artists with employment opportunities in the creative industries.
Dates: Monday, July 18 to Monday, October 31
Project lead: Scarborough Made
Celebrate Little Jamaica
Art Starts animates the Afro-Caribbean Farmers’ Market with interactive Afro-Caribbean arts activities and performances by local artists during Celebrate Little Jamaica.
Dates: Sunday, July 3 (Djembe Drumming), Sunday, August 14 (Community Mural), Sunday, August 28 (Poetry Slam), Sunday, September 11 (Public art workshop)
Project leads: Art Starts and Afro-Caribbean Farmers’ Market
The Mane Event
The Mane Event speaks to the importance of hair in Black culture. Intergenerational hairstyling and art workshops, presented at local businesses, culminate in community arts and storytelling sessions and the creation of a new permanent public art mural led by artist Curtia Wright.
Dates: Sunday, July 10 to October 31
Project leads: STEPS Public Art and D’Andra Montaque
Find Your Little Jamaica Element
Find Your Little Jamaica Element brings together art-making workshops, discussions, walking tours, exhibitions and musical performances focused on the history of Little Jamaica and its importance to the cultural fabric of Toronto.
Dates: July 18 to October 31
Project lead: UrbanArts
MASHUP PON DI ROAD
This variety show blends elements of the circus with Caribbean Carnival. Using a custom-made traveling stage, this project brings immersive shows to various neighborhoods, transforming conventional spaces and extending beyond the truck with costumed performers, giant puppets, clever songs, food/artisan stalls and moko jumbies – Trinidadian carnival stilt walkers.
Dates: Thursday, July 21 to Saturday, July 23
Project lead: Why Not Theatre and Paul Watson Productions
For the full list of Cultural Hotspot projects and calendar of events, visit the Cultural Hotspot webpage.
The City, in collaboration with Jay Pitter Placemaking and local community members, are developing the new Cultural Districts Program and the Little Jamaica master planning process that will allow for more flexibility and opportunity for the City to engage in economic and cultural initiatives to help communities such as Little Jamaica thrive. More information is available on the Eglinton West Corridor Little Jamaica Study webpage.
“The annual Cultural Hotspot provides residents with the opportunity to explore many vibrant neighbourhoods in Toronto. This year’s Cultural Hotspot will highlight the diverse arts, culture and events scene of the Golden Mile and Little Jamaica. I hope Torontonians will show their support to these communities by participating in the various events from now until October.”
– Mayor John Tory
“By focusing on artistic skills development, mentoring and employment, Cultural Hotspot projects create opportunities for local artists to express love for community and neighbourhoods.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.