August 9, 2023 | Vision Newspaper |
The City of Toronto’s 2023 Cultural Hotspot program returns to the vibrant Little Jamaica neighbourhood for a second year, shining a spotlight on the community with 15 new art projects and public events running throughout August until the end of October.
Cultural Hotspot connects and invests in Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods outside the downtown core by focusing on artistic skills development, mentoring and employment while creating opportunities for local artistic expression.
This is the first year that Cultural Hotspot has focused its programming and events exclusively on Little Jamaica and is helping to support and deliver 43 mentorship and 35 employment opportunities for youth in the neighbourhood. The program’s goal is to build enduring and meaningful connections with local community artists and organizations, amplifying their contributions to the cultural fabric.
All public programming is free to attend and takes place in the area bounded by Castlefield Avenue to the north, Rogers Road to the south, Marlee Avenue to the east and Keele Street to the west.
2023 Cultural Hotspot programming highlights
• Toronto Pan Afrikan Film Festival features local and international filmmakers, exploring themes of African liberation, spirituality and displacement from August 18 to 20.
• A Love Letter To Little Jamaica, a weekend-long festival from Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27, features visual arts, music and cultural activities will be developed by local youth, as part of the Reset Residency training and well-being program.
• 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 on Wednesday, August 16.
• Get to Know Eglinton West animates storefronts, between Marlee Avenue to Keele Street, with arts and culture, including musical performances and a two-day art fair on Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19.
• DiverCITY on the Hill explores local stories and history and the sense of belonging in the Little Jamaica community, through a community arts exhibition, mural and new media projection installation, starting Saturday, September 2.
• Tween Creative Arts Program teaches hip-hop, jazz and contemporary dance, as well as theatre skills, with final performances presented at Rastafest, from Thursday, August 17 to Sunday, August 20 and at Tweenfest, on Saturday, September 30.
• From Me, To You: Community Printmaking Program, produced by Nia Centre for the Arts, features a youth mentorship training program that helps execute a series of printmaking workshops, culminating in a community celebration and exhibition in October.
The City is grateful to presenting sponsor TD Bank Group and media partners blogTO, CIUT-FM and Share Newspaper for supporting this year’s Cultural Hotspot program.
In the 10 years since the program launched, Cultural Hotspot has inspired hundreds of young people and their artistic capabilities and more than 110,000 people have attended more than 225 projects and events in neighbourhoods across Toronto.
The full list of Cultural Hotspot projects and a calendar of upcoming events is available on the City’s website: www.toronto.ca/CulturalHotspot
The City, in collaboration with Jay Pitter Placemaking and local community members, is 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 City’s Eglinton West Corridor Little Jamaica Study webpage: www.toronto.ca/city-government
SOURCE City of Toronto