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Call for Participation: Take Part in Culture Days
at Toronto Public Library

"Working with the Toronto Public Library has been very helpful. The local branch was very supportive of our activity and made a good effort to promote it to ensure good attendance.”

Sui-Yung Tung
New Acropolis Toronto
Culture Days @ the Library participating organization 2016 and 2014


Toronto Public Library, the Neighbourhood Arts Network and Ontario Culture Days are pleased to announce the seventh year of Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library. During the previous six years of this popular program, 190 artists and arts and cultural organizations have presented 305 activities to over 9,000 people at library branches in every corner of the city. The program was created as a way to help artists and arts groups share their creative work with the public during Culture Days, a Canadian celebration of arts and culture. Now in its eighth year, Culture Days takes place annually on the last Friday of September and the subsequent weekend. For more information, visit

Toronto Public Library is offering free venues to Toronto-based artists and cultural groups wishing to be part of Culture Days on September 29 and 30, 2017. This partnership enables artists to take their practice out of their private studios into the accessible spaces of library branches so that the public can discover and engage with their work. Past participants describe Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library as a great opportunity to connect with new audiences and to build strong community relationships. From Etobicoke to Scarborough, North York and downtown Toronto, branches across the city are excited to partner with artists to deliver interactive activities to highlight the arts and culture! 

Toronto-based individual artists, small and medium-sized professional arts groups as well as volunteer-run cultural organizations, collectives or groups that wish to organize their events at a Toronto Public Library branch are invited to submit an application by May 3, 2017. Activities in all artistic disciplines and cultural traditions are encouraged as well as those that appeal to families and audiences of diverse ages. We especially invite newcomer artists to apply. The Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library program is an excellent platform to introduce yourself and your art practice to your new community. To be considered for a space, the arts activity must be free and interactive.

Toronto Public Library staff contact artists they are interested in starting mid-May and will discuss details such as dates, activity set-up, etc., directly with the artist. Library branches are providing free space but cannot provide any financial assistance, including funds for supplies or equipment. Participants do receive substantial administrative, marketing and promotional support for their activity via the joint efforts of Ontario Culture Days, Toronto Public Library and Neighbourhood Arts Network.

Participants tried out some new dance moves at  Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library: Spirit of Africa at Runnymede Branch Culture Days 2016.
Photo by Kevin Jones       


Engage new audiences: present your Culture Days activity at a Toronto Public Library Branch! 

"Some of the most engaging programs inspire us to both learn and do. Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library artist Lesley Waldron presented ‘Spirit of Africa’ blending African dance history with interactive movement based on her experience and education. Her children and friends all danced or played the drums, which gave the program an authentic flavor and made us feel like we were at a little party. Waldron hopes to begin an African dance meetup in the city and Culture Days seemed like it could be the start of something larger."

Brenda Livingston, Senior Branch Head
Runnymede & Swansea Memorial Branches

Each year approximately 40 Library branches participate in Culture Days across the city. Artists applying to the program are asked to select from the following regions of the city:

Downtown locations are in high demand so we strongly urge applicants to choose at least one other area of the city to improve their chances of being selected for the program. Many branches outside of the downtown experienced excellent attendance at their Culture Days activities in 2016.

How to Participate

A simple application form is now on-line. Applications will be accepted from now until midnight May 3, 2017.

Applicants will be matched with the appropriate library branches based on the suitability and interactive nature of the activity. Those applicants who meet the criteria will be contacted by Toronto Public Library branch staff in May and June to discuss in detail their activity and may be required to submit further information related to space requirements, equipment, etc.

Notification and Confirmation

Culture Days will send out a confirmation email by June 13, 2017.

About Ontario Culture Days

Ontario Culture Days fosters the awareness, participation and engagement of all Ontarians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. We support a diverse network of artists, arts and cultural organizations, institutions, municipalities, businesses and volunteers to offer free hands-on arts and culture activities over the three days of the Culture Days weekend, starting on the last Friday of September, each year. In 2016, more than half a million Ontarians participated in over 2000 activities in 167 cities and towns across the province.

Ontario Culture Days is part of the national Culture Days movement representing the largest-ever public participation campaign undertaken by the Canadian arts and cultural community.  The eighth Culture Days weekend will take place on September 29, 30 and October 1, 2017. To learn more, please visit

Ontario Culture Days is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario in recognition of Celebrate the Artist Weekend. 

About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Last year, we had 18 million visits to our branches and 31 million virtual visits. Torontonians borrowed 32 million items in branches and online. To learn more, visit, call Answerline at 416-393-7131 or follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

About Neighbourhood Arts Network

Neighbourhood Arts Network is the place where arts and community engagement meet. Neighbourhood Arts Network helps artists and community organizations do what they do best: enrich Toronto and transform it into a more vibrant, beautiful and livable city. We catalyze new relationships and conversations, collect research and share information. We envision a Toronto where all residents are empowered to discover and shape the cultural life of their communities. Neighbourhood Arts Network is a strategic initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation. To learn more, please visit

Culture Days contact:
Catherine McLeod
Network and Outreach Manager,
Ontario Culture Days
(416) 708-3336

Neighbourhood Arts Network contact:
Parul Pandya
Manager of Communications,
Neighbourhood Arts Network

Toronto Public Library contacts:
Ana-Maria Critchley
Stakeholder Relations
Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement
Toronto Public Library
(416) 393-7212

Diana Lee
Senior Services Specialist - Programming & Events
Toronto Public Library
Fax: 416-393-7725