Free Networking Event Promotes City-Building through the Arts and Culture

Featured Story: Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange

October 2015

On November 2nd, 2015 sixty groups dedicated to expanding the city’s creative map will come together at Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange, a networking and creative placemaking event that is free and open to the public. This is the second iteration of the event following a successful launch in January 2014.

The idea for the event developed out of a series of roundtable meetings with 15 partner agencies and organizations, including Toronto Arts Council. The partnership, led by Artscape and entitled Creative Spaces Outside the Core was developed to share resources and advocate for increased investment in cultural infrastructure in underserved neighbourhoods across the GTA. 

Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange 2014

“The group of partners wanted to bring projects that involved spaces, programs, and resources into a cross-sector networking event that would feature projects at all stages of development”

states Melissa Routley, Program Manager of the Creative Placemaking Lab at Artscape.

“The event is intended to be a one-stop shop where you can network, connect with projects, exchange knowledge and build the foundation for future partnerships”

Routley adds.

Melissa describes the Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange as a “science fair meets trade show.” The Exhibitor Fair is the main feature of the event, where 60 exhibitors working across Toronto neighbourhoods outside the downtown core will share resources, information on projects in development, and more.  After attending the event, Melissa notes that participants will gain knowledge and tools, connections, and an increased awareness of opportunities for creative space development. Networking meet-ups and workshops will also take place to help build connections and further dialogue.

When we asked Routley what excites her about this year’s partnership exchange, she said

“I am excited to see people make initial connections at the Exchange, but I’m also looking forward to the longer term outcomes of these interactions which may turn into partnerships that ultimately drive projects forward in the months and years to come.”

Toronto Arts Council’s vision of Creative City: Block by Block is to connect every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformational power of arts activity. With increased funding approved by Toronto City Council in 2013, TAC has been working hard to increase arts programming in areas outside the downtown core.  We’re doing this through new and innovative Strategic Initiatives such as Artists in the Library, Animating Historic Sites and Museums, Targeted Enhanced Funding and our newest program, Arts in the Parks. We’re looking forward to attending the Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange as an Exhibitor to talk with participants about our newest programs.

The Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange takes place on November 2 from 1:30 to 5:30 PM at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit: