5 Ways to Make Your Next Event Super (In)clusive (And Inadvertently, Sell More Tickets)+ a Checklist
POSTED January 15, 2020 / Tags:
Photo Credit: Mauricio Calero


We often don’t think about how an attendee would navigate to and around an event space without feeling like a burden.

Imagine arriving at an event and being unable to locate parking, or get to the entrance because there is no access ramp?! These barriers (among others mentioned below) prevent attendees from having a less than spectacular experience.

If you reduce accessibility concerns by choosing a venue that caters to inclusivity and communicate it on your event registration page…Huzzah! You inadvertently sell more tickets, too. This kind of forethought makes your message clear: You want to welcome as many diverse people in the room as humanly possible.

Here are the 5 ways to make your next event super (in)clusive:


✅ It Has an Elevator or Ramp Access and Gender Inclusive Bathrooms

Most venues let you know on their website how accessible they are in the FAQs. Or a quick call will determine this. However, since we’re on the subject, all Artscape events have either an elevator or ramp access and gender-inclusive bathrooms available, so you can check it off your “to-ask-list” when you book with us.

✅ It Has Enough Seating And Personal Space (for wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and service animals)

Priority seating shouldn’t only be assigned to speakers and presenters, there are additional VIPs that require your attention. Persons with different abilities including vision or hearing loss, and those with wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and service animals need accommodation too. Artscape venues have custom floor plans to help you plan out an exceptional layout.


✅ It Has Accessible Transportation Routes to And From The Venue and Nearby Parking

We know it can be a hassle to spell out the best directions to get to and from your event, but it’s worth every effort — when you consider that it eliminates excuses and confusion.

No matter the season, mobility restrictions can remain for many folks who want a direct path to the entrance, paid or unpaid parking. Always indicate these details in your communication material. Pro tip: Our venues are located downtown Toronto and the GTA.


✅ It Has a Diverse Mix of Speakers and Presenters

People want to see more of themselves represented and reflected at events. Full stop. From nationality, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation, or ability to economic status.

In 2020, all event pros should be paying attention to who’s at the table, and who should be. That is, unless you want to end up on Tumblr’s “Congrats, you have an all-male panel!” satire page with a David Hasselhoff mocking thumbs up. (We assume you don’t – otherwise, you may end up going viral for all the wrong reasons).

Don’t do it for appearances, do it for the depth of content that will connect with your attendees.


✅ It Has Support Staff Including PSWs, ASL Interpreters, and Audio Describers/Captions on Videos

This is often an under-rated resource for making all guests feel welcomed (even if they don’t need it), they appreciate the thoughtfulness of the event organizer for having it in place.

Once you have these things secured, don’t forget to include available accessibility information on the event page description, event flyer and/or footer.

This is an important marketing step!

Over-communicate the details and don’t use neutral language or you’ll miss the opportunity to appeal to the subsections of dominant groups. You don’t want to have done the work and those who click to register, second-guess if they should. Name the things you’ve put in place.

All of the above are standard accessibility accommodations to create a super (in)clusive event.

And finally, Sensei Level: if you further want to cater specifically to your audience and exceed the bar, have participants indicate their dietary restrictions, provide event scholarships (free or discounted tickets) and preferred pronouns for badge preparations. Use your ticket registration software to gather attendee needs and accessibility concerns ahead of time.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you dream up! Download The “My Event is Super (In)clusive” Checklist


Event Organizers, want perks and privileges directly in your inbox? Here’s a peek inside:

  • Our best event planning tips after hosting over 5000+ events across Artscape venues
  • Featured events from corporate to artsy —and how to get a private e-vite
  • Special perks and privileges only event planners and organizers like you could truly appreciate *coughs* exclusive promo codes
  • Spotlight on preferred vendors
  • All of the above

How to Masterfully Plan Brand-Focused Events to Activate Your Audience
POSTED December 18, 2019 / Tags:
Lowe's Christmas Kitchen Showcase

You, more than anyone, know planning an event goes beyond invitations and RSVPs.

It includes the impact you leave on your attendees. It’s how your brand stands out in their newsfeed. And that it connects in a meaningful way. That’s what it means to activate your audience.

Give them a reason to get excited about your company by mimicking the ideas from these three brands who hosted more than just an event in our 2019 recap.

Activate Intimate Conversations


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Artscape Venues (@artscapevenues) on

Earlier this year, Red Bull hosted an intimate conversation with Frank Dukes and transformed the Ada Slaight Hall at Daniels Spectrum into a musician’s recording/living room sanctuary. This made it a cozier atmosphere to spotlight rising local musicians, producers and DJs at their #RedBullMusicFestTO.

How can your brand-focused event activate conversation on and off the stage?


Activate Immersive Experiences


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Artscape Venues (@artscapevenues) on

Christmas in July! Who does that?!

Lowes, for their Kitchen Showcase event at Artscape Sandbox. That’s who. They brought the nostalgia of family we see once a year, traditions we’re too embarrassed to share and a home-cook meal made for Tupperware (I don’t cook for 5 days afterward). They reminded their audience why they’re the brand to trust with sacred moments like the holidays.

What can your brand-focused event do to activate your attendees’ minds and hearts?


Activate Creative Collaborations


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Artscape Venues (@artscapevenues) on

Want your event to delight, entertain and appeal to an audience that can also help elevate your brand? Then mimic Skechers’ 20th-anniversary event with 20+ Instagram influencers. Picture this: the re-launch of “Skechers Energy” sneakers, white ghostbuster suits and cans of paint. It was a creative collaboration made in brand-activation haven!

Who can you collaborate with to skyrocket engagement, conversation and ticket sales?


By now, you’re probably fantasizing about how to plan your own brand-focused event to activate your audience! Here are a few more ideas from our events crew, you can take these and other concepts to a member of our sales team when booking one of the 6 Artscape spaces.

  • Hang decor for a customized feel by using the lightning grids in the ceiling to drape the space in your finest material (most ideal at Artscape Sandbox, Daniels Spectrum, Artscape Daniels Launchpad, Artscape Weston Common)
  • Add LED lighting – colour gel or gobos help to create custom logos and lightning designs on our walls and floors (Daniels Spectrum and Artscape Sandbox especially)
  • Stick on low tack vinyl custom signage/ imagery to set the scene
  • And light up the space with lounge furniture & cruisers via our exclusive supplier Chair-man Mills

See Our Pinterest Mood Board For More Brand Activation Ideas…


We’re looking forward to seeing what you dream up! And since we won’t speak again until 2020, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a prosperous new year!

Event Organizers, want perks and privileges directly in your inbox? Here’s a peek inside:

  • Our best event planning tips after hosting over 5000+ events across Artscape venues
  • Featured events from corporate to artsy —and how to get a private e-vite
  • Special perks and privileges only event planners and organizers like you could truly appreciate *coughs* exclusive promo codes
  • Spotlight on preferred vendors
  • All of the above


“Your Venues Are Expensive!” And Other Queries Solved
POSTED November 27, 2019 / Tags:


Good news!

We’ve re-launched our monthly emails with all the perks & privileges an event organizer could ask for because we asked! The current 3,500 subscribers on our email list told us what they wanted to receive from us and we’re going to deliver (also, there’s still time for you to get the perks & privileges, sign-up for the monthly email here.)

However, what also came up were a few misconceptions of Artscape Performance and Event Venues from our anonymous mini-survey. Below is a collective response to the most frequently asked questions/comments that rose to the surface. Let’s chat.

What Artscape Performance & Event Venues (APEV) is:

A social enterprise that helps to fund community programs, artist residencies and non-profit subsidies. It can be a bit confusing at first, but let’s put it this way…APEV is a little like a mullet – business in the front, philanthropy on the backend.

We house 6 venues in our portfolio that we rent out, everything from community to corporate events:
Daniels Spectrum, Artscape Daniels Launchpad, Artscape Sandbox, Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Weston Common, and Artscape Gibraltar Point. And we keep these spaces open and accessible to the public no matter what event is happening at the moment.

Common events include (in no particular order):

• cocktail receptions
• conferences
• art exhibitions
• fashion shows
• festivals
• foodie functions
• fundraisers
• theatre performances
• private celebrations
• interactive activations
• product launches
• vendor events
• weddings
• and any other events our clients dream up!


? What Artscape Performance & Event Venues (APEV) is Not:

We don’t cover costs for non-profits to attend events at our venues, as events are put on by third-party vendors and we only provide the space. Having said that, we often attract organizations that provide complimentary tickets for the public.

“Your venues are expensive!”

Like art, this is a matter of perspective, if you consider our very first paragraph on APEV being a social enterprise (and the revenue from venue rentals directly contributes to building operation costs of the 6 event spaces, subsidies for non-profits and grassroot organizations)…then it may change your perspective on what’s considered expensive when the funds funnel back into Toronto’s creative and non-profit community (remember the mullet?).

We do our best to keep our rates on the more affordable end of event spaces in the city.

Also, we’re not a full-service event planning enterprise. We provide the venue space, support staff, and tech A/V technicians. That’s why we stay in touch with event planners/organizers like you.


Here’s what you’ll receive in your inbox when you join the 3,500 subscribers:

  • Our best event planning tips after hosting over 5000+ events across Artscape venues
  • Featured events from corporate to artsy —and how to get a private e-vite
  • Special perks and privileges only event planners and organizers like you could truly appreciate *coughs* exclusive promo codes
  • Spotlight on preferred vendors
  • All of the above


Sage Advice from a Toronto Wedding Guru
POSTED February 23, 2018 / Tags:


Love is in the air and wedding season will soon be upon us, but amid the barrage of decisions to make and dates to secure, sometimes it seems that planning the wedding takes over from what’s most important… the marriage.

We checked in with Catherine Lash, creative director and owner of The Wedding Co. to get some advice on keeping it simple and an insider’s scoop on the latest in wedding trends. For the past 17 years, Lash has brought together the best one-of-a-kind exhibitors to produce the Wedding Co Market, Toronto’s favourite, boutique-inspired wedding event. This year’s event takes place Feb. 25 at Artscape Wychwood Barns.

WeddingCo Collage

Artscape: What’s the most common worry or stress that you see with couples planning their wedding? What advice can you offer to relieve that stress?

Lash: Without a doubt, money and budget cause the most stress. The number one way to relieve budget stress is to have a realistic budget and stick to it! It is very easy to spend more than you have and starting a marriage in debt is not worth it. 

Artscape: How can couples cut some cost without cutting corners?

A smaller guest list can really cut down your budget. Your biggest expense will be food and beverages, so a small wedding means fewer mouths to feed.
As well, choose what is most important to you and invest your money there. If flowers are important to you but you don’t really want a sweet table, just have a simple cake and then you can have the bouquet of your dreams.

Artscape: We’ve been hearing a lot about the +1 rule (a.k.a. the No Ring, No Bring rule). What’s your take on that?

Lash: I think this is ridiculous.  You can’t have a blanket rule. There is a difference between a couple who have been together for 3 years and are very much committed and a couple who have been dating for 6 months.

Artscape: What are some new trends you’re seeing in wedding style?

Lash: I’m a firm believer in not following trends, but in working with what you truly love, that speaks to who you are. We are seeing a real trend toward choosing local and seasonal pieces. This year’s Wedding Co Market really showcases the best that local has to offer. Like…

  • Hanging floral statement pieces
  • Sparkle, colour and lace wedding dresses
  • Custom accessories like men’s shoes, dresses and suits
  • Moody florals, including shades of purple and dark foliage
  • Bye-bye country barns! Unique wedding venues are in – think theatres, urban barns, museums, industrial downtown spaces.

Untitled design (2)

Lash: I’m not just saying this – I’m excited about all of them! Every exhibitor has such a unique sense of design and exceptional service, there is something for everyone at The Wedding Co. Market.

Artscape: If you could give a couple only one piece of advice for planning their wedding, what would it be?

Lash: Remember, you are not getting married to plan a wedding you are planning a wedding to get married.

Visit The Wedding Co Market this weekend at Artscape Wychwood Barns. Tickets $20 online and $30 at the door.

Older Events >