Artscape Performance and Event Venues Will Remain Closed Until June 30, 2020
POSTED April 8, 2020 / Tags:

 

Dear Artscape Community and friends,

 

I’d like to provide an update on how Artscape is managing COVID-19, as we continue to follow the guidance of Canadian government and public health authorities to help “flatten the curve” and protect the health and safety of our staff, community and the public.

Based on announcements from the province extending school closures until May 4, 2020 and from the City of Toronto cancelling events, festivals and programming until June 30, 2020, Artscape is extending its closure of the following cultural facilities, effective immediately:

  • All Community Cultural Hubs (Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Distillery Studios, Artscape Weston Common, Artscape Youngplace and Daniels Spectrum) will remain closed to the public until May 4, 2020. Our Tenants and Owners will, however, continue to have access to their space should they require it.
  • Artscape Performance and Event Venues, Artscape Daniels Launchpad and short term artist residencies at Artscape Gibraltar Point will remain closed until June 30, 2020.  We anticipate re-opening these social enterprises on July 2, 2020.

 

These dates will be revisited pending further updates and advisories from governments and Toronto Public Health.

We realize that this is difficult news, given the financial hardship that so many in the arts and cultural sector are experiencing during this time. As a collection of non-profit social enterprises dedicated to providing space for creative people to thrive, Artscape is committed to helping alleviate this hardship in whatever ways we can. We have started with providing some immediate relief to the communities we serve and will continue to explore what else we can do in terms of emergency relief. We are also directing our resources toward advocacy efforts and sourcing additional opportunities for remuneration and ways that we can ultimately help with sector recovery and renewal.

 

ADVOCACY EFFORTS TO BRINGING RELIEF FOR ARTISTS

Artscape is advocating on behalf of artists by reaching out to the federal government for financial relief. We’ve reached out to fifteen other artists’ studio and workspace providers across the country to work together to marshal our collective expertise and explore strategies to access additional federal government assistance.  We are also looking at ways our partner organization, the Toronto Artscape Foundation, can help by raising philanthropic funds to support our communities and the broader arts and cultural sector.

 

COVID-19 ARTIST RESOURCES

There are multiple grassroots and government-led emergency funds, resources, toolkits and volunteer services being shared citywide to help provide relief for artists, freelancers and people most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which are being announced almost daily. To help you keep up with all of this, we’ve compiled a round-up of these helpful resources for creatives on our website (artscape.ca). Feel free to send any initiatives you’d like us to share with our networks to communications@artscape.ca.

 

FREE ONLINE PROGRAMMING AND LEARNING FOR ARTISTS

As we continue to brainstorm creative ways of supporting and engaging with our communities remotely, our creative entrepreneurship hub, Artscape Daniels Launchpad has moved its Launchpad Learning and wellness programming online and is now offering free Launchpad Learning Online and Virtual Wellness programs to help not only our members, but the broader arts community manage their creative practices and businesses through this challenging new reality.

We are continuing to work on other initiatives to bring further relief for artists, both within and beyond our immediate community of artists and arts organizations, which will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we hope you’ll continue to practice social distancing and stay safe until we can all come together again.

 

Sincerely,

Tim Jones

CEO, Artscape

 

*See Original Message

 

*Book in Advance! We have suspended event bookings to minimize the spread of COVID-19, however, we are still accepting inquiries for 2020 and 2021 event dates. Call us at 647.620.4754 or Inquire Here.

 

COVID-19: Artscape Halts All Events And Encourage Staff To Work From Home
POSTED March 18, 2020 / Tags:

 

As concerns about COVID-19 grow, Artscape’s priority is the health and safety of our employees, communities and the public.

In light of the announcement from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health on Friday recommending the immediate suspension of all large events/public gatherings of over 250 people due to COVID-19 with further announcements today, Artscape is taking protective measures to aid in controlling and containing the spread of the virus.

 

As of Monday, March 16, Artscape has taken the following actions:

  • Artscape Performance and Event Venues services will be closed from March 16 to April 30, 2020 and all events and bookings cancelled during this time.
  • Artscape operated Community Cultural Hubs, including: Daniels Spectrum, Artscape Youngplace, Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Weston Common and Artscape Gibraltar Point will be closed to the public from end of day March 16 to April 6, 2020.  However, tenants, members and owners will continue to have access to their spaces, although we have asked them to limit public access and have implemented a screening process for all visitors to these spaces.
  • Artscape Daniels Launchpad will be closed to the public and all public events and programs cancelled from end of day March 16 to April 6, 2020. Launchpad’s coworking spaces will remain open for its members with reduced hours from 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday, and closed on the weekends. The Digital Media Lab and Creative Studios and all programming in these spaces will be closed as of March 16 to April 6.
  • Artscape Gibraltar Point will remain open for short-term artist residencies currently in progress. We have implemented additional screening protocols, based on the most recent travel advisories. All visitors will be screened upon entry. Residents traveling from outside of Canada will be asked to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.
  • Residential buildings in which Artscape manages units will remain operational with reduced staff focused on providing essential services such as: custodial, garbage collection and emergency issues.
  • Artscape will continue operations at its head office, but where possible staff are being encouraged to work from home.
  • Artscape will continue to monitor and act on advisories issued by key government and health authorities (Toronto and Ontario Public Health and WHO), with our priority being the health and safety of our employees, tenants, members and other Artscape stakeholders.

 

We are committed to providing the safest experience for our community stakeholders and staff at our hubs and facilities that remain open, including keeping our shared environments as clean as possible. Artscape has enacted a number of initiatives, to support this, including:

    • Increased cleaning at all hubs and public areas of Artscape buildings, posting public health advisories and tips at facilities
    • Development of a pandemic policy and response plan, and engaging a Task Force to operationalize it and provide front line support to staff and all of our stakeholders
  • Communicating with our stakeholders about steps we’re taking to ensure their safety and how they can protect themselves and others

 

In the meantime, stay safe and take care of each other during this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,


Tim Jones, CEO
Artscape

 

See Original Message

 

*Book in Advance! We have suspended event bookings to minimize the spread of COVID-19, however, we are accepting inquiries for 2020 and 2021 event dates. Call us at 647.620.4754 or Inquire Here.

 

How to Organize a One-of-a-Kind Event and Be Home In-Time For Dinner
POSTED March 2, 2020 / Tags:

Advice From Someone With 19 Years in The Business…

 

Now, on its sixth-year at Artscape Wychwood Barns, this one-of-a-kind #PinterestGoals event with a chartreuse board of exhibitors show-up to help you plan the wedding people envy (see the highlights on our IG stories).

Hosting a highly anticipated, boutique-inspired wedding showcase like this —is no easy feat (it’s similar to planning a wedding in itself), so how does the team pull it off!

We met up with Catherine Lash, Creative Director and Owner of The Wedding Co, at this year’s 2020 Market and asked her. Here’s what she told us…

 

Shot by AboutUsFilms.co

 

Artscape: Can you tell us about a specific person who The Wedding Co. Market helps?

 

Lash: The Wedding Co. bride or Wedding Co. couple are people who know exactly what they want. They are very aware of what they want to spend their money on. They know their budget, they shop locally, they love the idea of investing in local businesses and they love coming to places like the Wychwood Barns (that has a farmer’s market).

That’s one of the reasons we chose the Wychwood Barns it’s because it has that great community feel. And The Wedding Co. is a community of spectacular wedding vendors. The Wedding Co. bride and groom are passionate about their local community.

 

“The move-in the move-out (is a breeze) and brides and grooms get the energy off this venue.”

 

Artscape: How long has The Wedding Co. been running?

 

Lash: Hello, 19 years!

This is our 19th year and we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to explode in 2020. We can’t wait to do it here at the Barns! We’ve been here for the last six years and it has been the best venue so far. The move-in the move-out (is a breeze) and brides and grooms get the energy off this venue. They feel so comfortable and they feel like they’re at home. And so, the exhibitors, their work just illuminates in this industrial feel.

 

Artscape: What have you learned over the last 19 years running The Wedding Co.?

 

Lash: Running the wedding company, our ultimate goal is to build a community of wedding professionals. What we do outside of the physical show and the seminars we run —it’s secondary to making everybody (who’s a part of the Wedding. Co) feel like they’re part of a community and have businesses that are constantly moving forward.

We’re not sitting around and complaining. We’re constantly figuring out how we can help each other move forward. And that’s the golden part about The Wedding Co.  —we’re all supportive, but we’re all propelling forward as opposed to just talking about the past. And that’s what makes it so much fun to help somebody who’s on the same wavelength or to work together on a style shoot or help somebody move their booth into the show. It’s so enjoyable!

 

Artscape: Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you since hosting at Artscape Wychwood Barns?

 

Lash: To be honest, one of the best things about this show, it closes at five. And I’m having dinner at seven o’clock. I think that’s funny, but it’s also an example of how easy this venue is to get things done and to get people out, but also to get people in. If we can move-in smoothly, our vendors are so happy and that’s how they start the show. And if we can give them that opportunity (and the Barnes lets us do this with ease) then they’re going to have a great show.

If they start on the wrong foot by having a horrible move-in, it’s not a good way to start the show. So for me, number one, the natural light is really good (at Wychwood Barns), but the move-in and the move-out of this venue and the staff that help us are incredible.

Our Booth on Feb 23rd, 2020 at The Wedding Co.

Artscape: In addition to the spectacular Wedding Co. showcase, every visitor that stopped by our booth snagged themselves 10% off our venue rental fee (one of our 6 spaces) and a lucky grand prize of 50% off because locking down the venue is the #1 thing you want to check-off your list.

 

See you next year!

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

 

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