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ArtReach is a community-based arts organization that provides grants, workshops, mentorship, and resources to artists and cultural leaders aged 13-29 from equity-deserving populations in Toronto


For all artists and cultural leaders to have equitable access to the resources they need to realize their creative potential


We provide opportunities for artists to learn the skills, Gain the knowledge, and access the tools needed to develop their arts practice, run arts programming, build creative communities, and have successful arts careers


how we do it:

Offer free resources and programming responsive to the needs of community


Provide low-barrier, high-engagement funding for arts programs and projects

Build meaningful relationships with those we work with

Encourage emerging artists and cultural leaders to define what art means to them and recognize the value of their artistic contributions


Use our platform to help keep our community connected to relevant arts opportunities


The evolution of artreach


​The idea for ArtReach was formed in 2004 at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Roundtable of Arts Funders and Foundations, the topic: youth engagement through the arts. Subsequent meetings between arts funders and the City of Toronto reinforced the need to increase meaningful + relevant arts opportunities for excluded youth.

A vital element in our development was the involvement of young people, particularly the Grassroots Youth Collaborative. GYC members were active participants in focus groups and consultations that contributed to the design of a funding model that would be inclusive, accessible, and provide a high level of support to applicants. ArtReach is the result of this unique approach to program design, and ultimately, a new model for funding youth arts initiatives.

Illustrated Map

land acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the land ArtReach occupies on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and that these territories are guided by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant.

Land acknowledgements are an intentional and necessary way to recognize the traditional First Nations, Métis, and Inuit territories of a place. This does not exist in a past tense or historical context: colonialism is a current, ongoing process. It involves learning and reflecting on what happened in the past, what is still happening in the present, and what needs to be done to move towards an equitable future. We will not minimize the harm colonialism has caused and the harm it continues to cause today through continued racism and white supremacy. This is a reminder that the land we call Canada is not ours, and that our government committed genocide to build the country we have. All settlers who live and work on this land must be accountable and are responsible for reconciliation and reparation.


But a land acknowledgement is just the first step, the bare minimum for moving towards reconciliation. With no actions behind these words, this would be performative and insincere, a false showing of solidarity. At ArtReach, we believe that allyship is a verb (something you do), not a noun (something you are)- an ongoing set of actions that consistently attempt commitment, accountability, and unlearning. 


So what is ArtReach doing? We’re:

  • Currently involved in multiple collaborative projects that are working towards systemic change in Toronto’s arts sector. Check out NextUp! Leaders Lab, Change Agency, and FLIP

  • Funding Indigenous artists and arts organizations through our granting programs

  • Platforming Indigenous artists and arts organizations through our communications channels


We also acknowledge that there are places we can do more, including:

  • Ensuring further Indigenous representation on our Grant Review Teams, Advisory Committee, and facilitator roster

  • Supporting more Indigenous artists and arts organizations through our funding programs

  • Conducting more intentional outreach for our programs to Indigenous artists

  • Engaging in further advocacy work for Indigenous artists


Want to learn more about the peoples, languages, and treaties of the land you occupy? Head to:

Half Painted Wall

ArtReach is on the shared platform of sketch working arts.

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