Toronto Spark
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Vision Statement

As many Toronto residents know, Tkaronto is a Mohawk word for the place in the water where the trees are standing. In an animated video posted on the United Way Greater Toronto website, mixed-blood Anishinaabekwe artist Sara Roque describes “rich, abundant, and fertile” Tkaronto as “Turtle Island’s Mesopotamia” prior to European contact.

“Tkaronto was a meeting place and land made up of sophisticated and cosmopolitan peoples and cultures that I see reflected in the city today,” Roque states in the 2019 video. “I wonder: is it something in the land, in the water?”

But sometimes, these sophisticated and cosmopolitan peoples and cultures don’t get their due in the mainstream media. Since before Confederation, they’ve been engaging in performing and visual arts. But traditionally, Eurocentric forms of cultural expression have attracted the most attention. As a result, a much larger number of composers, playwrights, visual artists, and authors of European descent have become household names in Canada in comparison to talented counterparts of other ancestries.

The Arts for Canadians Tomorrow Society (ACTS) aims to level the playing field with the Toronto Spark. The society created this online media outlet to foster greater awareness of underrepresented artistic communities. Our goal at the Toronto Spark is to advance appreciation of visual and performing arts—and cultural communities—through education.

This learning will take many forms, including through articles translated into different languages. We also want to help newer Canadians better understand how the mainstream media operates so that they can share their stories to broader audiences.

We are all a product of history. By shedding light on diverse artists at home and artistic expression inspired by colonialism beyond the borders of Canada, we hope to help build a more equal and empathetic society. In the process, we can all learn more about the histories of various communities, as well as cultural and linguistic differences within them.

More cross-cultural communication and partnerships will help arts groups from across the spectrum attract larger audiences.

At the Toronto Spark, we welcome contributions by commentators who wish to offer their perspectives with the goal of elevating awareness and building bridges. Visit our Submissions page to learn more.

Readers can join the Toronto Spark community by signing up to the newsletter and following us on our social media channels. There are no silos. We’re all in this together.

Toronto Spark

Arts for Canadians Tomorrow Society created Toronto Spark to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

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Arts for Canadians Tomorrow Society is grateful to be held on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, that is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We acknowledge our privilege to be gathered on this land, and commit to work with and be respectful to the Indigenous peoples whose arts and stories inspire us to bring communities together.