Free Summer Programming at the Gardiner Museum


Documentation of VIBE Arts workshop led by Igho Diana at Art Starts. Photo: Raven Lam.

Community Arts Space: What we long for

July 9 to September 4

The Gardiner Museum presents a full summer of free programming, including community exhibitions, hands-on workshops, talks, and a podcast series co-presented with Hyperallergic. Inspired by the transformative possibilities of clay, the Community Arts Space is a platform for local artists, youth, curators, and community organizers.

How can we take care of ourselves, as well as each other?

This year’s Community Arts Space is inspired by the theme “What we long for”, and features four public projects that engage with community healing, survival tools, transformative justice, the gaps between community and institutional memory, and how craft creates opportunities for acknowledgment and action.

Visit for the full schedule and to register for free events.


Shary Boyle, Triumph of the Will, 2010, Gardiner Museum, Gift of Sarah and Tom Milroy. Photo: Brian Boyle.

The Projects:

Art Movements

July 9 – August 20
Co-presented with Hyperallergic

Hosted by Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic, this limited-run podcast inspired by the Gardiner’s collection invites prominent artists like Kent Monkman and Shary Boyle to explore the social history of ceramics and its multifaceted role in our culture. Through personal anecdotes, art historical reflection, and archival recordings, this four-part series explores issues at the intersection of contemporary ceramics and museums.

Hrag Vartanian in Conversation with Shary Boyle
July 11 at 7:30 pm
Hrag Vartanian moderates a public conversation with Canadian artist Shary Boyle on the social history of ceramic objects and contemporary art.

Hair We Are

July 11 – 24
Co-presented with Art Starts and VIBE Arts

Beauty salons and barbershops have long served as important sites in the Black community. They provide far more than hair care, acting as safe spaces for people to exchange stories and build strong bonds. Led by artist Igho Diana, youth artists from VIBE Arts create a contemporary beauty salon that explores self-care and changing concepts of beauty.

Hair We Are Launch
July 11, 6 pm
Mingle with the artists and collaborators while enjoying music, youth artist-led tours, and refreshments.

Family Sunday: Self-Care Rituals
July 14, 11 am – 3 pm
Join us for a hands-on self-care workshop and make your own body butter and hair care products.

Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories

August 1 – 15
Co-presented with The 519, Salon Noir, and YYZ Artists Outlet

Inspired by the ‘cruising’ histories of nearby Queen’s Park, artist Abdi Osman and curator Ellyn Walker consider the diverse ways in which culturally-specific experiences of desire, physical expression, and social connection take up space across Toronto. Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories makes visible the dignity, love, and generative practices embedded in local Black, Trans, and Queer histories through community art-making workshops, talks, and an exhibition.

Public Talk: Unsettling the Myths of the 1969 Criminal Code Reform
July 18, 6 – 7:30 pm
Historian-activist Gary Kinsman presents his research around the mythologies of the 1969 Criminal Code reform.

Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories Exhibition Launch
August 1, 6 – 9 pm
Join us for the exhibition opening of Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories, featuring a live DJ set and a special drag performance.

Refusing Gentrification: Community Arts & Practice(s)
August 8, 6 – 8 pm
Activist-artist-educator Yusra Khogali leads a panel with local Regent Park artists on the politics of gentrification in their neighbourhood.

Reading Room: Queen’s Park Oral History Transcriptions
August 14 & September 12, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Join us for a collective reading and discussion of anonymous transcripts from artist Abdi Osman’s oral history research around cruising encounters in Queen’s Park.

The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project – A Flight Path Without Borders

August 22 – September 4
Co-presented with Akin and Canada Nos Une Multicultural Organization

Coinciding with the arrival of the monarch butterflies in Canada and their departure to Mexico, the Davenport Perth Community Ministry, alongside Canada Nos Une Multicultural Organization, held a series of clay butterfly-making workshops facilitates by artists Lourdes (Lumy) Fuentes and Tina Conlon. These ceramic butterflies, installed in the Gardiner’s Exhibition Hall and Ancient Americas Gallery, are intended to mobilize conversation and action surrounding both the decline of the monarch and the migrant crisis.

Clay & Conversation
July 17 & 24, 6 – 9 pm
Make ceramic butterflies that will be part of The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project.

The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project – A Flight Path Without Borders Project Launch
August 22, 6 – 8 pm
All are welcome to attend the public opening of The Sin Fronteras Monarch Butterfly Project, featuring a butterfly dance performed by seniors of the Davenport-Perth Community, music, refreshments, and more.

Family Sunday: Spread Your Wings
August 25, 11 am – 3 pm
Just before the monarch butterflies begin their annual migration to Mexico, join us for a special ceramic butterfly-making workshop in English and Spanish.


The Gardiner Museum is an accessible venue with a ramp from the street leading up to the main lobby entrance. The entrance is accessible via two sets of double doors with an access button. Accessible restrooms are available on the second and third floors. Third floor washrooms are also gender neutral.

The Gardiner strives at all times to provide goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access and benefit from our services in the same place and in a similar way as other customers whenever possible. We welcome your feedback.

Gardiner Museum
111 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2C7
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