Documenting the Liveable City

“At Work in the Memory Archive” is a fascinating initiative to catalogue and shed light on under-recognized city-building and social justice efforts in Toronto. This interactive installation forms part of the upcoming MYSEUM:Intersections at Artscape Youngplace from March 22-25. We spoke with the founders of this interactive installation, Department of Public Memory, to learn more it and the impact they hope the show will have.

What is Department of Public Memory?

Department of Public Memory is a two-person art collective made up of Maggie Hutcheson and Elinor Whidden. But really, Department of Public Memory is all Toronto residents—certainly everyone who has shared their memories and insights with us over the years. Public memory requires widespread participation! We’re interested in any sustained effort to make Toronto more liveable and socially just.

How did Department of Public Memory begin?

In 2011, a lot of Toronto communities were organizing to prevent municipal funding cuts to public services. Department of Public Memory began as our contribution to that movement. As artists, we wanted to explore the contributions that publicly funded programs make to daily life in Toronto. We already knew that a great deal of energy and effort had gone into creating libraries, daycares, drop-ins and other components of our social safety net, and that these are  really important to citizens, shaping the experience of life in this city. In an effort to document and recognize the importance of public services, we began to interview Toronto residents about sites that mattered to them. Since 2011 we’ve expanded our definition of public services to include activist movements and unfunded initiatives. So far, our work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and Myseum.

Why is it important to maintain an archive of public services?

Publicly funded programs and services are typically overlooked and underappreciated. They aren’t historical landmarks, tourist destinations, glitzy or glamorous in any way. But their histories are inspirational. They’re both a reminder of what is possible and a prompt for conversation about social values. What kind of society do we want to live in? How can we better connect with and support each other? They’re instructive too. These are stories of how on-the-ground social change is made—the strategies, the tactics, and the relationships.

How does the archive work? Can anyone submit an item?

The online Memory Archive shares stories of overlooked efforts to make Toronto more liveable. It includes files on housing activism, HIV/AIDS organizing, community gardens and a lot more. Each file is the result of a collaborative effort with staff, activists, volunteers and community members who have lived memories of these efforts, and we’ve carefully curated the items to ensure that they resonate with those communities.  But the purpose of the archive is to prompt public memory in anyone who encounters it. It’s an invitation to sit down and remember with us, to dig deep into your own memory archive by spending time with the objects and ephemera in this physical one.

Tell me about the signs. How many are there across town and how are they installed?

To date, Department of Public Memory has installed 12 site-specific signs across the city. Each one commemorates a specific public service, for instance a daycare, a health program, a movement for better working conditions. They’re not typical heritage plaques and they were made in collaboration with a range of distinct Toronto communities. We install them on street poles in public space, usually as part of a larger memory-sharing event. We’ve recently made 12 more signs, which we plan to install later this spring. They’re a bit different. We’ll have them on display at our upcoming show at Artscape Youngplace.

How does “At Work in the Memory Archive” work?

We’ll be hosting a series of interactive events where people can open archive files together in small groups, following a series of fun and unusual instructions. These events are free, and are a cross between a sit-down scavenger hunt and a civic discussion. People are also welcome to drop in anytime during our gallery hours. Come check out our full roster of commemorative signs, peruse an archive file on your own, or tell us about a public site that you think should be remembered.

RSVP for events during the exhibition on Eventbrite or drop-in to see the archive in Studio 109, 180 Shaw Street West, from March 22 to 25, 2018. Department of Public Memory is online at

Now Available: Studios at Artscape Youngplace
Artscape is pleased to announce the availability of four rental studios on the main floor of Artscape Youngplace. These sunny, open-concept studios suit a wide range of uses including private studios, classrooms, offices, rehearsals and small performances, galleries and photography.
Artscape is seeking tenants interested in contributing to the vibrant mix of art forms and cultural programming represented by the artists and organizations who make Artscape Youngplace their home. Applicants should be committed to supporting the mandate of Artscape Youngplace to build a strong neighbourhood and a culturally inclusive Toronto, and be passionate about collaborating within the building and partnering more broadly to build on the rich range of activities and programs available at Artscape Youngplace.
We invite artists, designers, artist collectives and non-profit arts and cultural organizations who fit this description to apply. Visit Artscape’s website to access the Call for Applications, which contains eligibility criteria and full specs and details.
The deadline to apply is March 23, 2018, after which applications will be accepted until the studios are leased.
Holiday Market Weekend

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Join in this weekend, December 7-10, for a 4 days of holiday markets & festive treats. Admission to all events is free.

Thursday December 7:

SKETCH Open Studio Marketplace in SKETCH Creative Hub, Lower Level, 6-9pm

Friday December 8:

Woodlawn Pottery Studio Holiday Sale in Studio 107, 5-9pm

Gifts for the Soul Holiday Show in Flex 108 from 6-9pm


Saturday December 9: 

Woodlawn Pottery Studio Holiday Sale in Studio 107, 10am-5pm

Gifts for the Soul Holiday Show in Flex 108 from 10am-4pm


Sunday December 10:

Woodlawn Pottery Studio Holiday Sale in Studio 107, 10am-5pm

Gifts for the Soul Holiday Show in Flex 108 from 10am-4pm

Lucky Penny Marketplace in the TwoPenny cafe, 10am-5pm

Koffler Couture Public Sale in the Koffler Gallery, 11am-5pm




Q&A with Painter and Artscape Award Winner, Katrina Jurjans

Emerging artist Katrina Jurjans wowed us at the 2017 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition with boldly layered paintings. Her work garnered not one but two accolades at the festival, including the Best of Painting and Best of Student Award (which is inclusive of the Artscape Award). Experience Katrina’s work at her upcoming exhibition, “for a moment it all comes together (and you’re the only one).” Opening November 16, 6 PM – 9 PM

Remembering you today, by Katrina Jurjans waiting for you (time is passing) by Katrina Jurjans

We caught up with Katrina to chat with her about her artistic journey and her upcoming exhibition.

Artscape: How has your distinctive visual style developed?

Katrina: I’m fascinated with patterns, especially when they break free from their form, like patterns from a blanket floating off into their own space. This fascination has helped me find visual cohesion between my paintings, and visually symbolize the emotions that drive my work.

Recently, I’ve been focusing on relationships and the emotions that accompany a shared moment, like grief, happiness, love, longing or disconnect. I don’t sketch out my work beforehand, so my processing of the work happens directly on the canvas.

Katrina’s Toronto Studio Space

What/who have been some of key influences?

There are so many! I love the work of Helen Verhoeven; in my opinion she is a master at revealing just enough detail in her figures. I think her compositions are brilliant. David Hockney, Matisse, Peter Doig and Miro are also some of my favourites.

Katrina Jurjans

What have you enjoyed most about winning the Artscape Award?

I was really taken aback when I won the award! It gave me confidence to keep pursuing my work. I struggle with putting my work out into the public and networking, so the Artscape Award has helped me to meet people working in the arts and to start building a social platform. The opportunity to do a solo exhibition and residency is incredible.

friends, lovers, friends (the cycle) by Katrina Jurjans the space between us widens by Katrina Jurjans

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition at Artscape Youngplace

My upcoming exhibition is entitled “for a moment it all comes together (and you’re the only one).” It’s a continuation of the series I have been developing over some years. This exhibition is meant to capture a specific, fleeting moment in time, along with the emotions and feelings attached to that moment. I’ve been working on large canvases and that’s been really exciting.

What can we expect from your work in 2018?

I’ve always loved writing, and want to explore the relationship between writing and painting further.

Nuit Blanche 2017

September 30 @ 7:00 pm – October 1 @ 7:00 am

Visit site-specific installations and art experiences through the building from dusk to dawn.

The TwoPenny Cafe will also be open till 2am for a much-needed caffeine infusion!

Projects include:

Tamo Vamo
Tamo Vamo
The Space In Between
The Space In Between
Invisible Tattoos
Invisible Tattoos
Rendering of Layered Cities
Rendering of Layered Cities

Sean Cartwright & Kristina Boka
Tamo Vamo, 2017
Flex Studio 109
This piece recounts the true story of a young woman who left her childhood home in Sarajevo in 1992. Past experiences that are relevant in today’s world are explored: the plight of refugees that are desperate to migrate to a safe haven, their adaptation to a new way of life in a unfamiliar place, and their eventual choice between staying in Canada or moving back to their former war-torn home to begin again. Her story is told though an abstract visual projection in combination with audio recordings, in a mix of languages. The video is a non-linear, erratic, dream-like narrative that will further echo the confusion and tension of her experience.

Simin Keramati
The Space In Between All The Physical Objects, 2015
Flex Studio 106
This work is about the causes of migration, when people must flee their homes due to war and hunger, and about the experience of being in a transitional, displaced state. People are seen floating in the air in the middle of nowhere. Their movements are in slow motion. The film is shown in three frames. Viewers see a symmetry of floating people on the two bracketing frames. In the middle frame, a woman is seen lying on the floor on top of a pile of photos and newspapers featuring images of people fleeing war and hunger. The audio track features sounds of waves hitting the beach (with an implied connection to the drowned bodies in the newspaper images). Subtitles (English and Persian) narrate an ancient text by the Iranian philosopher Suhrevardi about a bird in search of Eden.

Zahra Saleki
Invisible Tattoos, 2016
Flex Studio 108
Invisible Tattoos begins with a powerful image: 150 sets of eyes, belonging to Canadians, First Nations, and newcomers, stare back at you as you enter the room. A large text projection overlaps, depicting a combination of personal stories and historical facts relating to Canada. Your silhouette interacts as you move throughout the installation, symbolizing how the people we see every day carry with them specific stories and histories.

Anne Hanrahan
Rendering of Layered Cities Installation, 2017
Flex Studio 107
What happens when different views of urban development are brought to Canada? This installation investigates city transformation in Canada and countries that Canadians have originated from by layering images of both settings to suggest new forms of urban experiences. Based on diverse cultural design practices that citizens bring to their city, the projections stand in a maze-like structure where they change with the audience’s movement through the space. Exploring the themes of phenomenology and sense of place, the user will self-create a unique visual experience producing an immersive involvement with the content.

Jessica Runge & Arthur Cormack, with choreography by Peter Chin
Collide-O-Scope, 2017
Studio 103 (Intergalactic Arts Collective)
Resident Dance Artist Jessica Runge and her partner Arthur Cormack will be on-site to present Collide-O-Scope, a family-friendly interactive new-media and dance presentation. The Collide-O-Scope is a virtual puzzle that invites viewers to consider, interact with, and connect with each other through the topography of the virtual space it creates. Themed craft activities available for children with supervision by care-givers.

Calendars offline, PDF listings

Hello! We’re having technical difficulties with our online calendar at the moment. We’re sorry that our events and programs calendars are currently offline. For now, please find our events, exhibitions, programs and classes listed in these PDF documents:

Artscape Youngplace September Events & Exhibitions

Artscape Youngplace September Programs and Classes

Thank you for your patience!

Unveiling our new exterior space

September 19, 2017

After three months of construction, we are thrilled to reveal our new exterior space! This morning we celebrated with our tenants, the Artscape Youngplace condo board and community members at the official reveal event for this functional, fresh and environmentally friendly exterior.

Image: The new exterior space.

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Coffee & Conversation with MATTHEW SCHOFIELD

Coffee & Conversation is pleased to share this interview with visual artist Matthew Schofield. Matthew has an impressive resume; he has exhibited in Paris, Brussels, Florence, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, Provincetown and Toronto. It was sincerely a treat to interview Matthew in his private studio space and talk about his artistic roots, current projects and continuous growth as an artist.

Coffee and Conversations aerial shot of an americano

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Coffee & Conversation with SALVADOR ALANIS and XIMENA BERECOCHEA

Grab your favourite caffeinated beverage and read our latest Coffee & Conversation interview with Institute for Creative Exchange (ICE) founders Salvador Alanis and Ximena Berecochea. This power couple facilitates workshops designed to promote artistic collaboration with a focus on creative processes. I got to chat with the lovely duo about the workshops, the importance of collaboration, and I even learned a few fun facts about the pair!  Continue reading

SummerWorks at Artscape Youngplace

Beat the summertime heat and stay cool indoors with SummerWorks!

Join us for the SummerWorks 2017 Festival at Artscape Youngplace and see two shows happening in Flex Studios 107 & 109. TwoPenny café will also be open for a much-needed caffeine infusion and snacks!


SummerWorks Performance Schedule:

The Smile Off Your Face

Originally Created by Ontroerend Goed; Directed by Brian Postalian


Photo by Brian Postalian


Blindfolded and sitting in a moving chair, one audience member at a time is guided through this immersive performance. The Smile Off Your Face invites you into a sensory experience, moving through a room of imaginative wonder. Surrounded by eight performers, embark on a one-of-a-kind journey that’s all about you.


Where: Flex Studio 107

Show Times: August 3rd – 13th | Run-time on the quarter/half/ and hour for 30 minutes

Tickets: $15, $25 or $35 and can be purchased online



Created by Aria Evans and Jesse Wabegijig


Photo by Aria Evans


You are invited to enter an immersive environment of video, sound, design, and movement – a maze full of twists and turns, with surprise performances and interactive movement vignettes hiding just around the corner. Travelling in groups of six, you will wander through a world inspired by the four elements and our environmental footprint on the earth. There will be free gallery viewings of the installation at 2:00 pm on August 5 and 6.


Where: Flex Studio 109

Show Times: August 4th – 6th | Run-time on the quarter/half/ and hour for 30 minutes

Tickets: $15, $25 or $35 and can be purchased online