Artscape announced today the first group of artists and non-profit organizations that will soon call the Artscape Shaw Street Centre home. In December 2010, Artscape purchased the Shaw Street School from the Toronto District School Board. The new owners and tenants include:
- Centre for Indigenous People
- Barbara Astman, photographer
- College-Montrose Children’s Place
- Emily Filler, painter
- Inter-Galactic Arts Co-op
- Miriam Grenville, textile artist
- Paperhouse Studio
- Vid Ingelevics, photographer
- Red Pepper Spectacle Arts
- Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith, musician
- Small World Music Society
A number of work studios at Artscape Shaw Street Centre are still available for purchase by professional artists and non-profit arts and community organizations at below-market rates. Available studios range in size from approximately 500 – 1,500 sq. ft. and may be used for production, exhibition, education, programming and administrative purposes.
Once complete, the Artscape Shaw Street Centre will offer a theatre training facility, a centre for dance and performance, papermaking skills programs, community-based multi-media workshops, arts training for marginalized youth, music education for amateurs and professionals, family resources to support the local community, screenings, openings, performances, daily exhibitions and nightly events.
Artscape Shaw Street Centre will repurpose the existing historic Shaw Street School, bringing new life to this grand Beaux-Arts heritage building. Located at 180 Shaw Street, the building lies in the heart of the West Queen West alternative arts district, just steps from Trinity-Bellwoods Park and the galleries and restaurants of the lively Ossington Avenue strip.
“I am aware that the Artscape Shaw Street Centre project is quite unique not only in Toronto but internationally and offers a model for others in terms of seeing cultural activity, heritage preservation and city-building as integrated goals. The care with which Artscape has worked with the local community to set up the ownership/rental situations is a key reason I applied to be here,” said owner and photographer Vid Ingelevics. “It will save a wonderful heritage building, allowing it to continue to anchor the neighbourhood, and will form a new hub of artistic activity that will bring visitors to the Queen St. W. area. It will result in the formation of a stable community of artists in a city where artists tend to be squeezed out economically as soon as real estate prices go up in the neighbourhoods where they live and work.”
“The Artscape Shaw Street Centre and the surrounding vibrant neighbourhood is an ideal environment for Inter-Galactic Arts Co-op to establish a home for creation and experimentation in the performing arts,” said Susan Lee, I-GAC member. “Resultant creative exploits will be far-reaching and resonate through our community of arts professionals as well as our audiences, students and clients. We are eager to bring our work to a new space and look forward to contributing to this strong, creative community.”
Artscape Shaw Street Centre will be a multi-dimensional facility designed to build capacity for creativity and innovation and bring people and ideas together under one roof. The Centre will house a diverse mix of creators working in a variety of disciplines, as well as arts, community and social mission organizations.
Artscape is making a significant investment to restore the 75,000 sq. ft. structure, with the scope of work estimated to be greater than $12M. The Artscape Foundation, Artscape’s charitable arm, is fundraising to support the philanthropic goals for the Centre. Project design is currently underway and will include a number of environmentally sustainable components. The design of the renovation will be led by Teeple Architects with construction managed by The Dalton Company. Artscape Shaw Street Centre is expected to open in Spring 2012.
Artscape Shaw Street Centre builds upon Artscape’s self-sustaining development model by offering ownership and rental opportunities for artists and not-for-profit organizations at below-market rates. Artscape achieves the below-market purchase price on ownership studios by providing a 25% no-interest, payment free second mortgage. This mix fills an important need in the arts community by offering some artists and organizations the opportunity to purchase their work space permanently while allowing Artscape to continue to address the needs of the arts community for long-term affordable rental space.
Detailed information on the Artscape Shaw Street Centre can be found at www.artscapeshawcentre.ca A slideshow of images from the building and its first group of owners and tenants has been posted below.