Being successful in your chosen field takes work. It takes connections, work experience and knowledge of what’s happening in the creative community around you. This is all much easier said, than done. As if it isn’t already enough, as a student you’ll be working late into the night on your projects and school assignments, trying to make beautiful art or architectural models on the tiny desk in you cramped apartment and maybe even trying to fit in a part-time job. It’s a lot, I know. ¬†And then, above and beyond that, you’re expected to make that extra effort to participate in the creative world in Toronto.

But it really does pay off, trust me.

As an creative individual, you need to take in new ideas and inspiration, and be in the know in your local art scene. You need to talk the talk, and walk the walk. This means art openings, exhibitions, this means introducing yourself and asking questions, this means talks and lectures, festivals and events. And why do you need to do all this? Because you won’t belive the doors it opens and the opportunities that arise. And it will inspire you. And it will teach you. In Toronto we are blessed with being in a cultural and creative centre in Canada and the World – take advantage of it!

One easy thing that I recommend is signing up for the newsletters through Akimbo. Akimbo is a resrouce for artists and designers that lists exhibitions and openings, courses and workshops, public talks, calls for submissions and cultural events. Even if you can’t attend many of the openings or events, knowing what is going on and learning what kinds of artists and designers are working and showing in the city can be a huge benefit. You can check out the events calendar and sign up for the newsletter at akimbo.ca.

With your OCAD U student card, you can get into the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) for FREE! As the AGO is OCAD U’s neighbor, you should be taking advantage of your time between classes and pop into the AGO. You’ll find you discover favorite galleries and corners where you will sit and think. You will find inspiration in the galleries, things you love and hate, and you’ll learn about the creative work that has taken place and is taking place around you. In addition to an amazing Canadian Art Collection, the AGO has Contemporary and European art and bosts some amazing archictectural features.

Just around the corner from OCAD U is a great place called 401 Richmond. It is located at (you guessed it!) 401 Richmond street, right at the corner at Richmond and Spadina. This converted warehouse space houses galleries, shops and artists studios and is a great one stop shop to see several different things. Be sure to check you the artist run centre YYZ, Gallery 44 which focuses on photography, Open Studio which is a members shared print studio with exhibition space, Red Head Gallery, Wynick/Tuck Gallery (a gallery run by OCAD grads!), A Space – another artist run centre, CineCycle – a film projection theatre and Prefix – a magazine and gallery – as well as lot’s more; including not-for-profit organizations, magazines, artist studios, small businesses, theatre centres etc.

Toronto is also home to several other amazing institutions and cultural centres, theatres and art galleries. I am going to provide you with an overwhleming list for you to explore!

ROM

The Gardiner Museym

Coach House Press

MOCCA

Hockey Hall of Fame

Bata Shoe Museum

The Design Exchange

The Textile Museum

Fort York

Archives of Ontario

CBC

Ontario Science Centre

V-Tape

Casa Loma

Toronto Zoo

CN Tower

Campbell House

Stephen Bulger Gallery

LE Gallery

XSPACE

Mercer Union

Angell Gallery

Neubacher Shore

Ryerson Image Centre

Jessica Bradley

Art Metropole

Edward Day Gallery

The Power Plant

The Harbourfront Centre

Gallery TPW

Interaccess

Gallery 113

Birch Libralto

Clint Roenisch

Cooper Cole

Corkin Gallery

Daniel Faria

Diaz Contemporary

Georgia Scherman Projects

Studio Huddle

Nicholas Metivier

Olga Korper

Peak Gallery

Petroff Gallery

Toronto Sculpture Garden

Whippersnapper

Art Spin

Luminato

Spadina House Museum

 

I hope you explore!