Empowering communities: the stage is yours at Evergreen Brick Works

Published on May 29, 2024

Choir at Evergreen Brick Works.
Photo credit : Al Yoshiki

In the heart of every city lies a wide array of talent waiting to be showcased, voices needing to be heard and stories eager to be told. Yet community groups and performers often find themselves with a lack of accessible places in our cities where they can share their artistry with the world. These groups face major barriers like:  


  1. Limited access to venues – Traditional performance venues like theatres and concert halls can be costly to rent, making them inaccessible to groups with limited budgets.
  2. Competition for space – In cities, there is usually competition for available performance spaces, and larger cultural institutions often take precedence over smaller community groups. 
  3. Costs of permits and licenses – It can often be very costly and difficult to obtain permits and licenses to perform in public spaces, which deters community performers from applying. 
  4. Lack of infrastructure – Many public spaces lack the infrastructure that is needed for performances, such as lighting and seating.  


Evergreen saw the need for adequate spaces where community groups could perform in Toronto and thus the Community Spotlight program was born. This program at Evergreen Brick Works aims to demonstrate the value of inclusive public places by amplifying and centering other voices, communities and cultures. We have the space, you have the ideas — let’s bring them to life at the Brick Works. 


“Evergreen Brick Works is such an incredible public space, and we were looking for ways to really showcase and bring more vibrancy to the day-to-day backdrop of nature and history,” says Janina de Guzman, Senior Program Officer at Evergreen. ” All the while we were hyper aware of all the wonderful organizations, collectives and individuals in the city that were bursting with amazing ideas but places to showcase their work were either nonexistent or out of budget. Evergreen has the space and an appetite to bring more programming to our site and our partners had really incredible visions and expertise. It was from this alignment of needs that Community Spotlight was built.”

In 2023, Evergreen supported 23 different partners with 30 different programs and activations on our site.  


In the Children’s Garden, kids participated in Drag Queen Story Time with Selena Vyle.  


Drag Queen Story Time with Selena Vyle


The community had a blast doing Bolly Yoga with Limitless Productions in the Young Centre.  


Bolly Yoga with Limitless Productions in the Young Centre


Tiffany Commons was flooded with beautiful music from James Levac Music. 


music from James Levac Music


The community came together to paint an incredible mural in the Garden Market with Julia Prajza 


community painting mural in the Garden Market with Julia Prajza.


We tried floral pounding in Tiffany Commons with Sarah Zanchetta. 


floral pounding in Tiffany Commons with Sarah Zanchetta


People at the Farmers Market flocked to Tiffany Commons when they heard the incredible sounds of Inkloosive Voices.


 Inkloosive Voices playing in Tiffany Commons

I have loved seeing the diversity of programs. Everything from Bolly Yoga to flora pounding. Through the Community Spotlight Program, we’ve created so many valuable partnerships and have brought so many new faces and communities to our space. Ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy when they visit the Brick Works.

Janina de Guzman, Senior Program Officer at Evergreen.

And get excited because this upcoming season, we’ve got another incredible line up of community groups (some returning favourites and some new) who are going to be performing at Evergreen Brick Works!  


This program wouldn’t be possible without support from Bank of America. Thank you for helping us create the space and opportunity for community groups and performers to showcase their work at the Brick Works.  

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