Art Starts Toronto's Class of 2017 Micro-Grant Recipients
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2017 Micro-Grant reciepients overlay on group photo
Art Starts is pleased to present our recipients for this year's cycle of micro-grants.

The Toronto Arts Council in collaboration with community partners including Art Starts are launching the 4th round of micro-grants as part of a larger funding catalyst, called Platform A, to invest in community-engaged arts in Toronto.

Micro-grants of up to $1,000 have been given out to support newcomer and emerging artists/arts collectives in the development and creation of new arts projects that engage and inspire others!
Platform A is a strategic initiative of the Toronto Arts Council developed in partnership with Art Starts, Jumblies, SKETCH, CUE & Vibe Arts. For more information about Platform A please click here.
Aine Belton with hand-made cheque
Aine Belton

Double Exposure

Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth
Creating a participatory photographic double-exposure project assembled through the eyes of cyclists rediscovering parts of our vibrant city, while defining what sense of belonging, sense of place and sense of self are.

"This micro-grant will enable me to combine art, my passion for cycling and making more connections with communities in Toronto."

Click Here to See My Work! 

A member of Airsa Collective holding her hand-made cheque
Airsa Collective
Aitak Sorahitalab, Mehran Azarbad, Cecilia C. Garcia


Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth
Nowruzgan is a multicultural art exhibition to celebrate Nowruz. It will aim to share the importance  and community function with those who celebrate it and will promote newcomers to visual art.

"It benefits newcomer artists to expose their work while they celebrate their culture in their new land. It benefits us as individuals, to have the opportunity to develop a cultural project, [while] also creating art."

Click Here to See My Work! 

Jacqueline Comrie Garrido holding her hand-made cheque
Jacqueline Comrie Garrido

The Colour Wheel Project

Ward 31 Beaches-East York
Revitalizing a high-traffic patient waiting room at the Michael Garron Hospital into a space of colour and healing for patients and loved ones through the production and installation of high quality art mural in collaboration with patients, staff members, and families.

"The micro-grant has helped me continue my initiative, The Colour Wheel Project, and improve people's medical care experience [in] hospital waiting rooms. [They] will be improved and revitalized through this initiative. Improving people's lives through colour!"

Click Here to See My Work! 

Zeinab Aidid (+1) holding their hand-made cheques
Laila Abubakar


Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Creating an urban dance program engaging racialized and marginalized youth living in Kingsview Village. This program will focus on giving participants the opportunity to improve their self-esteem and self-image through the use of dance.

One of the Vickery sister's holding her hand-made cheque
Margrock Publishing
Kate Vickery, Kelly Vickery, Victoria Macmillan

Lily's Intergalactic Spacetastic Adventure

Ward 27 Toronto Centre Rosedale
Publishing a watercolour children's book that will explain chronic and mental illness to kids, reducing the fear and anxiety that diagnosis and treatments can cause. 

"This grant [will]  fine-tune my illustration skills and acquire the materials I need to publish my books. It also allows me to use my talents to help children cope with their mental illness and chronic illness."

Patrick Walters (+1) holds their hand-made cheque
Patrick Walters

Sociphoria Sessions

Ward 23 Willowdale
Engaging youth from North York through a series of workshops leading to the creation of a "living documentary" focused on sustainable infrastructure. Sociphoria Sessions will seek to show that young people's lives can be improved through art.

"This micro-grant benefits me by providing the financial foundation to build sustainable art infrastructure. With the capital to buy resources and pay artists, we can slowly but surely move towards a society that creates opportunities in all forms art and artist."

Click Here to See My Work! 

Poonam Sharma (+1) holding their hand-made cheque
Poonam Sharma


Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth
Creating a collaborative interior community art mural at 'Klink Coffee' with community members returning home from prison, referred via the John Howard Society Toronto.

"This micro-grant will benefit me in taking my art practice to a more community engaged & integrated level. This micro-grant would give me the much needed support in implementing a project I designed to mentor people resettling after coming back from prison."

Click Here to See My Work!

Project 40 Collective
Jasmine Gui, Abby Ho

Diasporasian Mythologies

Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina
Facilitating eight free workshops, designed to promote emerging Asian artists that respond creatively to "mythologies" through the use of video, clay and text. All final work will be documented and exhibited in a digital anthology.

"This grant provides Project 40 Collective the chance to pay artists, build community relationships with local businesses, and create work with emerging artists."

Click Here to See My Work! 

Valierie Amponsah holding her hand-made cheque
Valerie Amponsah

Catching the Sun

Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina
Engaging young girls of colour who are underrepresented in all creative outlets, by creating a short story in the form of a comic book/graphic novel about a young black girl's journey to capture her confidence and learn to trust herself.

"An opportunity to practice my craft, 'storytelling/writing' as an artist. To give back to the community, especially a community that is often neglected and forgotten about, (young women of colour)."

Yannis Lobaina and her very, very cute daughter hold their hand-made cheques
Yannis Lobaina

Where the Magic Happens

Ward 8 York West
Comfort Zones is a digital short story in which newcomers are able to express themselves about the challenges they have to face when they move to a new country. This piece will be a dynamic interaction of images, movements, using music and colour, all of which will demonstrate the cultural diversity in Toronto.

"This micro-grant is going to be a very important door for me, because this is a good opportunity to be part of the Canadian Art scene. For me, [it] is a big experience and a very happy moment in my Canadian life. This is a good opportunity to motivate newcomer artists."

Click Here to See My Work!

Zeinab Aidid (+1) holding their hand-made cheques
Zeinab Aidid

Project Name TBA

Ward 2 Etobicoke North
Creating a series of spoken-word videos that centre around the artist's experience as a Somali girl growing up in this society. These videos will tackle the issues that have come up as a result of the artist's intersecting identities as a black, muslim woman.

Zeinab Aidid (+1) holding their hand-made cheques

Project Name TBA

One more micro-grant has yet to be announced, keep an eye out on our social media profiles for updates on who the final recipient is!

Thank you for making it this far.
Each artist supported by Art Starts is empowered by the members of the community that share their work, attend their workshops and create more opportunities for developing community arts.
If you would like to contribute directly to Art Starts click through the button below to link through to our Canada Helps page:
Donate Now!
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