DonateGrowing Arts and Culture in York Region.


Creative Space Feasibility Study

The York Region Arts Council (YRAC) and Shadowpath Theatre Productions received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to explore and recommend innovative models for sustainable mixed-use arts and culture facilities.

The first phase of our research was to visit a wide range of creative facility owners and operators with the intention of gaining a deeper understanding of functional business models and partnerships that enable these spaces to exist and thrive.

The second phase of our study was to gain input from stakeholders within York Region to assess needs, cultural priorities, readiness and what viable model(s) can look like here.

The third and final phase of the study is a report and action plan in the form of a written document and podcast. Listen to the podcast here.

You can view the written version of the report HERE!


Podcast speakers:

Samantha Wainberg, Executive Director, York Region Arts Council

Alex Karolyi, Artistic Director, Shadowpath Theatre Productions 

Scott Jarvie, Digital Media Producer, New Cinematics

Mahtab Abdollahi, Visual Artist

Podcast recorded and edited by:

Pezmosis Music Productions with special thanks to Mark Pezzelato.

Organizations mentioned in the recording:

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA),


Akin Collective,

Aurora Cultural Centre,

Newmarket Group of Artists,


The York Region Creative Space Feasibility Study is a research initiative of Shadowpath Theatre Productions in partnership with the York Region Arts Council. 

This project was made possible by the generous contribution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (insert OTF logo). 


Section 37:

Section 37 of the Planning Act permits municipalities to pass a by-law authorizing increases in height and density of development beyond what is permitted in the relevant zoning by-law in exchange for “facilities, services or matters” set out in the by-law. There are precedents where “community benefits” result in funds or in-kind space provided for arts spaces, such as the Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC). 

Municipal Accommodation Tax:

As of January 1, 2018 all single-tier and lower-tier municipalities have the authority to put a municipal accommodation tax in place. This is not a requirement for local municipalities. If the tax is implemented in a municipality, 50% of funds is intended to go towards tourism infrastructure expenses and the other 50% of revenue should be shared with an eligible tourism entity (non-profit organization) and must be used for the exclusive purpose of promoting tourism. Where applicable, arts and cultural spaces that align with a tourism mandate may be able to benefit from revenue associated with this new tax, both from an infrastructure and promotion perspective. To learn more about the Tourism Accommodation Tax, TIAO has complied helpful FAQs.


Shadowpath Theatre Productions and the York Region Arts Council received a 12 month (September 2017 through August 2018) $57,200 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to conduct a feasibility study as a first step in our mission to create space for the arts. The need for this study was born out of years of stakeholder input about the lack of accessible creative facilities to produce and present work. As such, many York Region creatives move away, practice outside of the Region or develop insular methods for creating. Shadowpath and YRAC have experienced overwhelming feedback about the need for collaborative and cross-functional artistic space. Our ultimate vision is to shift the community's overall artistic landscape and provide a vehicle for artists of all disciplines to develop and present their craft to their fullest potential.

About Shadowpath Theatre Productions:

Shadowpath is a registered charitable organization and has been turning everyday spaces into creative places since 2002. Shadowpath is the recipient of Newmarket’s Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Innovation, 2016 and Richmond Hill’s Creativity Connected Award for Best Innovation for their Café Cruise project in 2016.

About York Region Arts Council:

The York Region Arts Council (YRAC) is the only York Region-wide nonprofit charitable arts service organization focused on capacity building, creative placemaking and community engagement in support of artists, arts organizations and creative entrepreneurs.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation:

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.

SpaceFinder York Region is a free matchmaking tool for renters looking for creative space, and spaces looking to promote their rentals.

Venues can market unbooked rental space by creating a listing and uploading a digital calendar, while creatives can discover space based on location, price, amenities, up-to-date availability and more.

SpaceFinder offers a large-scale solution for artists and creative spaces in York Region. Billed as an "air bnb" for artists, SpaceFinder is a free online tool for artists to search for space, and for creative spaces to promote their rentals. SpaceFinder is designed to help increase the visibility of creative space, helping artists easily find space, and helping venues promote their under-utilized rental space.  
Created by Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization based in New York, SpaceFinder is a first-of-its-kind online service that enables venues to market their spaces by creating listings with photos, rental rates and equipment, and uploading a digital calendar to the website. Artists and renters can search for creative workspaces that meet their needs based on location, price, amenities and up-to-date availability.
SpaceFinder first launched in Canada in November 2014 with SpaceFinder Toronto. Since introducing the tool to the city's creative community, it has become a primary resource for artists to discover creative space. SpaceFinder is currently active in three Ontario regions, including Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo Region. The site is also active in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, as well as 15 U.S. cities. 
The York Region Arts Council has partnered with ArtsBuild Ontario to deliver this tool in addition to community partners; Town of Newmarket, Town of Richmond Hill, City of Markham, and Toronto and Region Conservation, to bring this tool to the community. SpaceFinder York Region is funded in part by the Government of Canada. 
SpaceFinder York Region is accepting space listings! If you have a creative space to list, please visit

Business Planning

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur

By William Deresiewicz

Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? Learn More

Create business and financial plans

Get information, tips, tricks and strategies to succeed in your arts career. Learn More

6 Links Every Creative Entrepreneur Should Know

By Spark Box Studio

To help all of you creative entrepreneurs we have put together a list of helpful websites to get your inspired, on track, and ready for a great year of creation! Learn More

Top Tips for Young Theatre Producers

By The Guardian

From team management to critics, Tim Johanson, currently producing The Wasp at Trafalgar Studios, offers some advice to aspiring producers. Learn More


5 Design Trends: 2016 is the Year of User Experience

By Matthew Couto

Making predictions for the future is key to success, especially within the face-paced tech industry. Each year, TechSoup Canada predicts key tech and web design trends that will affect nonprofits the most. It’s our prediction that 2016 will be the year of user experience. Learn More

Facebook: A really useful Marketing Tool

By Sue Edworthy

In a Facebook-centred intensive workshop, participants will not only learn more about the how’s and best practices of using Facebook, but the whys of it. Learn More

Guerella Music Marketing Suggestions

By Christopher Knab

For Independent musicians in the business of selling, promoting or doing music on the internet.  Learn More

Free Music Marketing Tips

By Bards Crier

Promotion tips, including links to free downloads of music promotion, ebooks (go to his blog and scroll to the end). Learn More

Music Marketing and Promotion Tips

By Bob Baker

Learn how to get exposure, connect with fans and increase your income through your artistic passions with Bob Baker, an author, musician, and workshop leader who is dedicated to helping creative people of all kinds. Learn More

Five ways to connect online with disabled festival audiences

By Callum Hogg

Provide detail on access to performances and introduce a travel guide, because barriers to access can be found long before the festival gates. Learn More

Financial Planning

This This Grantmaking Pyramid Strategy Ensures That Nonprofits Won't Topple

By Ben Paynter

Too many philanthropic grants focus on expanding new programs at the expense of nonprofits’ internal structure and stability, but a new initiative is looking to put the focus on building organizational strength from the ground up. Read More

Fundraising 101

By Artreach Toronto 

Fundraising can be challenging - it is an art of catching attention and providing reasons substantial enough for people to donate. This tool gives excellent advice and outlines most important things you should know about when fundraising. Learn More

Crowdfunding Platform

By Toronto Fringe

Fund What You Can (FWYC) is a fundraising resource created and run by the Toronto Fringe Festival. It has been made to suit the needs to independent artists from across Canada, in any artistic discipline. Learn More

Selling Art

Sell art, contests, show, competitions, tips, tutorials and resources for artists.

Learn More

Art business advice, real strategies to help you succeed in the business of art

By Empty Easel

An online art magazine with practical advice, tips and tutorials for creating and selling art. Learn More

A few tips on how to price your artwork

By Spark Box Studio

It’s common for artists to feel uncomfortable and confused when faced with the task of pricing art and craft pieces. There can be uncertainty about what’s considered too high or too low. You don’t want to undervalue your work but you also don’t want to price it so high that no one buys it. Learn More

How to price your work as an Arts and Cultural Professional

By Cornelia McCarthy | The Guardian

Pricing formulas range from the scientific, to the gut, to sheer guesswork – price your product right with this essential resource. Learn More

Support Organizations

Canadian Artist Representation Copyright Collection

Fee schedules for visual artists. Learn More

Ontario Arts Council Introduction/Survival Guide

Tips and must-dos for preparing an application to the Ontario Arts Council. Learn More

Resources from Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport provide a list of available resources for artists and several Professional development and training links. Learn More

Arts organization resources


ArtsBuild is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to address the cultural infrastructure challenge facing Ontario's charitable small and mid-sized performing and visual arts organizations. Learn More

Also check out ArtsBuild Ontario's Resource Library, your one-stop destination for all things related to building, managing, greening, and financing arts facilities. Learn More

Business for the Arts

This national association works to strengthen partnerships between the arts and business communities. Their ArtsVest program connects arts organizations across Canada with private-sector funders and volunteers through matching funds programs and sponsorship training. Learn More

Creative Trust

This Toronto organization works to ensure the health and sustainability of small and mid-size arts organizations. Their initial program, Working Capital for the Arts, helped arts organizations achieve financial stability. They are now working on facilities and infrastructure issues, and conducting research on audience development. Learn More

Ministry of Ontario Programs and Grants

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport administers several funding and grant programs to eligible arts stakeholders, including the Museum and Technology Fund, Cultural Strategic Investment Fund and theCreative Communities Prosperity Fund

The Toronto Star

"A ‘decent’ proposal: Not-for-profits should raise job standards, report says": The Change Report argues the not-for-profit industry can lead the way on fair pay and benefits and help end precarious work in Ontario. Learn More

Welcome to Ontario Trillium Foundation's Knowledge Centre

This is an online community for connecting Ontario’s nonprofit sector to create relationships, share knowledge, and build capacity with each other and beyond.

Overall, the Knowledge Centre is part of​ OTF’s commitment to support Ontario communities “beyond the grant” by giving you the opportunity to: 

  • Help build the capacity of the sector in learning about our Action Areas, Measurement, Open Data, and other topics of importance to the sector as they emerge. 
  • Build innovative and more personalized digital relationships with OTF and organizations just like yours, across the province and sector.
  • Click Here to Access

Introducing the York Region Innovation and Entrepreneur Events Calendar

By Startup York

Wish community events could magically appear in your calendar?

We've been playing with this calendar that allows you to subscribe so that events (focused on entrepreneurs and innovation) in York Region show up on your computer and phone calendars.

Find out more in our newsletter:…/introducing-an-events-calendar-for-york…

Three Principles to Optimize Your Nonprofit Website for Conversion

By Terry Ibele 

A nonprofit website is effective when it successfully encourages visitors to take up a specific call of action. The moment at which a visitor provides a desired response -- whether by donating, subscribing to an email list, or creating a new membership account -- is called "conversion." Learn More

For What its Worth: A Toolkit for Navigating the Appraisal of Donated Works


As you have no doubt seen from emails, our toolkit on appraisals in currently underway! We will be working closely with the Art Dealers Association of Canada to develop the content over the next couple of months. 
As part of the research for the toolkit we are seeking members who have responded to our recent tool kit survey that would have time for a short phone conversation with our Content Consultant Ian Turner. Additional information will help us develop and research more efficiently and ensure the toolkit will be as useful to our members as possible.
If interested, please contact our Program Assistant Alexandra Loewen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Few Good Methods for Processing Credit Cards

By Laura S. Quinn and Kyle Andrei

f your nonprofit needs to accept credit card payments, it’s never been easier to do so. Whether those payments include donations made over the phone, on-site registration fees at your next conference, or purchases at a booth, gift shop, or craft fair, there are a number of ways to accept credit cards as payment. Some require different types of hardware and software and relationships with banks. Learn More

Why should your organization use a social media management tool?

By Jackie Neel, freelance writer, and professor at Temple University

As a savvy nonprofit worker, you already know that you should be on social media. You might even know that you should have a strategysegment your market, and plan your resources. But what about that most important of all resources: human resources?

Unlike Fortune 500 companies, many nonprofits can't afford to dedicate a specific person to monitor social media all day. Instead, locating and posting material is an additional job or a team effort. One way to maximize that effort is to use free online programs to post your most important messages across multiple media platforms at the same time and on your schedule.  Learn More

Optimize your fundraising efforts with DonorPerfect!

By Ben Losman

DonorPerfect is comprehensive, customizable donor management software that enables nonprofits of all sizes to track donor data, launch hyper-targeted fundraising campaigns, and automate tasks that eat up precious time and energy. With tools for optimizing both online and offline fundraising efforts, DonorPerfect makes it easy to cultivate the relationships that drive impact and growth.

Through TechSoup Canada, DonorPerfect is offering eligible organizations a donated one-year subscription to DonorPerfect (renewable up to three years), as well as unlimited access to its discounted software solutions.  Learn More

Branding 101

By ArtReach

In this toolkit, you will learn the basics of branding, how to develop your brand, how to create brand content, how to design your brand identity, how to compile your portfolio, and more!  Learn More

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Boost Nonprofit Fundraising

By TechSoup Canada Guest Author

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer technology that’s only feasible in the future. It’s here now — and it’s being used with impressive results. As a nonprofit organization, you can use AI apps and tools to streamline important fundraising efforts and spend more time obtaining the money you need to effectively run operations and less time handling logistics. Learn More

4 Tech Tools for Dealing with Turnover at Your Nonprofit

By Ben Losman

In 2016, the turnover rate for the American nonprofit sector was a staggering 19 percent. Now, if you’re a seasoned nonprofit professional, this number might not be surprising. After all, this is a sector that employs passionate people to do hard work for little money -- it's not a formula that guarantees retention. Learn More

Become a Nonprofit Thought Leader through Digital Content

By Ben Losman

In the digital age, calling yourself a thought leader is a bit like introducing yourself as a “local hero.” Coming out of your own mouth, the label doesn't mean much. And yet the nonprofit sector is brimming with self-proclaimed thought leaders. Why? Learn More

Asset Planner for the Arts

By ArtsBuild Ontario

Asset Planner is an online asset management tool to help organizations practice effective building management and reduce risk through proactive approaches to facility maintenance. This online training and learning series will provide you with the tools necessary to make better decisions, produce accurate forecasts for your arts facility, and plan ahead for your organization’s needs. Learn More

Building Communities: Increasing Online Engagement and Awareness

By TechSoup

In this webinar, we cover how to build an online community through social media, what social media channels are out there, which ones should you be using, how to fit managing social media into your schedule, and tips for creating and curating great content to keep your community engaged. Learn More

Planning a Nonprofit Blog You Can Manage

By Matthew Couto

Many nonprofits want to start a blog, but their staff are often balancing multiple roles and don’t have the resources to regularly maintain one. However, blogs bring many benefits to nonprofits, and with a strategic approach you can manage a blog with minimal time and resources. Learn More

Getting Quality Audio for Your Video

By Allea Grummert

Don't let poor audio be the downfall of telling your nonprofit's story! Techsoup has compiled a three-part series on getting quality audio (for your video). Learn about location scouting, noise control, mic placement and more. Learn More

Starting a Business Checklist

By the Small Business Enterprise Centre of Richmond Hill

The Richmond Hill Small Business Enterpriuse Centre has compiled a checklist to ensure that you have all your bases covered when starting your own business. Learn More

Small Business Start-up Package

By the Small Business Enterprise Centre of Richmond Hill

Resources that will provide you with a great overview of the tools to help you start your business and prepare your business plan. Learn More

Public Relations Toolkit

By the Ontario Trillium Foundation

To help grantees fulfill their grant recognition requirements and create successful public relation plans and program. Learn More

Sample of a Media Advisory

By the York Region Arts Council

A template that can be used to inform the media about specific details (location, dates, times, speakers, etc.) of an upcoming event. Learn More

How to make an Artist Press Kit

By Graham Matthews

Press kits are invaluable for artists for the purpose of promotion, publicity and exposure.  Press kits or media kits generally contain information about the artist, the artist statement, resume, awards, exhibitions, artwork samples, etc. Learn More

The Emerging Artist Guide

By Spark Box Studio

The world of art can seem like a daunting place to navigate for even the most experienced of artists. To give you a jump start, the Sparks at Spark Box Studio have gathered and organized all kinds of valuable information that will help you organize and promote yourself as an artist, get your work out there, and understand the business basics of a career in the arts. Learn More

WorkInCulture eLearning Programs

Want to gain the knowledge, skills, and insight necessary to get ahead in the cultural sector? Developed by experts in the industry, WorkInCulture's online learning program gives you access to a wealth of knowledge and experience. Each eLearning module is designed to enhance your business skills, with a focus on the specific needs of the cultural sector. These courses provide relevant examples and practical exercises, and will guide you through many of the processes step-by-step. Best of all, these courses can be done on your own time, at your own pace. Learn More

York Region Arts Council, YRAC

395 Mulock Drive,
Newmarket, ON. L3Y 4Y9

Phone: 905-726-3278
Fax: 905-726-2788

Cron Job Starts