Take Your Holiday Shopping Local

The holidays are here! For those still making your way through your list, not to worry—we’ve got some great local ideas. Custom-made gifts are the ultimate way to show you care—and how awesome you are at giving gifts.

You can find truly unique gifts at Akin’s Annual Holiday Party & Artist Market on December 15, or at one of our other favourite seasonal events.

It’s been a huge year for Akin. In 2018 alone, the arts organization opened a huge studio space at TAS’s 888 Dupont building, inaugurated the Akin Studio Program at the brand new MOCA Toronto, said goodbye to two of its longest-running locations, welcomed dozens of new artists, and celebrated its 10th anniversary.

TAS is a proud supporter of Akin, and we are committed to building resilient urban villages that value creativity and culture. We strive to maintain affordable workspace for artists, and have been able to do so at 888 Dupont, working with the City to get a creative co-location facility designation. We’ve also partnered with Akin at our 7 Labatt property. Monthly membership at an Akin studio starts at just $70 per month, making the space affordable to artists who might otherwise have nowhere to work.

“We access space that’s in transition, waiting to be developed in a few years,” says studio manager Janet Hinkle. “We divide it up using plywood to make small work spaces, and lease it out to artists at the lowest prices we can offer them.”

888 Dupont currently has about 30 commercial tenants, a mix of photographers, fashion designers and jewellers. TAS was fortunate to have the space available for Walnut Studios, who relocated 10 artists after a fire damaged their space earlier this year.

“Akin has been able to partner with amazing developers who love supporting the arts,” Hinkle says. “They have the space just sitting there, and by working together with them we’ve found a way to activate the space temporarily, negotiating low lease costs for our artists.”

In addition to their studio spaces, Akin also runs year-round not-for-profit programming, including regularly sold out tax and grant-writing workshops for artists, and a series of collaborative projects in partnership with organizations like CAMH and StreetARToronto.

Get into the Holiday Spirit
On Saturday, December 15, from 1-7p.m., 888 Dupont will host Akin’s Annual Holiday Party & Artist Market. Open to all, especially families looking for a fun interactive event, visitors can expect to find beautiful works from painters, illustrators, potters, comic and metalwork artists, all available for sale. The event features great free activities including a photo booth, holiday card-making, and an interactive mural. There will also be a cash bar and guests are welcome to participate in an all-day potluck by bringing food and snacks.

Celebrate in Your Neighbourhood
Here are a few more of our favourite neighbourhood events this month:

Church Wellesley Village
Pink Xmas Market (December 8 & 9)

Downsview Park
Christmas Bird Count for Kids in Downsview Park (December 15)

The Junction
Inspirations Studio Holiday Sale & Open House (December 7-9)

Kensington Market
Handmade Holiday Craft Market (December 8)

Kingston Road Village
Cobalt Gallery Holiday Show (On until December 24)

Yellowhouse Gallery Holiday Show & Sale (On until January 12)

Leslieville
The Leslieville Flea Holiday Market (December 8 & 9)

Parkdale
Parkdale Flea Holiday Market (December 8 & 9)

From our village to yours, have a wonderful holiday season!