Creative Spaces and Step 2 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening 

Creative Spaces and Step 2 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening

Creative Spaces and Step 2 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening 

At midnight on June 30, 2021, the province will move into Step 2 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening. This is hopeful news as arts organizations can look forward to increased audience size for outdoor offerings and a gradual reopening of indoor arts spaces. While most of the province moves ahead to Step 2, Waterloo Region and Porcupine Health Unit will remain in Step 1.

The earliest Ontario can move to Step 3 would be on July 20, twenty-one days following Step 2. Organizations can start planning for this next phase of reopening by reviewing the Reopening Ontario webpage.

Step 2 Highlights for Creative Spaces


  • Maximum 25 people for outdoor gatherings
  • Outdoor events at 25% capacity
  • Outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music events and attractions at 25% capacity


  • Maximum 5 people for indoor gatherings
  • Space Rentals: Indoor meeting and event spaces closed, with exceptions for certain purposes, including viewings for a potential booking of a future event.

Commercial Film and TV Production

  • Open with no audience, and other restrictions

Performing Arts 

  • Indoor closed, permitted only for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted event – spectators not permitted
  • Outdoor open, including live music, with spectator capacity at 25% and other restrictions


  • Indoor closed
  • Outdoor open with spectator capacity at 25% and other restrictions

Museums and attractions

  • Outdoor waterparks open with 25% capacity and other restrictions
  • Outdoor amusement parks open with 25% capacity and other restrictions, including on rides

Photography studios and services

  • Outdoor and limited indoor open with restrictions

Drive-in and drive through events

  • Open with restrictions


  • All construction open

Read the full Provincial Order for Step 2 Regulations for more details.

ArtsBuild Ontario supports #SupportVisualArtsON and #FairnessForTheArtsON. We continue to advocate for a more equitable recovery pathway for Ontario’s extraordinary arts sector. We call for regulatory fairness for the live performing arts, galleries and museums whose future planning has been impacted by Step 2 in this roadmap. Learn more here.


Thank You and Farewell to ABO’s Departing Interim Executive Director, Diana Moser

Over the past year, Diana Moser has been serving as ArtsBuild Ontario’s (ABO) Interim Executive Director. During her time with ABO, Diana fully embraced this challenge of leading an organization through the uncertainties of COVID-19 and its impact on the arts and culture sector. Regardless of ups and downs, ABO continued to support creative spaces throughout the pandemic with projects such as the Indigenous Creative Spaces ProjectLEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT, and the Mapping Northern Creative Spaces Project as well as our core programs such as the Mentoring Network and Asset Planner for the Arts.

In addition, ABO continues its partnership with the City of Kitchener and the Accelerator Centre in operating 44 Gaukel Creative Workspace in Downtown Kitchener. The building has remained open to tenants throughout the pandemic.

Aside from maintaining projects and programs, Ms. Moser brought ABO into the third cohort of Pluralism and Organizational Change, facilitated Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO).  

Diana had the right skillset at the right time – managing unforeseen and unpredictable change. It was a pleasure working with her as she rose to the challenges the year presented. We were so lucky to have her and know that she will be a major asset to the organization that is lucky enough to hire her. Good luck, Diana!  –Kristian Clarke, President, ArtsBuild Ontario 

 Ms. Moser approached this year with a high level of organization and innovation. Wherever her next adventure takes her, any team will greatly benefit from her novel ideas and kind, thoughtful approach to leadership.

 ABO welcomes back our Executive Director, Alex Glass, after 14 months of maternity leave.

Taking PRIDE in Creative Spaces

June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month, which celebrates the 2SLGBTQIA+ * community. Pride also reminds us all to reflect on the continued fight against discrimination and hate. The origin of Pride stems from the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. Beginning with a raid on June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, over the course of a week thousands gathered at the Stonewall Inn. Protests against the New York City police department by 2SLGBTQIA+ groups lasted for a six day period. Although protests had occurred before, this uprising marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the perception of sexual orientation and gender identity on a broad scale. Many countries now host Pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, concerts and other events to reflect on the contributions, achievements, and struggles of 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

ArtsBuild Ontario encourages people to learn about and support 2SLGBTQIA+ spaces and organizations. While we highlight three Toronto-based groups here, we recognize that there are many others across the province and Canada. ArtsBuild Ontario does not discriminate and does not tolerate discrimination, against anyone based on their sexual preference, or gender identity, or mental and/or physical ability, and we strive to represent this commitment in our actions. Support for our 2SLGBTQIA+  colleagues, friends, and family doesn’t end when June does.


ArQuives, 2020

Located in Toronto, the ArQuives is the largest independent 2SLGBTQIA+ archive in the world. This archive documents history in a variety of different ways; textual records, audio visual records, posters, photographs, artifacts and artworks. The ArQuives welcomes contributions on an ongoing basis. This is a safe space for building a lasting repository where members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ can feel accepted, valued, and celebrated.

Donate here. 

Buddies in Bad Times

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Buddies in Bad Times is “Toronto’s leading destination for artistically rigorous alternative theatre and a world leader in developing queer voices and stories for the stage”. As the largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world, Buddies supports year-round programming that includes a full season of queer theatre, new works festivals, artist residencies, and intergenerational training and education initiatives. For over 40 years this renowned theatre has welcomed well over one million visitors and premiered over 1,000 works of unique content. 

Donate here. 

Artists Mentoring Youth ( The AMY Project)

This is a Toronto-based organization that is committed providing accessible, affirming performing arts training & creation programs for women and non-binary youth from equity-seeking communities. The AMY Project strives to break down barriers which cause youth to be unable to pursue their artistic passions. Whether social, economic, racial, etc, The AMY Project fights these systemic inequities to foster a safe and creative space. As part of their mandate, they offer “free performing arts training programs serving young women and non-binary youth. AMY breaks down barriers to participation by providing meals and transportation; accessible, queer and trans inclusive and anti-racist environments; one-on-one mentorship”. 

Donate here. 

*We recognize that this acronym does not encompass all sexualities, gender identities and expressions. ArtsBuild Ontario recognizes that there is a wide spectrum and our intention is to be as inclusive as we can.  For more information on terminology, click here.

Winter Internship through Humber College with ArtsBuild

During the Winter semester of 2021, ArtsBuild was fortunate enough to have a Program Assistant intern.

Warren Bain, a student of the Arts Administration & Cultural Management Program at Humber College, spent four months evaluating ArtsBuild’s programs and overall structures.

We recently caught up with Warren and here is what he had to say about his time with ArtsBuild.

Photo Credit: Mark Binks Photography

“As part of my learning with the Arts Administration & Cultural Management Program at Humber College I completed a winter internship with ArtsBuild Ontario. The entire placement occurred remotely online and I had an enjoyable experience. As a Program Assistant I worked closely with Interim Executive Director Diana Moser and Program Manager Amy Poole.

I was brought in to do an evaluation of much of ABO’s materials in what I came to call “An Outside Perspective on the Current Workings of ArtsBuild Ontario”. Diana helped steer me through close to 10 years of material and I was happily given agency to ask for whatever I needed and encouraged to investigate whatever I was curious about. The full report came to 40 pages in length and as ABO looks ahead to a new Strategic Plan, I am hopeful that my report will be of value and use.

The internship was a stimulating and informative learning experience for me. I was tasked with completing many different administrative jobs including reporting, data entry, research, and analysis. I participated and engaged in written and spoken communication through weekly staff meetings, emails (I got my own fancy ABO email to use), reporting, and representing ABO during third party engagements (webinar’s, a CPAMO meeting, and a Scarborough arts meeting). The evaluation was my first solo undertaking of such a large-scale administrative project, and stress management was key to the success of my writing. This was a challenge I had not fully appreciated, and I am happy to have experienced it in an internship especially considering the breadth of health management many people have had to navigate while working from home.

My experience with ABO led me to learn of many arts organizations in Ontario. Arts work can often be lonely work but my time with ABO showed me how connected we all are. I look forward to hearing more from great companies and ABO in the future – though not through a screen but rather in real life!”

Thank you Warren for your hard work throughout the semester!

Apply Now for Virtual Consultations in Cambridge, Waterloo, Orangeville, Guelph, and Kitchener! Part 2!

The deadline for Virtual Consultations Kitchener has been extended to Wednesday, March 31, 2021! Apply HERE for the Kitchener Sessions!


In addition, ArtsBuild Ontario is happy to announce that registration for all of the upcoming Virtual Consultations for LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT Part 2 is now open! Consultations will cover the topics of Building/Renovating and Managing/Maintaining Creative Spaces and Creative Space Projects, and they will be offered to non-profit, arts, culture, heritage, faith and community organizations in the Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Guelph, and Orangeville communities. Each community will offer two days of consultations, and the dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021: Kitchener
  • Tuesday, April 20, 2021: Kitchener
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2021: Waterloo
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021: Waterloo
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021: Orangeville
  • Tuesday, June 1, 2021: Orangeville
  • Tuesday, June 8, 2021: Guelph
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021: Guelph
  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021: Cambridge
  • Tuesday, July 6, 2021: Cambridge

In these sessions, participants in and near each of these areas will have the opportunity to sign up for one-hour timeslots for one of the two days with a creative space or creative space project in mind and consult with either one or both of our consultants, Randy Dalton (The Dalton Company) and Bryn Jones (WalterFedy). They will offer guidance and perspective based on their expertise and pertaining to their session topics.


Here is what an attendee thought of the Virtual Consultative Session Part 1 for Cambridge:

“Great mix of some onscreen sharing and just being in dialogue. I really, REALLY appreciate the one-on-one consultation opportunity and working with both presenters in tandem. I think this enriches the conversation to play off of each other versus having silo conversations.”

– Kenn Norman | The Fashion History Museum


For more information on how to apply, please visit