Announcing SpaceFinder York Region!

ArtsBuild Ontario, in partnership with the York Region Arts Council, Town of Newmarket, Town of Richmond Hill, City of Markham and Toronto and Region Conservation, are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of SpaceFinder York Region in Spring 2017.

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



“SpaceFinder York Region will provide creative spaces with a new avenue to promote rentals and expand audiences. We are so pleased to be working with York Region Arts Council and all our local partners in bringing this important resource to the creative community.”
Lindsay Golds, Executive Director of ArtsBuild Ontario

“One of the challenges York Region artists and arts organizations face is a perceived lack of space. Though the Region does not have an abundance of traditional arts and cultural venues, there are many alternative spaces that have the potential to be used in new and innovative ways. We are thrilled to partner with ArtsBuild Ontario and our community partners to bring SpaceFinder to York Region’s creative community. It’s a big step forward in our efforts to provide more accessible space for artists, cultural organizations and creative entrepreneurs.”
Samantha Wainberg, Executive Director, York Region Arts Council


Blog Post: Arts Day on the Hill Recap

Advocacy is an important piece of ArtsBuild’s work on behalf of arts organizations in Ontario. Last week, we joined arts advocates across the country for #ArtsDay on the Hill -a national  day of arts advocacy organized and led by the Canadian Arts Coalition. Over 160 artists, arts managers and board members of arts organizations participated, making it the largest attended Arts Day to date!


On Monday night before Arts Day, arts advocates gathered for a training session hosted by the Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) to prepare speaking points for our meetings with MPs. The energy and passion in the room from arts supporters across our nation paired with guidance from the CAC prepared us to head into our respective meetings.

Three speaking points from the CAC were:

  1. Thank you for the arts and culture investments in Budget 2016 ($1.87 billion over five years)
  2. Short-term investments from Budget 2016, in the Cultural Spaces and in the Showcasing Canada programs, need to be extended and sustained beyond two year.
  3. The Digital Culture consultations are an essential process between government, industry, and artists – the Canadian Arts Coalition wants to ensure that artists are part of the conversation

Arts Day was an opportunity to advocate for the important work happening in arts and culture organizations in Canadian communities with these three key messages from CAC – and a large item on the list was an increased investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. Teamed with PACT, Mirvish and the Canadian League of Composers – we met with two Members of Parliament: Scott Duvall, MP of the Hamilton Mountain and Kyle Peterson, MP of Newmarket-Aurora – both supporters of the arts in their communities.


ArtsBuild spoke to all three speaking points, with emphasis on the importance of extending funding in the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund to Phase 2 of the Government of Canada’s Infrastructure plan. We stressed that the extension needs to be included in Budget 2017, so that arts organizations can begin feasibility studies on their capital projects.

Arts Day was an exciting and essential initiative to participate in – especially since this year’s messaging tied closely to the advocacy work of ArtsBuild. We would like to thank the Canadian Arts Coalition for organizing this important and vital day of advocacy for arts and culture!

Media Release: SpaceFinder launches in Waterloo at Amplify 2016

For immediate release: Kitchener, ON, Oct. 19, 2016:  ArtsBuild Ontario is pleased to announce the launch of SpaceFinder Waterloo Region to artists and creative spaces in the City of Waterloo on Oct. 26, 2016 at Amplify – a full day summit, organized by the City of Waterloo, that celebrates creativity and innovation in the region.

SpaceFinder offers a large-scale solution for artists and creative spaces for Waterloo’s creative community. 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.  And unlike other rental sites, users do not pay any booking or search fees to use SpaceFinder Waterloo Region.

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. ArtsBuild has partnered with the City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, City of Cambridge and the Region of Waterloo, to bring this tool to the community.

ArtsBuild is leading the expansion of SpaceFinder across Canada with local leaders where the tool is currently active, including Toronto and Hamilton, as well as British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba – Waterloo Region is the first region to offer SpaceFinder to its creative community. SpaceFinder is also offered in 15 U.S. cities. SpaceFinder Waterloo Region is funded in part by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Government of Canada.

SpaceFinder Waterloo Region officially launches to artists in Waterloo on Oct. 26 at Creative Waterloo’s Amplify 2016. Hosted by SpaceFinder Waterloo Region community partners, Amplify provides a key opportunity for the creative community to learn about SpaceFinder as a free resource for finding and promoting alternative space. ArtsBuild will be presenting SpaceFinder at 4:25pm during a Peer-to-Peer session at Amplify under the topic of innovation at the day long event.


“SpaceFinder Waterloo Region provides artists and cultural organizations with new possibilities for finding creative space in our community. We are so pleased to be working with our local partners at the City of Waterloo in brining this important resource to our creative community.”
Lindsay Golds, Executive Director,ArtsBuild Ontario

 “It’s wonderful to see SpaceFinder right here in Waterloo Region! This matchmaking tool will foster cultural connections and I look forward to this creative approach having a positive impact on our community for many years.”
Dave Jaworsky, Waterloo Mayor

 “SpaceFinder Waterloo Region is a great resource for our community.  It makes finding, renting or sharing a creative space easier for everyone.  I am impressed by the number and variety of spaces that have already been listed, and look forward to seeing the options grow as the tool is launched.”
Kate Hagerman, Cultural Heritage Specialist, Region of Waterloo

About ArtsBuild Ontario: 

ArtsBuild Ontario is the only organization in Ontario dedicated to realizing long-term solutions for building, managing and financing the sustainable arts facilities needed in Ontario communities. ArtsBuild provides tools, training and resources that support the development of sustainable creative spaces such as theatres, galleries, concert halls, museums and other arts facilities.


Media Contact:

Alex Glass
Program Manager, ArtsBuild Ontario
Office: 519.880.3670 ext 103
Mobile: 226.792.4849

New on the blog: ArtsBuild ventures to Sudbury

SudburyWe ventured to the north of the province to attend the Art Gallery of Sudbury’s “How to Purpose Build a ‘Category A’ Museum.” This was a great opportunity for gallery stakeholders and community organizations to understand what a “Category A” museum is and what that might look like for Greater Sudbury’s future art gallery. The Sudbury Public Library and gallery are joining forces to work together on building a new facility, which city council has made a priority project.  The new facility would also put the Art Gallery of Sudbury in a “Category A” designation.

The session featured three guest speakers: Lisa Daniels from Alix Gallery in Sarnia, Simon Lambert from the Canadian Conservation Institute and Alexandra Badzak from the Ottawa Art Gallery. Lisa and Alexandra spoke to their own successes and challenges they faced in their recent capital projects while Simon touched on the importance of storage requirements for a “Category A” museum.

But before we recap the session, you might be wondering what is a “Category A” museum?

The term comes from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Designation of Institutions of and Public Authorities criteria for organizations to access tax incentives and grants. Institutions such as museums, public art galleries, archives and libraries fall under this designation. Plus, a “category A” museum must have unlimited designation from one of the following groups: Objects recovered from the soil or waters of Canada, objects of material ethnographic culture, military objects, objects of applied and decorative arts, objects of fine arts, scientific or technological objects, archival material and musical instruments.

Simon Lambert’s presentation focused on the requirements for movable cultural property for a “Category A” museum. Careful consideration towards storage was a key focus point when arts organizations arrive at the design phase of their building projects. On average, a museum’s collection is 98% in storage at any given time, so it is essential to have the right space reserved or created for this purpose. There are tons more great aspects to consider when designing exhibition space too –read about the Canadian Conservation Institute’s requirements and services!

Alix Gallery in Sarnia – looking back on their capital build

ALIX Art GalleryExecutive Director Lisa Daniels from Alix Gallery in Sarnia offered wisdom from the gallery’s transformation into a “Category A” purpose-built gallery. The gallery first opened its doors to patrons in 1961 as the Sarnia Public Library and Art Gallery. The gallery outgrew the space and reclaimed The Thom Building (one of downtown Sarnia’s historically and socially significant buildings) to create a purpose- built facility to house a permanent collection and display premiere exhibitions. The building’s gorgeous facade has been retained and restored back its historically accurate condition. Inside, the new facility features world-class equipment and regulatory systems to maintain environmental controls necessitated by world-class artworks.

Lisa’s most significant take away for an organization starting a new build was to deliver on your promises. The classic saying goes “build it and they will come,” but that was not a trap the new gallery was about to fall into. The gallery used marketing and relevant programming to draw patrons to the remarkable new space. They also hosted a rare exhibition shortly after opening which garnered 20,000 visitors; two times their initial goal. This capital project is also a great example of how an arts organization can balance resources during the building phase. While construction work was being completed for the new purpose- built arts facility, Alix Gallery staff brought programming to the community in public spaces.

The Ottawa Art Gallery – partnerships and shared goals
OAG_EXPANSIONThe Ottawa Art Gallery is breaking new ground when it comes to partnerships and cultural institutions with their current building project. Director and CEO Alexandra Badzak shared her goals and current project status on their new “Category A” gallery. This build has been a long time coming, with feasibility studies dating back to 2004 for the new facility. The expansion of the gallery and Arts Court Redevelopment project are part of the City of Ottawa’s downtown revitalization plan. The gallery will expand by 80,000 feet on five floors, featuring a multidisciplinary screening space that will be home to the Canadian Film Institute.

Alexandra highlights that having a business plan and storytelling are key skills for partnership – which remains at the core of the gallery’s expansion. The new space will include a hotel and condo, all sharing the same goal for this city block dedicated to arts and culture. The City of Ottawa led the process of bringing in other players for the expansion, but the gallery is harnessing the densification of Arts Court and the area of their future home. It is located in the cultural core of downtown Ottawa right beside the University of Ottawa. Alexandra emphasized how important accessibility to culture will be in this space and that they will remain free for all to visit.

The information session was an excellent way for patrons, board members and staff to compare plans for the Art Gallery of Sudbury with other capital projects around the province – with an emphasis on making their space a “Category A” facility. We are excited to hear more about the upcoming project plans for the gallery and library!

SpaceFinder Waterloo Region is now taking venue listings!



What is SpaceFinder Waterloo Region? It’s a FREE online directory of venues and creative spaces in the community available to rent. It’s a matchmaking tool for renters looking for creative space and spaces looking to promote their rentals.

List your space today!

We are looking for spaces such as galleries, cafés, yoga studios, sacred spaces, theatres, dance studios and others that rent their spaces for creative uses to join a community of local venues on SpaceFinder. SpaceFinder is a “go to” site for artists, creative types and event planners looking for unique space to rent.

SpaceFinder is active in Toronto and Hamilton, and will be launched in Alberta, BC and Winnipeg by Fall 2016 – Waterloo Region is the first Regional SpaceFinder site in North America.

Listing your space on SpaceFinder gives your space exposure to new audiences AND more revenue potential.

What you need to sign up your space:

  • Description and details of your space
  • Pictures of your space (iPhone photos are great!)
  • Rental policies (if you have)
  • Contact information

Want to learn more about SpaceFinder Waterloo Region?

We understand that all space bookings are different and range from simple to very complex. To help our SpaceFinder users get the most out of their listings, ArtsBuild Ontario is hosting FREE Info Sessions on how to list your space, maximize SpaceFinder’s online features, and answer any questions you may have.

Join us June 21 from 3-4 pm at the Kitchener Public Library

(85 Queen St. North, Kitchener)


June 23 from 3-4 pm at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts

(60 Dixon St., Cambridge)

Info sessions will include:

  • Live demo so you can add your spaces right away
  • Tips on promoting your rental spaces
  • Q&A to help you get started
  • Features that save time and support your bottom line

If you have any questions or require assistance with your listing, please contact Alex Glass at or 519.880.3670 ext 103.

Who is bringing SpaceFinder to Waterloo Region?

ArtsBuild Ontario has worked hard to secure funds and partners to make this resource available in Waterloo Region. Regional partners including City of Kitchener, City of Cambridge, City of Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo are supporting this tool for the creative community because they understand the need for artists to find affordable space, and for spaces to reach potential renters.

This project is supported by Department of Canadian Heritage and Ontario Trillium Foundation.