Announcing Artscape Daniels Launchpad

On April 21, we held an event to proudly present Artscape Daniels Launchpad, our one-stop art and design entrepreneurship hub opening in 2018 that will provide affordable access to technology and tools of the trade, reframe entrepreneurship for creative people through innovative programming, and offer a gateway to services, funding, business opportunities and more. You can read more about this amazing facility on our dedicated website at

And (as previously announced) Artscape's head office will be moving there in 2018!

Funding Partners

At our April 21st event, we announced $21.4 million in capital and program funding contributed to Launchpad, and that the facility will be named Artscape Daniels Launchpad in recognition of the outstanding financial support of The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation.

Artscape Daniels Launchpad has also been made possible in part by the Government of Canada through Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, TD Bank and a network of generous philanthropic donors and investors. The programming of Artscape Daniels Launchpad is supported by: FedDev Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Media Development Corporation, the City of Toronto through Start Up Here Toronto, the Metcalf Foundation and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Please read all about our funding partners in the official press release below.

FEATURE PHOTO: Front row, left to right: Don Pugh, Vice President of The Daniels Corporation; Tim Jones, Artscape CEO; LoriAnn Girvan, Artscape COO; Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York; John Campbell, Artscape Board Vice Chair. Back row, left to right: Sonja Smits, Toronto Artscape Foundation Board Chair; Sharon Avery, President and CEO, Toronto Foundation; Michael Trent, Performing Arts Program Director, The Metcalf Foundation; Karim Rahemtulla, Managing Director, Artscape Daniels Launchpad; Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation; Cynthia Good, member of Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Toronto Grant Review Team. Not pictured: Diaene Vernile, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.

Interior Spaces

In addition to recognizing our funding partners, we revealed more about this upcoming facility that will help artists and designers build thriving careers, organizations and businesses. Our just-released renderings show the unique spaces where member creatives will access a multi-disciplinary environment full of tools, equipment and technology, entrepreneurship programs and activities, and a marketplace of services, resources and opportunities. Spaces include:

  • Fully equipped production studios for digital design, audio-visual recording, textiles, prototyping, photography, jewellery, electronics and woodworking
  • Members’ collaboration commons
  • State of the art, flexible meeting and presentation spaces

Artscape Daniels Launchpad will be a colourful, comfortable series of spaces with a lively character, and a natural place to make meaningful work. 

Rendering of textile studio by Norm Li Studio

Rendering of textile studio by Norm Li Studio

Rendering of green screen studio by Norm Li Studio

Rendering of lecture space by Norm Li Studio

Rendering of lobby area by Norm Li Studio

Rendering of shared corridor by Norm Li Studio

Rendering of common area by Norm Li Studio

Press Release

Art and design hub Artscape Daniels Launchpad receives $21.4 million to support creative entrepreneurship

TORONTO. Social purpose real estate organization Artscape has announced $21.4 million in funding raised—$14,050,000 in capital funding; $4,450,000 in community bonds, an innovative impact investing program; and $2,993,000 in program and start-up funding—to support its art and design entrepreneurship hub currently under construction on Toronto’s East Bayfront in the Daniels Waterfront—City of the Arts development.  Funding for the $27.3 million capital project has been contributed by the private sector, philanthropists and all three levels of government. The hub is named in recognition of the outstanding financial support of The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation, whose leadership gift of $5.75 million includes $625,000 in support from ‘City of the Arts’ development partner WJ Properties.

Artscape Daniels Launchpad’s goal is to help artists and designers build thriving careers, organizations and businesses. It will be a unique place where creatives have access to a multi-disciplinary environment full of tools, equipment and technology, entrepreneurship programs and activities, and a marketplace of services, resources and opportunities.

“It is becoming harder and harder to sustain a career as an artist or designer,” said Tim Jones, Artscape CEO. “After many years of research and collaboration, we are very excited to be introducing Artscape Daniels Launchpad and announcing the partners who will help thousands of creators more fully realize their potential.”

“We are thrilled to once again partner with Artscape and combine our name with theirs in the creation of Artscape Daniels Launchpad in the heart of our ‘City of the Arts’ community,” said Don Pugh, Vice President of The Daniels Corporation. “Supporting this creative entrepreneurship hub is an opportunity to reinforce Daniels’ commitment to the arts and to ensure that artists themselves play an important role in city building.”

Other major capital contributions have been made by the Government of Canada through Canadian Heritage ($3.5 million), the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science ($3 million), and a group of philanthropists who have made gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000. A total of $4,450,000 has been raised to date through the sale of community bonds—asset-backed investments that provide an opportunity for investors to use their capital to generate social as well as financial returns. Impact investors in the project include The Michael Young Family Foundation, Toronto Foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation, Inspirit Foundation, McLean Smits Family Foundation and Bealight Foundation.

Start-up and program funding was announced including contributions from:

  • The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) ($1.75 million)
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation ($450,000)
  • Ontario Media Development Corporation ($250,000)
  • The City of Toronto through Start Up Here Toronto ($250,000)
  • The Metcalf Foundation ($243,000)
  • The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation ($50,000)

This support is allowing Artscape to hire the Artscape Daniels Launchpad team, deliver entrepreneurship training to thousands of artists and designers, and strengthen connections between creatives and businesses across Southern Ontario.

The Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts community is designed by RAW Design; Rafael + Bigauskas Architects are the Architects of Record. The interior design of Artscape Daniels Launchpad is by Quadrangle. Artscape has hired Karim Rahemtulla as Managing Director of Artscape Daniels Launchpad and is staffing up in preparation of the opening of the hub in the summer of 2018. Artscape will make announcements regarding partnerships and the hub’s membership model in the months to come.


The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage: “Investing in Canada’s cultural sector helps create jobs for the middle class, strengthens the economy and ensures that Canada’s unique perspective is shared with the world.”

Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament (Spadina-Fort York): “The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada’s cultural infrastructure. With today’s investment, we are making the most of Toronto’s unique assets to strengthen southern Ontario’s creative cluster. Artscape Launchpad will help connect artists and designers from all over southern Ontario to skills training and to the businesses that need their services—all in a state-of-the-art facility.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario: “Canada’s greatest strength is its skilled, hard-working, creative and diverse workforce. Our Government is committed to supporting innovation and competitiveness on a global scale. This means investing in the people and companies that can generate innovative ideas and strengthen our economy. Today’s investment is one way we are advancing our vision of Canada as a global centre for innovation; by supporting the skills of our valuable entrepreneurs and creating jobs for Canadians.”

The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science: “Our government understands the incredible opportunity that exists to create good jobs and grow our economy through the arts. That is why supporting our creative professionals through Artscape Daniels Launchpad is so important. It will help our artists get the support they need to create successful businesses and showcase their work at home and around the globe.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory: “The City of Toronto is proud to support artists and designers in the GTA and beyond through Artscape Daniels Launchpad. Toronto is home to Canada’s largest concentration of cultural workers, and we understand that when our creative communities thrive, we build a more vibrant, resilient and prosperous city for everyone.”

LoriAnn Girvan, Artscape COO: “We are thrilled and honoured that many of our partners have also signed on as investors in Artscape Daniels Launchpad.  By purchasing community bonds, they are not only staking their belief in the potential of Launchpad to accelerate the careers of artists and designers, they are also showing that they are confident that our business model will achieve a sound financial return.  This is a win/win—the early capital that is bringing Launchpad to life can be reinvested in future initiatives that promote economic opportunity.”

Sharon Avery, President & CEO, Toronto Foundation: “This is the Foundation’s second social impact investment where we are marrying our financial investments with positive social outcomes. We are honoured to be part of this exciting city-building initiative that will catalyze the careers of our incredible creative talent.”

Karim Rahemtulla, Managing Director of Artscape Daniels Launchpad: “Artscape Daniels Launchpad is a first-of-its-kind global model empowering and supporting artists to thrive in today’s innovation and knowledge-based economy. Launchpad will be a space that engages with the artist and designer in their journey to entrepreneurship and provides tools and resources including state-of-the art production studios, customized learning programs, mentorship and industry access and network initiatives. I look forward to advancing our programming and growing our team to create a place of collaboration and community that’s as unique as our members.”

Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation: “The success of Ontario’s creative industries depends, in part, on our ability to foster new generations of entrepreneurs. Artscape Daniels Launchpad is poised to do just that with collaborative space and innovative programming designed to give content creators and businesses the resources and expertise they need to compete in the national and international marketplace.”

Janet Yale, Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario: “The Ontario Trillium Foundation is pleased to have played a role in the vital work that Artscape is doing in the arts community,” said Janet Yale, Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We’re focused on awarding grants to innovative projects that help build healthier and more vibrant communities. It’s a pleasure to see your 2015 Grow grant making a difference, helping creative professionals become successful entrepreneurs.”

Michael Trent, Performing Arts Program Director, Metcalf Foundation: “The Metcalf Foundation’s Performing Arts program has a long history of investing in new approaches and learning; we support inventive ideas led by smart people who are working on some of the field’s most intractable challenges. We also see great promise in developing our next generation of leaders. The Artscape Launchpad Program speaks to both of these goals and we have been very pleased to support early stage curriculum development in a program that will help creative ideas come to market while building economic sustainability for the artists and entrepreneurs who lead them.”