MABELLEartists what we do • how we do it

Who We Are

MABELLEarts is driven by our love of people and fascination with neglected and forgotten places. We make art and build environments that foster community regeneration and invention. We cultivate long-term relationships that reveal the transformative possibilities within each unique site, neighbourhood and community. We celebrate cultural traditions, differences and points of connection that help spark collaboration as a creative force for change. We reframe existing social and environmental conditions to make space for new ways of being together.

How We Work

We host workshops and events facilitated by professional artists from a variety of disciplines.

Following the artistic impulse of professionals is what has made our work strong for the past ten years.

We work in two parks in Central Etobicoke: Mabelle Park and Broadacres Park. We’re excited by the role public spaces like these can play in peoples’ lives.

We believe that everything we do is made better the more people take part.

Our work is driven by a bias toward including as many people as possible. Therefore, workshop and event plans need to be flexible to accommodate the active participation of many.

We work intergenerationally. This means that our artists need to be ready to engaged both five and ninety-five-year-olds.

The resulting artworks are neighbourhood-specific and reflect our collaborative relationships.

These relationships make their way into the landscape in the form of physical elements - both lasting and transient - through collaborations with gardeners, landscape architects and builders.

Developing a Workshop

Each workshop or event has a specific artistic vision as defined by our Artistic Director(s) with input from Lead Artists. You will be asked to submit a workshop plan that fits into that vision and to adapt it as necessary. Here are some things to consider in workshop development:

  • Who is the workshop for? Who is coming: what ages? how many?
  • How will you prepare to expand or reduce your workshop if different people come than you expected?
  • How will ensure that no one is left out? What assistance do you need so that anyone who wants to can participate? for example: one-on-one support for participant needs (socially or artistically), translation/interpretation
  • What else will be happening while you offer your workshop? How will that affect how people enter into your project?
  • What role can volunteers/Community Leaders play to support your workshop? For example: sometimes just having someone around to chat with participants can be very valuable.
  • What tools and materials do you need? Consider the workshop setting and who will be using them. You will be asked to submit a materials list
  • How will you welcome and orient people who are taking part for the first time?
  • What are the artistic outcomes you are aiming for? Is there a final product and if so what is it for?
  • Is your project a multi-step process? What is the timeline? What will you do if different people come each time?

in advance:

  1. Meet with Artistic Director/Assistant Artistic Director to envision workshop and outcomes
  2. Submit workshop plan and materials list
  3. Receive feedback and adjust as needed
  4. Work with staff to consider prep needs: how much time will it take? what support do you need from assisting artists/volunteers? A well-prepped activity leads to better arts outcomes. Consider: preparing templates, testing the workshop steps, creating finished examples - look for opportunities to that help ensure a high-quality arts outcome.
  5. Touch base with the outreach team to get a sense of projected numbers

the day of:

  1. Arrive with ample time to meet all of your enact your set-up and prep plan. Include time for: pre-workshop meeting, site-setup and prep.
  2. During the workshop: welcome participants into the process, manage flow of people through your workshop station, delegate tasks to assistants and volunteers, manage step-by-step process, communicate with other lead artists/staff, keep an eye out for problems and get help when needed, look out for ways to actively include people who want to take part.
  3. Ensure you have set aside time to be an active part of the clean-up and/or feedback process.



Mabelle Iftar Nights 2018

Since 2011, MABELLEarts has been working with Mabelle residents to produce inter-cultural community celebrations in Mabelle Park each week during Ramadan. These events are inspired by stories shared by Community Leaders of markets as places of communal gathering, eating and celebration.

Iftar: The meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan

Mabelle Iftar Nights: What Happens

Many guests arrive

Music workshops

Art workshops

Musical performances

Relaxing and social time

Open-fire cooking


All gather

Call to prayer

Lantern ceremony at sundown

Dates served

Food served at Iftar

2017 attendance: over 200 people each night

Story-telling around the fire


Created By


photos: Liam Coo, Tamara Romanchuk, Frank Job (ECC)

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