Lesson 1: Clustering

Artscape’s practice in creative placemaking focuses on clustering creative individuals, creative organizations, and other organizations with synergistic missions and values, together in facilities designed to catalyze new creative communities, anchor existing creative communities in neighbourhoods they have helped transform, revitalize neighbourhoods and build the city as a whole.

Artscape’s projects have impacts at different scales. Within individual properties Artscape creates the conditions for individual diverse creative practitioners and organizations to thrive in affordable, safe, secure and appropriate live and workspaces. These shared spaces also provide platforms for networking, knowledge sharing and creative collaboration between tenants which helps build their productivity, practice and reputations. Our projects also of course have a powerful role to play in their wider neighbourhoods, catalyzing and supporting a wider creative community, becoming a hub for the creative community and for community participation in cultural activities and contributing to neighborhood growth change and transformation.   

In West Queen West this impact is of course heightened due to the clustering impact of Artscape’s multiple projects in the neighbourhood. Over 18 years we have pioneered a range of affordable live/ work rental, ownership condos and community cultural hubs, which have played a huge role in catalyzing the transformation of the neighbourhood from run down, post- industrial into Canada’s centre for contemporary art.

Despite the inevitable dizzying increases in land values as a result, and the astonishing array of hipster hang outs, West Queen West is not experiencing a hollowing out of its cultural core. The neighbourhood has the highest concentration of creative and cultural sector workers in the city and in fact it is now experiencing a cultural building boom with three major new arts projects in development in addition to our own Artscape Youngplace project.

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