Diaspora Dialogues supports the creation and presentation of new fiction, poetry and drama that reflect the complexity of Toronto through the eyes of its richly diverse writers. Publishing and mentoring activities, as well as a monthly multidisciplinary performance festival, help encourage the creation of a literature that is vibrant and inclusive, while bringing these works to a wide audience.
About Our Charity
Diaspora Dialogues Charitable Society supports the creation and presentation of new fiction, poetry and drama that reflect the complexity of Toronto back to residents through the eyes of its richly diverse communities. Our focus is on the development of both artist and audience, and on working toward redefining the “mainstream” in the arts sector, and ensuring it is as diverse as the country itself.
Since our 2005 launch, DD has engaged over 700 culturally diverse and/or Indigenous writers/artists, emerging and well- established, from literature, spoken-word poetry and theatre (occasionally dance and music as well), in commissioned new work, robust mentoring programs, a popular multidisciplinary performance series and artist-run workshops for youth in priority neighbourhoods. We also host free professional development seminars and networking events for our writers/artists.
DD has become recognized as one of the main arts organizations in Toronto; our programming partnership is eagerly sought out by Nuit Blanche, The Word on the Street, Keep Toronto Reading, Doors Open, City of Toronto Culture, among others.
Accomplishments to date include:
- The establishment of widely respected mentoring programs, now celebrating its 11th anniversary, which matches the most promising new voices from culturally diverse and Aboriginal communities with established writer-mentors.
- The launch of the Diaspora Dialogues Emerging Playwright-in-Residence program in collaboration with selected Toronto theatre companies (Soulpepper, Theatre Pass Muraille, Common Boots) and their resident Previously we had funded the early stage development of new plays including Kim’s Convenience.
- A yearly anthology series (TOK) that ran for seven years plans to develop a new e-book format.
- The establishment of a multidisciplinary performance series that produces between 10-15 events per year (100-500 audience, with our larger installations - i.e., Nuit Blanche or Doors Open - enjoying audiences of 4,000-8,000). More than 100,000 people have attended DD’s events in the past decade.
- Regularly produce programming in the 905 area code, bringing professional quality arts to Brampton, Mississauga, Markham, and North York.
- We co-launched SPUR Festival, a new multi-city festival of arts/ideas events, in partnership with the Literary Review of Canada.