We are very fortunate to live in a city which provides children and young people with fantastic opportunities to enhance their education – and potentially discover their life’s true vocation – through community-based learning at local libraries, theatres, and arts and cultural centres.
Below I’ve highlighted some of the community connections available to children and youth – and adults! – located right in our downtown ward.
Our Public Libraries
The Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) lets you and your family (2 adults & up to 4 children) explore the best of Toronto’s arts and cultural treasures for free. With your valid adult Toronto Public Library card, you can take out a pass for your family at any Toronto Public Library branch. Quantities are limited and rules and conditions apply. For a list of participating museums, arts and cultural centres – click here.
Programs, Classes and Exhibits – for children and families.
Programs, Classes and Exhibits – for teens.
Volunteer Opportunities– You can help the Library by volunteering in a number of programs run by the Toronto Public Library. Take part in this rewarding experience and assist others in your community by volunteering today. Limited transit fare assistance is available for library volunteers on request.
- Adult Literacy Volunteers
- Homework Help for Teens Volunteers
- After School Newcomer Hubs – Volunteers
- Leading to Reading Volunteers Youth Advisory Group Volunteers
Art Gallery of Ontario
Explore art through guided gallery visits led by experienced staff and dedicated volunteers. Make art and exercise creativity through our hands-on studio visits. Prepare for your visit by reviewing their handy Before Your Visit PDF. Learn how you and your students can visit the AGO for free!
Campers aged 6-16 take part in programs that ignite creative imagination on the AGO/OCAD “art campus” – exploring the galleries at the AGO and making art in the studios of OCAD and the Weston Family Learning Centre at the AGO!
The AGO Council works collectively to initiate programming by youth for youth, including exhibitions, public art projects, large-scale events, field trips and much more. This is a hands-on, fast-paced program that gives participants a chance to work with local and international artists, advocates and activists on projects that reflect the concerns, interests and passions of people between the ages of 14 to 24. The council accepts new members every fall, and applicants are selected after a group interview involving current members of the AGO Youth Council. Time commitment: one year.
Looking for youth volunteer opportunities here at the AGO? Apply online! http://www.ago.net/jobs and click on the volunteer opportunities tab for more information.
Bata Shoe Museum
Free class visits for schools in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods through their Step Ahead Program. http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/step-ahead-programs/
Canadian Stage has abundant opportunities to learn and teach a myriad subjects including history, art/art history, politics and media literacy through theatre. Join us for their Educator Preview Nights, utilize their Study Guides, host or attend a Workshop with Canadian Stage staff or artistic educators to make the most of this powerful educational tool.
In-school programming is available for every production and can be customized for any classroom. Using characters, script excerpts and relationships from the plays as a starting point, artists work with students to explore, analyze and re-interpret the play through a unique creation-based process. The duration of the workshop, grade level, area of exploration and final presentation are customized to suit curriculum and classroom needs. Program fees vary depending on session length and location. Financial support may be available.
Secondary and post-secondary educators are invited to join us for a pre-show discussion of selected student-friendly productions and will receive a complimentary ticket to that evening’s performance. Pre-show discussions begin at 7:00pm, followed by a performance at 8:00 pm.
For details or to register, email Erin Schachter, Education & Enrichment Manager, at email@example.com.
National Ballet of Canada
- Dance About – Dance About has been going into schools for over 40 years. It is an opportunity for children from various socio-economic backgrounds and cultures to experience classical ballet in their own environment, making the art form more accessible to them.
- YOU dance – YOU dance stands for Youth, Outreach and Understanding dance and is designed to introduce students in Grades 4, 5, and 6, to the world of dance through FREE workshops and performances.
- Education Programmes
There are many opportunities to integrate ballet or dance into your classroom studies. These concise guides are designed to help teachers prepare their students for a meaningful ballet experience and to incorporate ballet into the curriculum. All activities meet curriculum expectations. To download a version of the Revised Ontario Arts Curriculum for Grades 1 to 8 please click here.
Royal Conservatory of Music
One of the largest and most extensive community-based music and arts school in North America.
There is an on-line course catalogue – both children’s and adult, group and individual programming, is available.
Royal Ontario Museum
School Visits – the ROM provide an opportunity for school visits with the additional of conducted teaching.
Families and kids enjoy special activities, events and programs all year long. For children and youth 16 and under, programming includes the ROM’s:
Soul Pepper Theatre
Soulpepper’s In-The-Schools Program offers the opportunity for arts education partnerships between public schools and the theatre. Through this partnership we strive to create a rich, diverse learning environment in which young people have the opportunity to explore the arts in a fun and accessible way.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is committed to providing excellence in educational programmes to both music and non-music students and curriculum-relevant resources to help teachers explore baroque music in a hands-on and interactive way. From free concerts to in-depth workshops these programmes are designed by our musicians to support students and teachers interested in learning enrichment and curriculum support by bringing music into the classroom.
Tafelmusik provides children with many options for Education & Artist Training
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
The TSO offers a variety of programmes intended to supplement and enhance a young person’s music education. In addition to the many programmes designed for students and their teachers, both the Young People’s Concerts series and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra offer opportunities for musical development outside school hours.