As Latinx creatives in the arts and culture sector, we often experience social, individual, and collective barriers that follow us as we live, work, and create in Canada. Language and other cross-cultural barriers, harmful concepts around tokenism and stereotyping, and disproportionate access to resources are found at every corner of the art world and creative industries. Yet, as artists, we look for ways to challenge these concepts through creativity, resilience, and by making space for our individual, collective and multi-generational self-representation.\n\nBeing Latinx and creating in Canada means being influenced by vibrant flavours, colours, stories, and finding ways to bring them into foreign spaces. It means constantly asking yourself _Where do I belong? Where is home? Can I ever truly be part of, and embrace, my heritage? How?_ It sometimes means cooking food that reminds you of family and home because you need a warm embrace. It means looking for others who ask the same questions. It means finding unity in a commitment to make Latinx creative voices loud, and our multiple and intersectional identities seen. \n\n**How are you building community amidst the pandemic?**\n\nBuilding community during these times has been both a challenge and an opportunity to get creative. Given that Creato emerged in\u2014and greatly because of\u2014the pandemic, we have experimented so far with all virtual community-building initiatives. \n\nAt the moment, we mostly communicate through the online messaging platform Slack in order to connect and get to know each other. We have a wide range of channels within Slack so we talk about everything from job opportunities, events, and resources to sharing recipes, memes, or the latest Bad Bunny drop. It really is a space that a lot of us were missing in our lives and has become the center of where our community is connecting. \n\n![](assets\/National\/blog\/make-room-for-creato\/creato-banner-tweet_mmhcTl.png)\n\n**Tell us about some of the events and\/or initiatives you\u2019ve put together so far.**\n\nApart from our Slack community, which really has been the nucleus for engagement, we organize virtual hangouts every 2 weeks where anyone is welcome to join. Each and every hangout has left us with a huge smile on our faces and our hearts totally full. The calls started as a way to simply put faces to those taking part in online discussions, and now we\u2019ve been setting themes for the calls to help prompt deeper conversations and sharing resources or experiences. We like to say that these hangouts are go-with-the-flow-type of vibe, where we end up revealing weirdness, vulnerabilities, and hilarious stories. Friendships and bonds have formed instantly, and even though we can't wait to do it in person, these calls have been an amazing way to connect with each other.\n\nA huge part of Creato\u2019s mission is to give Latinx creatives in Canada more visibility. Currently, there are very few places where you can find or discover the great talent within our communities, so we are using [Instagram](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/crea_to_\/) to feature artists on a regular basis; who they are, what they\u2019re about, and samples of their work. Go check them out, they will blow your mind! \n\nWe also have a firm belief that creators in our community don't only need to be seen, but paid. With this in mind, we created a holiday market or \u201cMercadito\u201d guide on Instagram, featuring artists that have beautiful creations for sale. We plan to do more of these in the future on a bigger scale. \n\n**What has surprised or delighted you most about Creato?**\n\nThis whole journey has been a surprise for me. The support and response from the community have been incredible and the constant reassurance that this space is needed is really our biggest motivation\u2014people are excited and happy to help this community grow! So many have found comfort and support with Creato, both on a personal and professional level. There are a number of people in our community who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, others who are newcomers or even students still in or fresh out of school, and we are all doing our part in giving advice or opening doors when possible. We\u2019ve also felt an amazing sense of belonging and connection in the little things like sharing music, recipes, and anecdotes that connect us to each of our roots. \n\nPersonally, this has brought an immense sense of self-worth and purpose that I hadn't felt in a very long time. I love what I do for work, but when your 9 to 5 is the only creative work you\u2019re producing, it\u2019s easy to forget that you are worth more than just your job\u2014which can be pretty deflating at times. Building Creato has been that thing I\u2019ve been searching for without knowing. It\u2019s the intersection of 3 things I\u2019m so deeply passionate about: creativity, community work, and my Latinx identity, and I couldn't be more proud and happy spending my 5 to 9 on this.\n\n**What\u2019s up next for Creato? What goals do you hope to see the group accomplish in the future?**\n\nCreato\u2019s future is looking bright and powerful, just like our gente. As we\u2019ve said, we are a growing community, so self-discovery and ongoing development are crucial for us. We have been working on new community-driven programs, campaigns, and events with the goal of providing tools and learning opportunities to Latinx creatives so they can fully express their creative voices, challenge dominant culture, and maintain a sustainable and rewarding arts practice. We dream to one day have a physical space where artists, creative entrepreneurs, and any Latinx creator can showcase their work. However, for now, we have a very exciting virtual line-up for the year! \n\nIn line with our mission to build on Latinx self-visibility in the arts, we are developing a Latinx Directory of Creatives in Canada - an online database featuring creatives from across disciplines who identify as Latinx \/ Latine. We hope the directory will make collaboration amongst creatives more accessible while shedding light on the work Latinx creatives across Canada do. \n\nWe\u2019ll be launching a mentorship program later in the year with the hopes of better supporting emerging youth artists with arts entrepreneurship tools as they begin their professional arts practices. We also have a very special event lined up for Latinx heritage month (wink wink, October). We don\u2019t want to reveal too much right now but stay tuned for details \u2018cause it's going to be lively and of course, uniquely Latinx. \n\n**Where can other Latinx creatives in Canada find you?**\n\n[Crea-to.com](https:\/\/www.crea-to.com\/) where you can sign up for our upcoming newsletters, our Instagram [@crea_to_](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/crea_to_\/) or you can always drop us a line at .\n\n_Acknowledgment:_ \nAs a Latinx community made up of distinct cultures shaped by complex historical relations of power, we are in the process of learning more about how we can acknowledge the historical oppression of lands, cultures, and Peoples, as we are committed to challenging the legacies of colonialism. We are forever grateful to be able to create and build community across Indigenous territories in the land that we now know as Canada. Creato is based in the city now known as Toronto, but remains Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the traditional territory of many peoples and nations including the Anishinabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples.\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special series shouting-out new or rising artists creatives, and\/or collectives from across the country that should be on your radar. Explore more profiles below:**\n- [Make Room For... Desmond Tompkins](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-desmond-tompkins)\n- [Make Room For... Alia G. Peoples](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-alia-g-peoples)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2021-02-16 10:46:22","first_published_at":"2021-02-12 15:18:12","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2021-02-12 15:11:04","updated_at":"2021-04-19 21:46:59","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published"}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">


文化日X Fiorella Martinez


Tea Base is a curious community arts space tucked away in Tkaronto\/Toronto\u2019s Chinatown Centre Mall. Tea Base aims to make accessible space for intergenerational activists and artists who support social justice movements in and around Chinatown. Tea Base is a space that develops solidarity across marginalized groups through relationships, joy, and collaboration.\n\nOne of the first gatherings held at [Tea Base](https:\/\/www.myteabase.com\/) was a wholesome meal. Hot pot is a shared meal where family and friends prepare a variety of raw ingredients to mingle and cook around in a communal pot of boiling broth. The organizers asked their community to bring ingredients, as if the items themselves were a symbolic gesture for the guidance and insight each person offered. Everyone huddled around the pot, breaking the ice by talking about the food items they brought. Throughout the meal, questions like, \u201cWhat kind of programming do you want to see?\u201d and \u201cWhat are the needs we can use this space to address?\u201d were discussed as bellies filled up. This simple act of sharing and asking questions was the impetus of how Tea Base started and continues to be at the centre of their work.\n\n![Tea Base is a curious community arts space tucked away in Tkaronto\/Toronto\u2019s Chinatown Centre Mall. Photo credit: Jae Ng.](assets\/National\/blog\/tea-base\/mg-9439_bSV5iE.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nTea Base opened in January of 2019 and is predominantly run by queer, non-binary, East Asians. Co-owner\/Co-parent Hannia Cheng jokes, \u201cBeing gay and Asian? That\u2019s unheard of.\" Tea Base has become a hub for East and South-East Asians of all genders and sexualities to not only comfortably express themselves, but to also embrace their cultural roots and relate to their heritage. Hannia explains, \u201cOther than Unit 2, Tea Base is one of the only few DIY spaces left downtown that prioritize queer and racialized artists. The collective response we\u2019ve received shows the need for these types of spaces.\u201d \n\nAs Tea Base grows, they hope to create opportunities for more intergenerational relationships between artists and activists through participatory art-based, social, and cultural programming. Hannia describes the overall vibe as \u201cTake off your shoes, living room energy...\u201d, It\u2019s this intention of making space for people to share their stories and lived experiences that make the space feel so cozy, \u201c...Mahjong Monday is mostly an excuse to hang out once a week. The ideas and collaborations happen organically as a result of fostering trust with each other.\u201d Hannia notes, \u201cWe don\u2019t fit into normative capitalist notions of success, we\u2019re in it for the people.\u201d Most of their events are Pay-What-You-Can and sliding scale. Other in-house programming includes Macrame with Jade, Bitch & Stitch, Tea Base & Chill, Mother Tongue language caf\u00e9s, and even a Chinese fermentation tasting workshop with [Paocai Bio](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/paocaibio\/?hl=en). \n\n![Mahjong Mondays is by far Tea Base's most popular event. They play and teach from 3-8pm every Monday. Photo credit: Jae Ng.](assets\/National\/blog\/tea-base\/tb-optimized_MLBHh5.png){.overflow}\n\nWith a housing crisis upon the city, it\u2019s becoming evident that affordable spaces are nearly impossible to come by, pushing already marginalized communities further to the outskirts of Toronto. That\u2019s why Tea Base has also grown as a hub for local activism. Chinatown has long been the target of displacement gentrification by condo developers. Co-owner\/Co-parent, Florence Yee, emphasizes the importance of the connections made at Tea Base, \u201cThere\u2019s a larger commonality and interest in doing better for the neighbourhood. Fighting gentrification, all these housing and racial injustices, this young queer politically active space is cultivated well.\u201d Joining a longstanding legacy of Chinatown activist groups, a recent ad-hoc watchdog group, Friends of Chinatown Toronto (FOCT) was formed and is based out of Tea Base. Hannia shares, \u201cChinatown activists have been around forever, we want to learn from them and with them.\u201d \n\nHonouring the existing Chinatown community is part of Tea Base\u2019s mandate. \u201cArt spaces can be inadvertently gentrifying...\u201d says Co-creative Director, Chris Carriere, \u201c...It\u2019s exciting when someone who\u2019s [an] elder visits, or when people bring their kids in. It\u2019s easy for us to get 20-year-olds from the art scene, but when we connect to other generations, the intergenerational conversation shows we can be a space that is open [to all].\u201d In the spring of 2019, with a complete volunteer effort, Tea Base turned what was once a pile of bricks sitting in the mall\u2019s courtyard for 7 years into a garden called \u201cThe Anti-Displacement Rainbow Garden''. The courtyard became a thriving common area for the Kumon kids to play in the garden and for the seniors to play Chinese chess on the stage.\n\nCurrently in its second year of operation, Tea Base wants to leverage their platform to support and amplify other grassroots efforts. Policy Director, Jennifer Chan, offers, \u201cAs East Asians, we\u2019re now established as a diaspora\u2026we faced our challenges to get where we are, and \\[now] we need to lift others up.\u201d They hope to continue getting to know different collectives with an intention to build a truly Pan-Asian community arts ecosystem. \n\n![\u201cRelationships move at the speed of trust. Social movements move at the speed of relationships.\u201d - Jennifer Bailey. Photo credit: Jae Ng.](assets\/National\/blog\/tea-base\/mg-9600_5mk7ID.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nIn the midst of the pandemic, they\u2019ve had to reimagine what community engagement looks like. \u201cA lot of people are very isolated, not just in quarantine...people find stability and friendships at Tea Base \\[that] they can rely on,\" states Florence. Most recently, Tea Base wrapped up their 2020 Spring Camp, a series of four online events that gathered their community together for some quality digital connection, like a knot-making workshop and a town hall for example. They\u2019ve also written up their [Community Guidelines](https:\/\/www.myteabase.com\/community-guidelines) (with consultation from the town hall) for a safer space.\n\nPlans for the future are already in the works. \u201cComing out of Covid, we will need time and help to get things going,\u201d Chris asks for a call to action. Tea Base is open 3-4 times throughout the week with events usually on the weekend. You don\u2019t need to purchase anything to exist at Tea Base, genuine human-to-human conversation is enough. Florence suggests, \u201cJust show up! A lot of what we do is about presence, and being there. The small and big ways.\u201d\n\n[Tea Base](https:\/\/www.myteabase.com\/) updates their hours on a weekly basis every Monday via [Instagram](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tea.base\/).\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special blog series\u2014running March-September\u2014featuring writers and creatives from across Canada with stories that both highlight and celebrate Culture Days\u2019 2020 theme of _Unexpected Intersections_. Explore more intersections below:**\n\n- Theatre x Sport: [_Until the Lights Go Out_ by Taylor Basso](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/until-the-lights-go-out)\n- Indigenous Storytelling x Digital Media: [_\u201cPeople are Finally Listening\u201d\u2013Indigenous Animation Rises Up_ by Chris Robinson](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/indigenous-animation-rises-up)\n- Academia x Creativity: [_Building 21: Make zines, not research papers_ by Greta Rainbow](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/building-21)\n- Poetry x (Natural) Environment: [_Listen to the River: An Ode to the Columbia River_ by Saba Dar](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/listen-to-the-river)\n- Traditional Craftsmanship x Youth Outreach: [_At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, They Build More Than Boats_ by Aleen Leigh Stanton](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/building-boats-changing-lives)\n- Visual Arts x Science: [_What happens when you mix an artist, a scientist and a very bright light?_ by Vivian Orr](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/artist-scientist-light)\n- Book Clubs x Digital Landscapes: [_Strangers and Fiction_ by Anne Logan](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/strangers-and-fiction)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2020-07-21 23:39:37","first_published_at":"2020-06-23 13:25:32","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2020-06-23 12:41:49","updated_at":"2020-09-29 15:25:53","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published"}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">







引发BC的创造力 - 第2部分






It introduces you to all things Canadian from an artistic point of view. You cannot get that hands-on experience in any book.\n\nNew citizens can explore the best in Canadian culture from coast-to-coast like the [Museum of Vancouver](http:\/\/www.museumofvancouver.ca\/), [Banff National Park](http:\/\/www.pc.gc.ca\/eng\/pn-np\/ab\/banff\/index.aspx), [Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet](http:\/\/www.rwb.org\/), the [Art Gallery of Ontario](http:\/\/www.ago.net\/), [Montreal Museum of Fine Arts](http:\/\/www.mbam.qc.ca\/) and [Canadian Museum of Immigration](http:\/\/www.pier21.ca\/) at Pier 21 in Halifax - just to name a few!\n\nCanoo is in a league of its own. There isn\u2019t another program in the world like it! This welcoming offer ignites a shared passion for Canadian cultural experiences, connecting attractions and new citizens for the long term.\n\nYan W. says:\n\n>It opens the door and it doesn\u2019t cost you anything. By taking in these types of cultural experiences, you realize that life can be beyond what\u2019s tied up in daily activities.\n\n\nWith the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canoo is introduced to every new Canadian citizen at their citizenship ceremony, and to date, more than 280,000 new citizens have participated in the program.\n\nEric P, past Canoo Member, says:\n\n>I have no doubt that this will enrich me more about the heritage & current developments on arts and culture of Canada. Again, merci.\n\nMore details about Canoo, can be found here: https:\/\/www.icc-icc.ca\/site\/program\/canoo\/. \nCanoo is free to download on Google Play and the App Store\n\n\n_This post has been updated with new information on 2019\/06\/26_","content_fr":"","should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2013-05-29 12:00:00","first_published_at":null,"deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2019-06-26 10:36:41","updated_at":"2019-10-04 18:02:58","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published"}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">


Jess Duerden