By: Stefan Hostetter
Director of Community for Toronto for Everyone
It’s 10:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6. T-minus 17 days until the launch and I’ve just arrived home from our first walk through with the Community Hub co-presenters.
This is my fourth time in Ed’s since it closed and each time I leave, the dust of the space comes with me. It has a way of sticking to one's skin that’s hard to shake. Today though, I brought something else home with me, something I haven’t felt much in the past few months: hope.
It comes from being in a room with just over half of our 50+ community organizations that are joining us to fill the space with four days of knowledge, dance, laughter, and so much more. Today, we had the privilege of showing them the canvas that is our space and asking that they see themselves as painters all working on one piece.
Starting Thursday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m, the hub will be back-to-back with programming that will only sleep for a few hours each night. To make this work, we’ve always known that we would need the community organizations to buy into each other, and to the vision as a whole. Today’s walk through convinced me we could do it.
This evening I had the pleasure of speaking to a room full of enthusiastic co-creators. It’s a group that ranges from decades old Toronto advocacy organizations to a woman who wants to honour her grandmother with ice cream (a full list of programming can be found here). The Community Hub is a space for the people, by the people, and (hopefully) with something for everyone.
The past few weeks have seen a world where protests feel dramatically more common than progress; a world where innocuous Super Bowl ads are deemed “political” for daring to declare that we should treat each other as equals; a world where the message that diversity is strength feels more radical each day.
It is in this world, that like it or not, the canvas sits. It is in this world, that each of our co-creators will paint. The brush strokes may not be visible like those on each of Ed’s iconic signs, but it is our hope that together, we can begin to envision a more inclusive, empathetic, and magical city, country, world.
We can’t wait to see you from February 23 - 26! For now, however, it’s time for a shower, as I truly was not kidding about the dust.