The Big Draw Festival Toronto

September 28, 2019

September 29, 2019


Various Toronto History Museums, Toronto


Events Description


Ready. Set. Draw! The world’s largest drawing festival is coming to Toronto History Museums. The free event is open to all-ages and abilities and welcomes everyone who loves to draw to make a mark on their city. Bring your own paints, pencils, and crayons or use those provided to create your own masterpiece. Get inspired by the sites’ architecture, artefacts and gardens or participate in a collaborative art project.

The Big Draw Festival has attracted more than four million people worldwide to get out and draw.

This year’s theme, Drawn To Life: Creativity and Wellbeing, encourages conversations around the pivotal role of creativity on one’s health and wellness. Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors.

Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse will host the Big Draw across Toronto, free of charge.

Program highlights

  • Colborne Lodge will present hourly botanical artistry workshops called Still Life in Gardens with artist Katherine S. Brown on Saturday and a cyanotype workshop on Sunday with artist Marjan Verstappen.
  • Fort York National Historic Site will feature Shadow Story Boxes led by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, which includes making a miniature shadow-puppet story box, and an introductory drawing class with Sam Horne in basic drawing techniques.
  • Gibson House will present a “Take It Outside” art and storytelling zone produced by spoken word artist and storyteller Patrick de Belen. Activities include ‘zine and chapbook making with BAM!Toronto Youth Poetry Slam, a writing and sharing circle with poet Thunderclaw Robinson, graffiti mural painting with artist Rowell Solar and a selfie photo-booth with UG Productions.
  • Mackenzie House will offer print-making using the 1845 printing press and a Creative Works studio workshop in still life drawing, while also giving visitors an opportunity to learn about the healing power of artistic expression.
  • Market Gallery will feature mural making with StreetARToronto and AKIN Collective, and visitors on Sunday will be guided by one of the City’s artist ambassadors and use the City of Toronto’s Fine Art Collection as inspiration.
  • Montgomery’s Inn will feature the creation of a stained-glass nature mural with Arts Etobicoke and artist Sladana Zivkovic, and a “historic” graffiti wall where participants can leave their mark.
  • Scarborough Museum will offer the community an opportunity to learn the basics of cross-stitching and leather-stamping techniques, and will unveil “Equal Night: All is in Balance,” the second outdoor painting in a series by Indigenous artist Catherine Tammaro.
  • Spadina Museum will present botanical art, taking inspiration from Spadina’s gardens, and blind-contour drawing in which participants learn to sketch the outline of a subject without looking at the paper.
  • Todmorden Mills will feature woodland-style art workshops with Anishinaabe artist Mike Ormsby on Saturday and hand-drawn animation techniques with artist Cristal Buemi on Sunday.
  • Zion Schoolhouse will feature VIBE artists helping visitors develop graffiti skills and chalk-art techniques.

Launched in 2000 in the United Kingdom, the Big Draw Festival has motivated more than four million people worldwide to get out and draw. The festival has garnered two world records – for the longest drawing in the world (one kilometre) and the greatest number of people drawing simultaneously (more than 7,000). The Big Draw promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. Toronto’s festival will be supported by the British Council, which is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The festival will also be supported by Pomerleau, a leader in construction.

The Big Draw Festival in Toronto will align with the Culture Days weekend, a national celebration of arts and culture that supports free public events across Canada every year.

Who is it for?

All ages

Visitors will be encouraged to bring their own art supplies or use art supplies provided on site. Outdoor painting and drawing stations will be available at each site, with a wide range of media, such as watercolours, oil pastels, charcoal, finger paints, crayons and pencil crayons.


Tickets : Free

How to get tickets?

At the door



Date: Saturday September 28, 2019 to Sunday September 29, 2019

September 28, 2019, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
September 29, 2019, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Venue & Address

Colborne Lodge – 11 Colborne Lodge Dr (South end of High Park)
Fort York National Historic Site – 250 Fort York Blvd
Gibson House Museum – 5172 Yonge St (Access off West of Yonge St. on Park Home)
Mackenzie House – 82 Bond St
Market Gallery – 95 Front St E
Montgomery’s Inn – 4709 Dundas St W, Etobicoke
Scarborough Museum – Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Rd, Scarborough
Todmorden Mills – 67 Pottery Rd
Zion Schoolhouse – 1091 Finch Ave E, North York
Spadina Museum – 285 Spadina Rd

Wheelchair accessible

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