Open Canvas Festival: Celebrating Music, Art, and Community in Toronto

Open Canvas Music & Arts Festival is set to make waves in Toronto this summer, aiming to change the city’s cultural scene with a focus on accessibility, community, and diverse artistic expression. It starts on June 22 at Daniel’s Spectrum, promising an inclusive cultural event for Torontonians.

Founded by Ben Attal, Abdou Mouflet, and Eric Shuell, Open Canvas draws inspiration from their experiences in Montreal. Their goal is straightforward: create a platform where music and arts thrive in a welcoming, community-driven setting. “We saw a gap in Toronto’s arts scene compared to Montreal, where it’s vibrant and inclusive,” says Ben Attal.

The name Open Canvas has a personal story. “Ben and Abdou once hosted a party where friends painted murals on their apartment walls while dancing. It represented freedom and creativity, values we want for Toronto,” explains Eric Shuell.

COVID-19 posed challenges, pausing large events and emphasizing the need for new ways to bring people together. “After the pandemic, uniting people was easier, but the financial impact and making live music accessible were tough,” notes Abdou Mouflet.

In contrast to Toronto’s exclusive music scene dominated by profit-driven companies, Open Canvas aims to spotlight local music talent, arts, and interdisciplinary forms through immersive events. Their mission is clear: create safe spaces for everyone to enjoy music and art, fostering community and inspiration. “We aim to make music and art accessible to all in Toronto, enriching our city’s culture,” says the team.

Open Canvas focuses on three pillars: supporting local musicians and DJs, ensuring inclusivity for marginalized communities, and collaborating with visual artists for immersive experiences.

Their next event at Daniel’s Spectrum on June 22 features Lokre, known for blending Indo-Trinidadian and Irish influences into soulful R&B. Lokre’s music, like her album ‘ELIZABETH’ and hit ‘Body,’ is loved for its emotional depth.

The excitement grows for Open Canvas’ free two-day music festival at Trillium Park on September 6-7, 2024. It promises a diverse lineup of Canadian musicians, offering all attendees immersive art and music experiences.

To share this article:

Don't forget to follow our Spotify Playlist: