Toronto’s New Hub for Accessible Art and Culture

A crowd of people at an indoor event, with a disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

Two DJs working at a turntable, one wearing a colorful shirt and a cap, the other adjusting his headphones.

DJs spinning tracks to keep the energy high at Open Canvas.

A busy indoor event with attendees walking around and engaging in conversations, various vendor tents are visible.

Open Canvas event bustling with conversations and connections.

Experience Toronto’s vibrant new music festival, Open Canvas, showcasing local talent and immersive art.

Open Canvas was built out of a need to create accessible music and art experiences in Toronto. We want to reclaim in-person social connections in a post-pandemic world”

— Ben Attal, Co-Founder

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, June 12, 2024 / — The much-anticipated Open Canvas Music & Arts Festival launches in Toronto this summer. It aims to revolutionize the city’s music and arts scene with a commitment to accessibility, community, and diverse artistic expression. Scheduled to kick off with an event on June 22 at Daniel’s Spectrum, this festival promises to bring Torontonians an inclusive cultural experience.

The company was born from the shared vision of founders Ben Attal, Abdou Mouflet, and Eric Shuell, and it was modelled after their vibrant experiences in Montreal. Their journey began with a simple yet profound idea: to create a platform where music and arts could flourish in an accessible, community-oriented environment. “We all lived in Montreal before living in Toronto, where the arts and culture scene was rich and inclusive. Open Canvas was built out of necessity to fill the gap we saw in Toronto,” says Ben Attal.

The festival’s name, Open Canvas, has a personal story behind it. “Ben and Abdou once hosted a party in their apartment where they invited all their artist friends to paint murals on their white walls while having a dance party. It symbolized freedom and creativity, which we want for Toronto,” shares Eric Shuell.

The pandemic brought about unique challenges for the founders, halting their large-scale events and highlighting the need for new ways to unite people. “Bringing people together in a post-pandemic world was easier than expected; people craved connection. The real challenge was the financial impact of COVID-19 and making live music accessible again,” notes Abdou Mouflet.

The Toronto music scene has become increasingly inaccessible, dominated by large brands prioritizing profit over unique cultural experiences. Open Canvas aims to address this problem by showcasing local musical talent, artistic expressions, and multidisciplinary art forms through experiential events, creating safe, supportive spaces where everyone can enjoy music and art, and fostering community and inspiration. We strive to increase accessibility and strengthen the community surrounding music and arts in Toronto. Our vision is to create a world where music and art are essential and accessible to all, enhancing the cultural fabric of our city.

Open Canvas is built on three pillars. First, it supports ambitious local and international musicians and DJs who stay true to themselves. Second, it strives to remove barriers and focus on marginalized communities, ensuring accessibility for all. Third, it collaborates with local visual artists to create immersive experiences connecting music with diverse expression forms.

Their next event, featuring Lokre, will be held at Daniel’s Spectrum on June 22. Lokre, a dynamic singer, songwriter, and producer, blends Indo-Trinidadian and Irish influences into powerful R&B music. Her debut album ‘ELIZABETH’ and recent single ‘Body’ have garnered acclaim for their soulful and transformative sound.

All promotion efforts are building momentum for our free, two-day music festival at Trillium Park on September 6-7, 2024. This festival will highlight Canadian artists through events, ensuring a diverse lineup and immersive experiences celebrating art’s connection to music.

Music and art lovers are invited to visit for tickets, the full schedule of events and ways to get involved.

About Open Canvas

Open Canvas Music & Arts Festival aims to revolutionize the arts scene in Toronto by providing accessible, inclusive, and diverse cultural experiences. Founded by Ben Attal, Abdou Mouflet, and Eric Shuell, the festival seeks to build a strong community through music and art.

Ian Royer
Anansi Tales Marketing
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ABDOU | Open Canvas: Live at Wychwood Barns

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