Indie Arts Network

UPDATE - Introducing to the Toronto Indie Artsworker Network community Discord!

The concept for this community group was born during The Toronto Fringe’s Indie Micro Conference in January of 2021, and the feeling that indie artsworkers were left out of conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the industry as a whole. This space is an experiment to see if a digital community space can be created for sharing opportunities and experiences, asking questions, and forming connections. Many thanks to our Metcalf Intern Lucy McPhee who made this happen!

While we have created the network server, it will be run by community members. We are looking forward to watching this community grow. JOIN THE DISCORD HERE

If you, like some of us here, are not currently on Discord, Lucy M has put together a video to walk through the steps of joining and give you a sense of how it all works. WATCH THE TUTORIAL HERE.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Toronto Fringe has been searching for ways to support indie arts workers in a long-term, personal, and meaningful way. We wanted to find ways to connect with indie arts workers who were feeling left out of the "post-pandemic recovery" conversations that were happening in the industry. Many indie arts workers were talking about leaving the industry, or had already left to find work outside of this sector.

We were concerned about the welfare of the sector, and brought these observations to professors at X University (what's this?) and the Creative Innovation Studio at FCAD, as we felt there may be a lot of synergy with the conversations they were having with their students and how to look and build to the future. We held brainstorming sessions, and the groundwork for the Indie Arts Network was laid.

January 22, 2021: Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Micro-Conference

After several strategy meetings, we programmed a micro-conference titled "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" as part of the 2021 Next Stage Community Booster. The micro-conference focused on many topics, but in particular asked how we could support an industry where people could leave safely and could return if they wanted to. We asked: "How do we come back better and stronger as an indie community after the pandemic?" We used breakout rooms to discuss these questions, with facilitators from X University and Toronto Fringe. Approximately 50 people attended.

We put together this first report as a synopsis of what came out of the conversation.

June 29, 2021: What's Next? A Check-in for Indie Arts Workers

We wanted to continue this vital conversation, so we offered another chance for people to come together and talk, to see if Fringe could help in any way.

This was a smaller group (20) but very deep, important conversations were had and we feel as if there is a desire towards creating an Indie Arts Worker Network.

We created this second report as a result of this meeting, which happened in June of 2021.

There will be more to come and more opportunities to connect. If you want to talk about the Indie Arts Network (IAN) then please email

Stay tuned for more information about future events.

- Lucy Eveleigh
Executive Director, Toronto Fringe


1. " Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Compiled after our "Should I Stay or Should I Go" event in January 2021. In partnership with the Creative Innovation Studio at FCAD.

Read full report here.

2. "Indie Arts Worker Check-In"

Compiled after "A Check-in for Indie Artists" event in June 2021. 

Read full report here.