Thank you for making the 31st edition of Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts the most successful Mayworks Festival to date. This year’s multidisciplinary Festival packed in two weeks of theatre and multi-media performances,  visual arts, film screening, walking tour, panel discussions and more. Several of this year’s events were sold out. We have uploaded photos from this year’s events on our Facebook and Flickr pages. Enjoy, share and tag yourself!

We would like to acknowledge everyone who made Mayworks 2016 the most successful festival to date: the amazing artists, curators, & performers, our wonderful sponsors, co-sponsors & co-presenters, the fantastic festival board & staff; and last but definitely not least, you – our audience. We look forward to your continued support at our next Festival.


Wednesday, June 1st | 7 pm
George Ignatieff Theatre | 15 Devonshire Place, Toronto
Admission: Free
Film Trailer | Facebook event page

Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts is honoured to co-present the Canadian premiere of A Day’s Work, an award-winning documentary that exposes the harsh conditions faced by temp agency workers.

Film synopsis
Ninety minutes before he was killed on his first day of work as a temporary employee, 21-year-old Day Davis texted a picture of himself to his girlfriend, excited for their future. Now Day’s sister, 17-year-old Antonia, searches for answers. An investigation reveals the troubling issues that led to Day’s death and how the $100 billion temporary staffing industry is putting millions of American workers at risk.

Special Guests
Dave DeSario, Executive Producer of A Day’s Work and Founding Member of the Alliance for the American Temporary Workforce.Injured workers and temp agency workers will be speaking about their experiences and the changes we need in our labour laws which are currently under Ontario Government’s review.

Event Partners
Fight for $15 & Fairness, Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups, Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), Workers’ Action Centre, Department of Sociology at UTSC, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto, Adult Education and Community Development, OISE, UofT, Global Labour Research Centre at York University, Centre for the Study of Korea, Asian Institute at Munk School of Global Affairs and Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts.


Sad that the 2016 Mayworks Festival is over? Fear not, some of our events are still going on!

EXHIBIT: Butterfly Voices
May 3 – May 28, Free Admission
Whippersnapper Gallery, 594b Dundas Street West
Gallery Hours: Thursday to Saturday, 1 pm – 7 pm

Butterfly Voices is an exhibition produced by a group of Toronto-based migrant sex workers, facilitated by Elene Lam and Alvis Choi. Participants are engaged in creative exploration of the themes of transformation and history with an emphasis on self-determination and collective memory. We use butterflies, for which migration is a given, as a metaphor and a starting point for various forms of art and storytelling.As an ongoing arts-based project, Butterfly Voices began in early 2015 in light of the stereotypes and stigma around migrant sex workers who are often silenced due to the lack of understanding in society. The long-term goal of Butterfly Voices is to create artistic opportunities for migrant sex workers in and outside of Toronto as a platform for self-representation and political agency.Presented by Butterfly – Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network. Co-presented by Whippersnapper Gallery.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Working People / Talking Pictures
Friday, May 27, 7 pm, Free Admission
Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Ground Floor

Working People / Talking Pictures is a discussion/ performance event, inspired by the photo series, ILL WIND (2007), by Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge. Each image in the series expresses the frustration and anger of Ontario healthcare workers over not being able to provide the care their patients need. Healthcare workers, Joanne Webb (Hamilton) and Louis Rodrigues (Kingston) who appear in the images will talk about the issues they face, and their collaborative experience developing these powerful images with Condé & Beveridge, and theatre director, Aida Jordao.The event takes place in conjunction with:

PUBLIC EXPOSURES: the art-activism of condé + beveridge (1976-2016), curated by Jim Miller.
Exhibition: May 14 – June 25

Location: A coalition of galleries on the ground floor of 401 Richmond Street West: A Space Gallery, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Trinity Square Video, Urbanspace Gallery and YYZ Artists’ Outlet.

For more info, visit: aspacegallery.org.