About Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts

Our Vision

The vision of the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts is to incite the creation and production of art that engages diverse artists and workers at the intersection of culture, economics and social justice.

Our Mission

Mayworks showcases working people’s art, and promotes artists-as-workers and workers-as-artists. We operate within an anti-oppressive framework that prioritizes the representation and participation of artists and audiences from equity-seeking groups.


Our Mandate

Mayworks curates and presents artistically compelling projects through an annual multidisciplinary arts festival. Our programming reflects the reality of working people’s lives and supports the struggles for better living and working conditions.

We work with a diverse community of activists, artists and workers who engage in creative and bold critical responses to pressing issues at the intersection of art, social justice and labour.

Mayworks cultivates meaningful relationships with communities that face systemic discrimination and injustice. We prioritize the representation and participation of Indigenous people, Black people, people of colour, LGBTQ2 people, people with disabilities, women and young people in our programming.


The Festival and Beyond

The Festival takes place every year in early May. Information on the current Festival may be found here.

Beyond the Festival, Mayworks partners with cultural festivals and social justice organizations in Toronto to present off-season events. Information on these events are updated on our website and social media pages as they take place. If your organization would like to partner with Mayworks, please email director[at]mayworks.ca.

Mayworks also provides cultural services supporting arts programming to other organizations in effort to promote the interests of cultural and other workers year-round. For more information on our cultural services, please click here.

And, finally, we host the annual Mayworks Labour Arts Awards Gala to recognize significant contributions to the arts and labour movement. For more information on the Mayworks Labour Arts Awards, please click here.


The Mayworks Team

Board Members

  • Gini Dickie (Co-chair)
  • Helen Kennedy (Co-chair)
  • Ryan Hayes (Treasurer)
  • Golta Shahidi (Secretary)
  • Pamela Arancibia
  • Andrew King
  • Timothy Maxwell
  • Emily Visser

Community Advisors

  • Florencia Berinstein
  • Deena Ladd
  • D’Arcy Martin

Honourary Board Members

  • Carole Condé
  • Ron Dickson
  • George Hewison
  • Bill Howes
  • Jude Johnston
  • Catherine Macleod
  • D’Arcy Martin
  • Walter Pitman
Mayworks Staff

Development Committee

  • Pramila Aggarwal
  • Jeanette Body
  • Helen Kennedy
  • Amee Lê
  • D’Arcy Martin
  • Emily Visser

Communications Committee

  • Amee Lê
  • Timothy Maxwell
  • Tariq Sami
  • Emily Visser

Events Committee

  • Gini Dickie
  • Maureen Hynes
  • Helen Kennedy
  • Golta Shahidi
  • Maureen Wall


Other Festivals

Mayworks Toronto is one of many such festivals across the country. We range in size and resources, but together we form a presenters’ network of festivals that promote a new practice of community and labour arts. Below are the links for Mayworks festivals in different communities.

Mayweek in Kingston
Mayworks in Winnipeg
Mayworks in Windsor
Mayworks in Halifax


Resources for Artists

Below you will find a list of different unions and associations that represent the interests of artists. Feel free to contact them for more information.

ACTRA Toronto Performers
Artists Legal Advice Services (ALAS)
Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Canadian Artists Representation, Ontario
Canada Council for the Arts
Charles Street Video
Community One Foundation
Director’s Guild of Canada
Dub Poets Collective
Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto
Native Women in the Arts
Ontario Associaton of Art Galleries
Ontario Arts Council
Playwrights Guild of Canada
Public Lending Right Commission
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
The League of Canadian Poets
The Writer’s Union of Canada
Toronto Arts Council
Toronto Musicians Association
Trinity Square Video
NABET 700 CEP Toronto Film Technicians
V tape