About Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts

Our Vision

Mayworks is built on the premise that all working people share a common struggle for decent wages, healthy working conditions and a vibrant, living culture. We incite the creation and production of art that engages diverse artists and workers in the advancement of social justice and the labour movement.

Our Mission

Mayworks showcases and promotes the artistic work of artists-as-workers and workers-as-artists. Mayworks is committed to acknowledging all art forms and recognizing all forms of work.


Our Mandate

Mayworks  presents and curates artistically compelling projects that reflect the reality of working people’s lives and imagines transformations towards better working and living conditions.

Mayworks supports a diverse community of activists, artists, and workers who engage in political, critical, and creative responses to issues at the intersection of art, labour, and social justice.

Mayworks cultivates critical partnerships with communities that face systemic discrimination and injustice. We are guided by equity principles that prioritizes the representation and participation of First Nations people, people of colour, queer and trans people, people with disabilities and young people as artists and audiences.


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

  • Meara Conway (Co-chair)
  • Helen Kennedy (Co-chair)
  • Ryan Hayes (Treasurer)
  • Golta Shahidi (Secretary)
  • Gini Dickie
  • Alexandra Fox
  • Erica Kopyto
  • Farrah Miranda

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

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

Communications Committee

  • Alexandra Fox
  • Ryan Hayes
  • Farrah Miranda
  • Tariq Sami

Events Committee

  • Meara Conway
  • Gini Dickie
  • Maureen Hynes
  • Helen Kennedy
  • Erica Kopyto
  • Golta Shahidi
  • Maureen Wall

2017 Program Committee

  • Maryama Ahmed
  • Meara Conway (Co-Chair)
  • Rodney Diverlus
  • Helen Kennedy
  • Amee Lê (Co-Chair)
  • Farrah Miranda
  • Judith Schuyler
  • Dianah Smith

2017 Festival Artwork Creators

  • Tzazná + Queso

2017 Festival Trailer Editor

  • Monica Gutierrez

2017 Program Guide Editors

  • John Humphrey
  • Helen Kennedy


  • Thistle Printing Ltd


  • David Burkes

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