A New Home?

November 23, 2017

How You Can Help Now

This morning, our partner org Gamma Space announced that they will be closing their doors (hopefully just temporarily!) at the end of the year. Gamma Space has been our home from the beginning – since our first jam back in January 2012. Since then, we’ve grown to 450 members and hosted more than 400 events. Our organizations have grown up together, joining the Toronto Media Arts Cluster at the same time in 2015.

DMG and TMAC

We joined TMAC to secure affordable, long-term, dedicated space for DMG, jumping into a project that had been in the making for nearly 25 years. We were thrilled to bring our membership, vibrant programming – and video games! – to a groundbreaking media arts centre, housing organizations that have been supporting critical media art works and artists for 40+ years. We are honoured and humbled to be part of this collective!

Along with CFMDC, Gamma Space and Charles Street Video, we have been fighting for the right to purchase and occupy the completed Section 37 space at 36 Lisgar Street for three years. Read more about the lawsuit TMAC filed against the City of Toronto and Urbancorp, the outcry from our community about our rights being breached, and the years of negotiation we’ve put into securing the space for the community. It still sits empty right down the street from us.

The protraction of the lawsuit means our organizations have stretched to pay commercial rent years longer than expected (the original occupancy date was 2014), and have been unable to engage in any long-term planning. As of January 2018, 3 out of 4 of the TMAC member orgs will be without a home, DMG included. This precarious situation is all too familiar to every nonprofit that needs space to serve its community in Toronto.

Last month we christened TMAC with Damage Camp. Our summer VR program participants were the first artists to ever exhibit there. Our TMAC partners welcomed our community for a one-day conference. It was a thrilling vision of our future together in this incredible space.

We continue to fight for this space because it represents what is at the core of DMG: Support, collaboration, freedom, self-determination, autonomy and play.

DMG and Gamma

Our community was built at Gamma, a place we could run our events without asking permission, at low cost – but most importantly, where members felt at home, safe and free to express themselves. DMG is member-centred, rooted in service and individual growth through community building. Our partnership with Gamma allowed us to fulfill this mandate, going so much further than one-off workshops while providing practical benefits like workspace, equipment and mentorship on a full-time basis.

TMAC is our opportunity to build on this exceptionally collaborative relationship and make our own space dedicated to giving our members all the support they need to make their art, to teach and learn and make games freely.

Going Forward

With the closing of Gamma, and uncertainty around TMAC occupancy, we have started making contingency plans for the new year. Things are moving quickly, so we have a few different ideas depending on how things shake out in the next few weeks. For now, we are seeking partners to host our programming beginning in January. We are looking at this as a chance to share our community and programming with a broader audience and make some new friends along the way!

Please keep up your excitement and love for the community we built together over these last 6 years. While we may be without a home for a little while, we'll find walls and a roof to call our own soon. DMG is YOU: The people who come to our events, share your lives and ideas and games and art on Slack, who mentor and teach and learn, work and play together – and we're not going anywhere!

DMG Board of Directors

– Izzie Colpitts-Campbell, Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda, Sophia Park, Meagan Byrne, Yifat Shaik, Soha Kareem, Cecily Carver

Executive Director

– Jennie Robinson Faber


Please direct questions or concerns to info@dmg.to, or send a message to @izzie or @jennie on Slack.

If you are interested in hosting, partnering or donating resources to help with our transition, please contact executive@dmg.to.

Any questions about TMAC can be directed to our representatives, izzie@dmg.to and/or jennie@dmg.to.