Stitching Spring


Stitching Spring is a 2 workshops embroidery series starting with the very basics of embroidery and walking participants through the creation of their embroidery art piece inspired by spring. In the beginning, participants will learn embroidery stitches and the basics to start embroidery art. Inspired by the theme of spring each participant will create their embroidery piece, starting with a sketched idea and using the learned stitches to create a textile art piece.

Materials needed to participate:

– Embroidery Hoop (recommended sizes between 4″ and 7″)

– 2 or 3 Fabric or felt pieces that are larger than the hoop (cotton, linen, or fabrics that don’t have too much stretch to them are recommended)

– Embroidery needles between sizes 2 to 7

– Needle threader (optional)

– Embroidery floss 

– Scissors 

– Markers 

The workshops will take place virtually on April 29th and May 6th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Ontario Arts Council

Stitching Diaries

Program Overview

Stitching Diaries is a community-engaged textile art program for self-identified women, non-binary, and two spirit ages 16+ in Toronto’s Don Valley Village and Fairview neighbourhoods.

Using journaling as a central theme, participants will create stitched journals and a written piece to tell their personal stories while exploring textile and stitching techniques with Toronto-based textile artist, Cecília Garcia. Participants will also learn about creative writing and Indigenous Teachings with guest artists Tasneem Dairywala and Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone. Final artworks will be exhibited at the Toronto Public Library, Fairview branch in September 2022.

Continue reading “Stitching Diaries”

101 Embroidery and Creative Writing Workshop

April 1, 2022 | 9:30am-12:00pm EDT | Free Online Workshop

Join Toronto-based artists Cecília Garcia and Tasneem Dairywala for a free online embroidery and creative writing workshop for beginners. In this workshop, you will learn embroidery basics, including an introduction to stitches and materials, and get your thoughts flowing with a guided creative writing session.

Suggested materials list:

  • Fabric or felt
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors
  • Pen and a notebook or paper

All materials can be found at Michaels craft store or other craft stores.

Register on Eventbrite:

Contact for more information.

This project was supported through Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding #poweredbyTAC  

Creative Mask-Making


Participants will be making masks using various materials in creative ways. The
theme of this workshop is finding creative ways of mask making addressing stories of people, activities, and things that have gotten the participants through COVID time and isolation. These connective and rejuvenating acknowledgements become the inspiration for creating an individual mask. Participants will be led through the mask-making design and build process by the workshop lead, Banafshesh Erfanian. All levels of experience are welcomed.




Pencil crayons

Magazines or newspaper


Glue stick

Masking tape

Wooden sticks (a pencil could be used instead)


Strings of any kind or elastics

Hole puncher


The workshop will take place virtually on December 10th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Toronto Arts Council

Eco-Friendly Accessories



In this workshop, environmental artist, Orflina, will share with participants how to make ornaments with citrus peels

As the drying process for organic material is natural, participants should consider that the material will require more than one day to get dry, and that the artwork will be finished at home by themselves.


  • Extraction of citrus peels.
  • How to cut the peels
  • Design the project
  • Shape the peels
  • Color the peels
  • Dry process
  • How to storage the pieces while drying
  • Burnish
  • Recommendations for care


  • Orange, lime, or lemon. Cut the fruit in half, prepare a delicious lemonade for you and bring the peels to the class! Bring enough peels to create different shapes.
  • 1 Egg carton
  • paper towel or newspapers
  • 1 package of Food coloring
  • 1 mt of recycled wool
  • One big needle. We will thread the needle with the wool
  • A pair of scissor 
The workshop will take place virtually on October 15th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Toronto Arts Council

Remembering Home


Description: ‘Remembering Home’ is a community art activity that explores the themes of memory, movement, transition, and safe space. For everyone, the idea of a home and a safe space has changed, especially in the event of a pandemic. Akshata Naik, a facilitator and multidisciplinary artist, uses this workshop to engage participants in larger discussions while painting a birdhouse that serves as a metaphor of refuge, improvised space, and a home for birds. She compares this to nature and birds migrating in search of food, shelter, and a safe place to live similar to humans and their need for migration.

Artist Bio: Akshata Naik is a contemporary and a multidisciplinary visual artist. Born and raised in Mumbai, she is a newcomer to Canada. Her works reflect upon her lived experiences of moving homes, cities and countries through a lens of immigration, violence, displacement, home and belonging. She works towards co-creating with her viewers an immersive experience and interactive art installations which consists of digital drawings, paintings, videos, ephemeral temporary sculptures and art in virtual reality. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally at institutions such as THEMUSEUM, Kitchener (2021) Nuit Blanche Toronto, Gladstone Hotel (2019) Gallery Espace, Delhi (2020) Artcore Gallery, UK (2016) 

Materials: Miniature wooden birdhouse (ones easily available at Dollar store) acrylic paint, brushes, markers, glitter, sequins, other decoration materials easily available at home.

The workshop will take place virtually on August 27th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Toronto Arts Council

Find the Energy Every Day

iFEED project stands for Find the Energy Every Day. It is a canvas painting project led by Connie Tong, an Open Studio participant. It encourages participants to engage in discussions of resiliency, empowerment and healing.  Especially living through the pandemic, this project uses visual arts as a vehicle to express their motivation to find the light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully inspire others to gain a better perspective and wellbeing coping through the pandemic.

Participants will develop skills in creative thinking and exploration of the chosen medium.  Through guided instructions, the program will result in a finished project at the end of the session.  

iFEED project is a City of Toronto Arts and Culture SPARK project and participants who contribute to this project will have a chance to display their work in a public setting and online.  Participants can learn more about the project scope at

All you need to participate is a canvas, paint, and paintbrushes, which they can procure at  Dollar Store, Walmart, or local craft store. 

The workshop will take place virtually on June 25th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council

Origami Art


Arzina Pirbhai, a longtime Open Studio participant, will be leading an Origami workshop which will increase creativity and reduce stress.

Materials needed:

6 regular size color paper,  white will do too.  One green paper for flower stem
Color crayons, pens or paint to decorate as needed
Stickers Optional
All of these can be found at Dollarama, Walmart or your local art store.

The workshop will take place virtually on July 2nd, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council

Let’s Have a Conversation

Tasneem Dairywala will host a conversation on Islamophobia and other types of stereotyping and discrimination that lead to attacks such as the one in London, ON. The latter part of the workshop will include creating artworks based on the group discussion.
The workshop will take place virtually on June 11th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council

Workshop on Publishing

You can (and should!) be a writer – write as often as it suits you and about whatever you desire. But when you’ve written something you feel good about sharing with the world, what happens next? This workshop will cover a variety of ways people achieve publishing credits in the book and magazine industry, including agents, queries, pitches, building a profile, an insider view of the publishing industry and what editors are looking for, with time for Q&A.
S. Bear Bergman is an author, storyteller, educator and the founder and publisher of children’s book publisher Flamingo Rampant, which makes feminist, culturally-diverse children’s picture books celebrating LGBT2Q+ kids and families. He writes creative non-fiction for grown ups, fiction for children, resolutely factual features for various outlets, the advice column Asking Bear, and was the co-editor (along with Kate Bornstein) of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. These days he spends most of his time making trans cultural competency interventions any way he can and trying to avoid stepping on Lego. His ninth book is SPECIAL TOPICS IN BEING A HUMAN, forthcoming from Arsenal Pulp in the fall of 2021
The workshop will take place virtually on June 4th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

To register, email

This workshop is funded by Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council