Scarborough Arts Council

Summary of organization/program

Scarborough Arts Council is a not-for-profit community arts organization with the mandate to serve Scarborough and east Toronto. It provides programs and services to promote and encourage development and involvement in the arts, for the benefit of artists and the community.

Contact information


 1859 Kingston Rd. Toronto, ON, M1N iT3

 (416) 698-7322


Geographic region

  • Local (Scarborough and East Toronto)


  • Youth

History/Background Information

Founded in 1978, the Scarborough Arts Council was established under the name Arts Scarborough, with operating grants from the City of Scarborough and the Ontario Arts Council to promote artistic growth in the community. A membership base was established and initial programs were built at this time.

SA reassessment of the organization took place in the mid-80s, and by 1989, Arts Scarborough was redeveloped as the Scarborough Arts Council.

SSAC relocated to its current location at a city-owned property on the Scarborough Bluffs in 1992. Gallery space was created at this facility for the exhibition and sale of members’ work, and has since developed to include non-members exhibitions.

Scarborough Arts Council maintained a solid stable of programs for many years, and places great emphasis on its partnerships with other exceptional community organizations. SAC also publishes surface & symbol, a Toronto arts newspaper, founded in 1987. Surface & Symbol is the only newspaper of its kind in Toronto, and recently, it expanded to online publication for greater community access.

Scarborough Arts Council developed in 2000 to serve as a portal to the arts in east Toronto and Scarborough. With an increasingly web-savvy community to service, the site has since been improved and has increased user traffic.

SSAC recently celebrated 30 years of serving the community through the arts, and will continue to improve on delivering this mission in the years to come, with fresh and innovative programs and services that enhance the cultural life of Scarborough.

Dominant Media Forms

video production


music production

literary production


live performance

multi media presentations


web production


fine arts


graphic design


Scarborough Arts Council nurtures and creates initiatives that stimulate growth and development of all arts disciplines, linking artists and the community. We serve and respect the full continuum of artists from youth to seniors, emerging to avocational artists to full time professionals. We operate in the firm belief that the arts foster the health of a dynamic society.

Statement of Principles

not provided


Music, theatre, creative writing, poetry, paint, drawing/sketch, photography, and film production.

Samples of work

  • The Borough Most Thorough 
    Presented in partnership with Beatz to da Streetz, The Borough Most Thorough is an urban music and culture program for youth that visits three Scarborough neighbourhoods. The Borough Most Thorough will consist of a mobile program that visits Steeles-L’Amoureaux, Malvern and Kingston-Galloway with intensive one-week urban music workshops. Each one-week workshop program will allow 10 youth participants to collaborate on one track, which will be recorded in the final session of the week. The program will culminate in a launch event and listening party, where youth and the community will come together to listen to the finished tracks.
  • Scarborough C.A.R.E.S.
    Scarborough C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Art, Recreation and Education Services) project is a fully mobile, after-school program for youth ages 6 to 12 provided with no cost to the parent or hosting school. Outfitted with a collection of digital equipment, from cameras, tri-pods, laptops and engaging software programs, C.A.R.E.S encourages the “middle years” to get hands on with technology, teaching them useful skills and tapping into their creativity. 

    Launched in late 2007, the program is collaboration between Scarborough Arts Council, N.Y.A.D. (Not Your Average Daycare), East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, West Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and other organizations across the city. All working together with their respective expertise in their field, these organizations bring together a well-planned and executed program that addresses the many requirements for a fully engaging initiative. C.A.R.E.S seeks to enrich children’s skills through digital arts media and creative recreation. 

    The program is made possible through multi-year funding from The Ontario Trillium Foundation

Funding Sources