Schools Training

Toronto’s Amazing Indie Arts Scene

31 JAN 2013

Toronto is more than a banker’s city and the location of many corporate headquarters. It’s also the home of a thriving Indie arts and music scene. However, Indie, short for Independent, is an almost all embracing label. It can include songs with a pop beat or punk or goth influences, indeed even the non-mainstream label isn’t perfectly applicable as many Indie groups have found fame and fortune with traditional studios after building up a reputation on their own. Indie artists and film makers may have highly conventional backgrounds.


In all places, as in Toronto, what makes the scene ‘Indie’ is the DIY aesthetic. It’s certainly not amateur. Many Indie performers are audio engineering college graduates who love music. Music fans will even learn to become an event planner to organize events that are otherwise lacking. But Toronto is special. A fictionalized account of the Toronto Indie music scene even got not only a best-selling comic series, but a successful film franchise.


Canada loves to nurture creativity. The National Film Board, sponsor of the first film of so many graduates of a film school in Toronto, is located right on John Street. All year long, not just the summer, the city is peppered with festivals in the arts, film and music. It’s no wonder that artists brave expensive rents in the name of being a part of it.


The nightlife is also good quality. Without favouring specific venues, the pressure of Toronto’s real estate market means that only the best survives, which makes Toronto bar and club owners hungry for something that’ll bring crowds. There’s not small town safety in commercial plastic pop, and the Toronto money gives people an additional income stream to want to invest in nights out and paintings to go over the couch in the condo.


A plethora of art schools based out of Toronto also helps. There’s something for everyone, whether your taste is for reclaimed and updated textile arts or a cutting edge audio engineering college. This means there’s a large pool of novice artists trying to set themselves apart with their creativity and experimenting with new mediums. And though the industry isn’t quite as big as the options one province over to the east, Indie artists can cut their teeth in the thriving games industry. Games are one of the places most pushing the envelope, in everything from visuals to philosophy and that quest for uniqueness is at the core of the Indie spirit.


Lastly, Toronto has a resource that’s invaluable to any Indie fan or artist alike, other Indie people. Art does not thrive in a vacuum. Though there is some creative gains from outsider works developed in isolation, with a population of about two and a half million there’s enough people in Toronto to support a lively dialogue of mediums, whether a recent grad of a film school in Toronto or an oil painter who works exclusively with cats.


Visit Trebas Institute for more information on how to become an event planner.