Art Kitchen drop-in opens Family Day

Hive of activity -Christine Renaud is starting the Art Kitchen, a new venture for community arts, based on Montreal’s Arts Hive model. The space will be opened this Monday evening. (Submitted photo)

The Prince Edward Learning Centre (PELC) and Loyola classroom space at the Sobeys Plaza will be an incubator for creativity on Monday nights.

Starting on Family Day and running regularly from 5:30-7:30 p.m. a new program called Art Kitchen will be available to provide a free, accessible location for all to make art.

Organizer Christine Renaud says the idea is to foster the creation of friendships and community through arts.

“The Art Kitchen is based on the Art Hive model, which began in Montreal at Concordia University,” she said. “The Art Hives network connects small and regenerative community art making spaces. It aims to strengthen and promote the benefits of these inclusive, welcoming spaces across Canada and throughout the world.”

Renaud says those spaces have also been referred to as “third spaces” behind home and work or school and they’ll allow skills to be shared among people of diverse backgrounds.

“Everyone can be creative and make things. It’s not about whether a person can draw or not, but about the process of making things, which is a human activities.”

Renaud has visited Montreal and learned more about the Art Hives already established there and she’ll also be attending an intensive training day in Toronto this month. Soon, she’ll be able to foster programs like sketching, collage, zine making, embroidery, felting, cartooning, origami and more. Though the Art Kitchen is separate from Loyola and PELC, Renaud said she is appreciative of the ability to partner with them and their support of a shared vision.

“It dovetails beautifully with the goals of lifelong learning and literacy,” she said. “Art making, especially with our neighbours, has been proven to contribute to physical and mental wellbeing and strengthening communities.”

Currently, fundraising is underway to pay for art materials, supplies and set up. Those interested in contributing can contact Renaud directly at