The Gathering Divergence is May 16-19, 2023

Two photos, one of a person presenting and second of drum performance. On a blue background text: Register today! May 16 and 18 online . May 19 in-person Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference Spring 2023

Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference Spring 2023
Register today!
May 16 & 18 online | May 19 in-person 

Location: Winchester Street Theatre
80 Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1B2 

The Gathering Divergence Interdisciplinary Festival & Conference is a festival and conference with a specific focus on Indigenous, racialized, deaf, disabled and mad, women and other historically – marginalized arts communities. Held over 3 days, GDMAF/C features performances, literary readings, panels, workshops and creative investigations from diverse practices.

Geared towards meaningful conversations, professional development, sharing strategies, it encourages divergence across arts practices and collaboration. This year’s theme for Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference SPRING 2023 | Visioning Canada’s IBPOC Artistic Transformation: Implementing Future Strategies. 

The full schedule is available here.

Program Day 3:

Register today!
General admission (per day): $15
Accessibility pricing (per day): $5

buy tickets

Unfortunately the Winchester Street Theatre is not currently wheelchair accessible.
We aim to host a fragrance-free event. Please do not wear perfume, cologne, or other scented products.

Covid 19 protocol: Vaccination is not required to attend on May 19. All are welcomed to attend who:
– Do not have Covid symptoms
– Did not test positive for Covid
– Did not  travel outside of Canada within the last 14 days
– Not required to isolation because was in contact with a person who tested positive to Covid-19

Masks are encouraged. Registration and providing full contact information is required for contact tracing.
If you have Covid symptoms please do not do not attend the event in-person. A recording of May 19’s sessions will be available. Request a refund within 2 days after the event.

CPAMO Welcomes a New Board Member

We are excited to welcome a new board member LaToya Ottley!

a photo of a smiling woman in a white shirtFrom Toronto, Ontario, LaToya has dynamic experience including employment in arts administration, performance, studies, and professional activities. In addition to hosting her own shows, she has toured with the Toronto Children’s Concert Choir and Performing Arts Company (TC3) and featured as a session and background vocalist for artists globally. Some of her proudest professional accomplishments include serving as a Peer Mentor for a virtual music industry mentorship offered through Lumenus Community Services, consulting for the Global Touchdown Tour – Canada segment of BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Target Show (UK), and her continuous participation in the Freedom Marching Project which supports the movement against racial injustice for BIR communities using music.

Currently LaToya works as Administration Coordinator and Assistant to the President at the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and as an Emergency Supply Teacher for the Durham District School Board. She also looks forward to graduating from the music program at York University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in June of 2022.

Don’t let this virus also kill our art


Help IBPOC artists—and their art—survive the pandemic. 

89% of Torontonians believe that the arts make life in Toronto better.

95% of Ontarians believe that the success of Canadian artists generates national pride.

Yet, despite its value, artists make very little money. At $24,300, the median annual income for artists is well below the poverty line (1). Arts and culture workers have one of the highest rates of poverty of any sector. Things are starker still for IBPOC artists — their median income is 28% less than white artists’(2).

Before the pandemic, the arts sector had already been gutted by budget cuts. Ontario cut funding to the Ontario Arts Council by $10 million (3). A $5 million Indigenous Culture Fund was cancelled. The Ontario Music Fund? A $8 million cut. All in 2019 alone.
And then, in 2020, came the unkindest cut of all. COVID-19.

COVID-19 ravaged IBPOC communities. Our most vulnerable communities, always the most exposed to any threat, have been devastated by the pandemic.

But, in the heart of darkness, IBPOC artistic talent has burned brightly and brought us light. Throughout the pandemic, IBPOC artists — and the artistic community as a whole — made art that lifted us, gave us strength and sustained our spirits.

At the same time, the pandemic has been an unmitigated catastrophe for the arts sector. 2/3rds of arts & culture organizations reported a median revenue decline of 50% (4). Many IBPOC artists lost income as in person shows, exhibitions and other opportunities were cancelled — 12,000 performances were cancelled in Toronto alone (5).

Despite this the arts community kept working. And that’s no surprise. Artists work longer hours than the average full-time Canadian worker (6).

What work did they do? 

They performed outdoors for seniors locked-in, in long-term care facilities. They staged porch concerts and backyard shows for their neighbours. They sang arias from their balconies for front line workers. They took their poetry readings online and made them available for free. They led dance classes and acting studios and paint-alongs, live, on Instagram and Facebook and YouTube.

They did it for free.
They did it for us.

CPAMO has been working for more than a decade to recognize IBPOC and other marginalized artists. Not only do we advocate for the creation of opportunities and equity for them, we engage them ourselves. IBPOC artists and arts administrators are paid to showcase their art and join our panels at The Gathering, our signature event (or, if you want to be formal, The Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival and Conference).

Contribute today!

Who have we showcased over the years? 

Modern Times, Aluna, Cahoots, Native Earth Performing Arts in theatre.
In music, Small World Music and Polyphonic Ground.
In dance, Sampradaya Dance Creations, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Collective of Black Artists, Dance Immersion, and many individual Indigenous and racialized artists.

The artists and arts practices presenters we engage come from Indigenous, racialized, queer and intersectional communities.

Our next Gathering will take place in December 2021 and our theme is Art in a Time of Healing. The Gathering’s Art in a Time of Healing is envisioned as a way to gather, diverge with diversity and intersect on the many aspects of the performing arts and the Arts sector. Through panels, workshops, exhibitions and showcases it encourages divergence across arts practices, collaboration, art making and Anti-Black racism.

We need financial support to help us keep spotlighting works of art by Indigenous, racialized and historically marginalized artists. We need your help.

Your donation will pay IBPOC artists and arts administrators who present at our December 2021 Gathering. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to an event that showcases a broad range of artistic practices. Black organizations receive as little as 7 cents for every $100 donated to Canada’s big charities. Let’s work together to change that.

We will recognize every donation with a token of our appreciation.

Tier 1. $1 to $99: a personalized shout-out on CPAMO social media channels* and a bookmark and pin in the mail!

Tier 2. $100 to $499: everything in Tier1 plus a choice of a book OR a t-shirt in the mail.

Tier 3. $500 or more: everything in Tier 1 plus  a choice of a Portrait Commission from artist Ilene Sova OR an original art print by artist Astrid Ho. Available to the first 2 donations only.

* unless you choose to contribute anonymously


Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) is a IBPOC-led movement of Indigenous and racialized artists engaged in empowering the arts communities of Ontario. CPAMO seeks to open opportunities for Indigenous and racialized professionals and organizations to build capacity through access and working relationships with cultural institutions across Ontario that will result in constructive relationships with Indigenous and racialized professionals and organizations. This is a unique opportunity for you to contribute to events that showcase a wide array of diverse voices in a broad range of artistic mediums. For more information:

Contribute today!







Art Stats report revealed that Toronto-based artists work an average 51.4 hours a week, which is more than the average full-time Canadian worker.