Stage Door News

Toronto: Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts runs online all month long

Friday, April 30, 2021

Welcome to the 36th Mayworks Festival of Working People and The Arts. This year we offer a virtual festival with a series of free online events for you to experience from May 1st to May 31st.

Founded by the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, the MAYWORKS FESTIVAL OF WORKING PEOPLE & THE ARTS is a community-based festival which annually presents new works by a diverse and broad range of artists, who are both workers and activists. The programming presents bold, insightful, responses to pressing issues at the intersection of art, social justice and labour.  

Mayworks  prioritizes the representation and participation of artists and audiences from communities facing systemic discrimination. We encourage works rooted in the reality of working people’s lives that advance the struggle for improved working and living conditions. Mayworks operates within an anti-oppression framework. We are actively engaged in a social dialogue that challenges the logics of capitalism, and seeks to reimagine and represent economic and environmental justice.

The works of this year’s festival emerge in the midst of a global pandemic that has further exposed the violence of racial capitalism. From the organizing efforts of factory workers at Amazon to the hidden connections between the extractive industries and our cultural institutions, artists and organizers share their insights and reaffirm the possibilities of collective action.

The festival is organized by week and by content. Most programming is available from its launch up until the end of the festival. ASL Interpretation is available at all Dialogues.

Many artists in our 2021 Festival were scheduled to participate in last year’s NGHTSHFTS program, curated by former Mayworks Executive Director Farah Miranda, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. We invited those artists to re-imagine their pieces for a virtual festival, and we are grateful for their artistic resilience and creative responses.

We thank Farah Miranda and Erin Howley, former Mayworks Education and Public Programming Lead, for bringing these artists into the Mayworks community. While we meet apart, we continue to strive for the power of the collective. We thank all the participating artists, as well as all of the Mayworks staff and board members who have made this year’s festival possible. 

For the schedule, click

Illustration: Mayworks poster. © 2021 Pardis Pahlavanlu.