Toronto, as a whole, is not a very accessible city. While institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario have multi-sensory and ASL interpreter tours, there are still stairs everywhere, and it’s not uncommon for smaller galleries or artist-run spaces to apologetically note their washrooms aren’t wheelchair accessible.
Over the past five years, though, there’s been a rise in art that addresses disabilities and madness, not to mention a demand that its paces are truly barrier-free. Last month, Harbourfront Center mounted Cripping the Stage: A Disability Arts Cabaret featuring local disabled artists like jes sachse, Syrus Marcus Ware and Lynx Sainte-Marie.
The event was co-presented by the British Council and Tangled Art + Disability. The local performing arts cum multidisciplinary non-profit supports artists with disabilities, and now has a new exhibition space. And it’s not just any space. They’ve moved into 401 Richmond, a building filled with high profile artist-run centers like A Space, YYZ and Gallery 44. It’s an entrenched arts hub that’s doesn’t just give a gallery space to any organization.