The Toronto Biennial of Art is a new international contemporary visual arts event as culturally connected and diverse as the city itself. From September 21 to December 1, 2019, Toronto and surrounding areas were transformed by exhibitions, talks, and performances that reflected our local context and engaged with the most pressing issues of our time. The Biennial’s free, citywide programs aimed to inspire individuals, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations from a variety of perspectives. Our collaborative, cross-disciplinary event convened institutions, organizations, community groups, collectives, and practitioners from across Toronto to activate partnerships that amplified the city’s vibrant and dynamic arts community.
The 2019 Biennial unfolded along Toronto’s waterfront and was shaped by its historical and present-day context. Home to over 250 ethnicities, and with over half its population born outside of Canada, Toronto has a reputation for being the most culturally diverse city in the world. A reflection of this specific context, the 2019 Biennial featured Canadian, Indigenous, and international artists, over 50% of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour). As conversations about truth and reconciliation as well as inclusion and accessibility continue to evolve, the Biennial recognizes the urgency of developing new ways of looking and listening.