That goes for everything we do. It is part of our DNA and we should always be asking ourselves how we best engage the diverse voices of our audiences — from local residents to international tourists, artists, creators, students, donors, business and industry, media, and government. MOCA aims to be a ‘listening museum’, a welcoming place where our artists and their work will pose provocative questions, yet we will also seek a reciprocal relationship with our communities, the public, and the world.
MOCA will be a destination where that exchange between art, artists, and the visitor happens. We will create relevant spaces, ensure they reflect the world we live in now and are sensitive to the differentiated nature of the communities we serve. The experience of art, the inspiration and the instigation that art provokes, can serve as a way for disparate communities to understand themselves and the world around them and create a sense of belonging.
In defining the programming mandate of MOCA Toronto, our approach to relevance is to showcase Canadian artists, some of whom are globally recognized and some who you won’t have heard of until you visit us. What this diverse roster of artists will have in common is the interdisciplinary nature of their work and their aspiration for exploration of universal human experiences ‘multiple voices’ to advance social inclusion.
Art for Our Sake
MOCA is motivated by our belief that museums can be culturally and socially useful. We promote exceptional artistic thinking and provide a community space for discourse and creativity.
Working across all contemporary art forms, we empower the local Toronto art scene, while informing the international. MOCA is an accessible, welcoming hub rooted and engaged in a culturally rich neighbourhood; it is here, through art, that you can feel the specialness of this invigorating and hyper-diverse city.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) is in a defining phase of its evolution, as it moves into a landmark heritage building and further advances 20 years of exhibiting, collecting and nurturing innovative contemporary art and cultural practices.
In September 2018, MOCA moved into a 55,000 square foot purpose-designed home in a former industrial space at the heart of a new neighbourhood in the Lower Junction.
MOCA (formerly known as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art – MOCCA) has been celebrated for its incisive, artist-centric approach to programming, and hospitable visitor experience.
At its former location on Queen West, the museum functioned as a hub for creative exchange and played a critical role in shaping the city’s contemporary art scene. Through a commitment to collaborative partnerships with leading like-minded artists, organizations, institutions and festivals from Toronto and further afield, MOCA connected the city to a national and global network of peers.
MOCA featured the work of over 1,100 Canadian and other international artists, hosted 200+ exhibitions and welcomed 40,000 annual visitors. As the lease on Queen West wound down, the need to move provided an opportunity to seek a larger space that could accommodate the museum’s ever-growing aspirations and significance.
MOCA Toronto is in a defining phase of its evolution. With a track-record developed over a ten-year period in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood, MOCA is set to expand its footprint into the iconic, heritage, Tower Automotive Building, situated in Toronto’s Junction Triangle.
Tower Automotive Building
Built in 1919, this building, designed by architect John W. Woodman of Winnipeg, was once the tallest in Toronto. Active until 2006, it was originally a factory that produced aluminium products for World War II, and later made items such as kitchen tools, bottle caps and car parts.
When it opened a hundred years ago, this building was considered innovative because it did not use beams for support. Instead, it pioneered a new approach called concrete flat slab architecture. Each floor is a slab of reinforced concrete and is supported by concrete columns – the ‘mushrooms’ you see on each floor, which distribute the weight to the floor below.
Once an example of innovation, and now a heritage building, today it houses the most innovative ideas and art. How cool is that?
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