A New Digital Gateway To Culture: Now Playing Toronto

From a media release: 

A New Digital Gateway To Culture:
Now Playing Toronto

From what's new, to hidden gems, up-and-coming artists and festival favourites; a new way to discover arts and culture events across Toronto

Toronto, ON Now Playing Toronto, a brand new free online platform as a one-stop source for arts, cultural and community events in Toronto, Ontario, has officially launched.

Now Playing Toronto logo

Developed by Destination Toronto and the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, along with an advisory group of leaders across major arts disciplines in Toronto, Now Playing Toronto captures the full scope and scale of experiences on offer and is designed to be the best place to find everything happening in Toronto tonight, this weekend or a month from now. 

A celebration of breadth and diversity, from what's new and up-and-coming to the largest shows and events, Now Playing Toronto offers a centralized information portal for residents and visitors to engage with theatre, dance, opera, comedy, live music, festivals, special events, public art, fashion, films, museums, workshops, literature, history, science, cultural experiences, and more.

Toronto - An Artistic City

“Toronto is proud to be home to diverse cultural experiences and inspiring entertainment,” said Mayor John Tory. “Now Playing Toronto helps everyone, from parents with children to experienced culture enthusiasts, find something new to see and enjoy. I encourage everyone to get out, support the local arts community and discover something new.”

Prior to the pandemic in 2018, the Toronto Arts Foundation published a Public Arts Survey that revealed 85% of Torontonians think our city has a great arts scene, with 65% specifying it’s because the arts reflect the diversity of the city’s residents. 

  • Nearly 90% of respondents believe that the arts make Toronto a better place to live, with 71% specifying it’s because the arts engage people with new ideas. 
  • For most Torontonians the arts not only make Toronto a more inclusive place (83%), they also make it a destination spot for visitors (73%). 

Destination Toronto, the destination marketing organization for Toronto, in partnership with Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), developed Now Playing Toronto with guidance and stewardship from an Arts and Culture Advisory Council to assist cultural organizations and event producers in re-engaging and reaching new audiences. The events calendar launches at a critical time as the cultural sector re-emerges from COVID-19. 

Image courtesy of Now Playing Toronto

“The Toronto arts and culture community has been hit hard by measures to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Jacoba Knaapen, Executive Director, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. “As we look to rebuild, Now Playing Toronto will be crucial to Toronto’s cultural recovery. With the largest and most significant selection of arts and culture offerings in one place, the platform will be a hub for everyone and will help amplify the diverse experiences offered around our city.”

The most robust site for everything to do in Toronto 

Now Playing Toronto is the most diverse platform for cultural events covering all categories. From contemporary dance to classical ballet, stand-up comedy to blockbuster shows, poetry slams to food festivals and much more, the platform is designed to help arts and culture fans discover new experiences from across the wide range of creators throughout the entire city.   

“Arts, entertainment, and culture feed a city’s vibrancy reflecting the scope and scale of a destination and attracting talented artists, creators, visitors, and businesses,” said Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto. “As Torontonians renew their sense of adventure for experiences, we believe Now Playing Toronto will become the go-to calendar for things to do, feeding the vitality of the City and supporting the regrowth of the cultural sector.”

  • Now Playing Toronto lists dates, times, maps and direct links for purchasing tickets;
  • Everything is searchable by venue, date, categories and themes, keywords, location and more;
  • The category dropdown includes an ACCESS option to search for modified performances that provide expanded accessibility features;
  • Site users can select their choice of cultural experience and be routed directly to the organization for ticket sales.
Image courtesy of Now Playing Toronto

Editorial Content 

To help find the hottest tickets in Toronto, weekly editorial round-ups will feature curated events and performances. In addition to event listings, social editorial content will provide an in-depth look at what’s playing and feature interviews with artists and creators. 

Starting with the Now Playing Toronto Instagram, followers can learn more about some of Toronto’s most up-and-coming artists. 

Discount Tix

Through the partnership with TAPA, Now Playing Toronto will offer two discount ticket programs making the arts accessible to everyone. hipTIX, is a program that offers $5 student tickets (ID required), and provides free access to the arts for newcomers and at-risk youth via participating social services agencies.

NowPlayingToronto.com is powered by the Toronto Events Database (T.E.D.), using a technology that captures the most comprehensive and robust calendar of events, and extends information on things to do in Toronto to a wider audience through a network of event calendars. It provides a more streamlined process for event producers by reducing the time and effort to keep show and event details up to date, ensuring a higher level of accuracy of event information.

  • Now Playing Toronto is free and easy to use for all cultural organizations

All cultural organizations are encouraged to list their events on the platform for free. Now Playing Toronto’s role is to grow and develop new audiences for arts organizations and event producers regardless of size. 

Now Playing Toronto on Social:

  • Instagram: @NowPlayingToronto 
  • TikTok: @NowPlayingToronto 
  • Facebook: facebook.com/NowPlayingTO 
  • Twitter: @NowPlayingTO