HAPPENING Multicultural Festival 

Call for Submissions 2019 



Artists, dreamers,  creators and communities:

HAPPENING is a Multicultural and Newcomer Arts celebration, a Festival created to promote inclusion , where the works for diverse, immigrants, newcomer and refugee communities take the centre stage and their contribution to the artistic fabric of Toronto is embraced and recognized.  During HAPPENING Multicultural Festival we are creating opportunities for profesional development for artists interested in working with communities as well as creating opportunities for organizations to network with artists and other organizations.

HAPPENING Multicultural is a four-day Festival that will engage more than 60 artists/performers who self-identified as people of diverse communities, immigrants, newcomers or refugees. Furthering traditional and contemporary music, dance, visual arts, story telling, poetry, crafts and food.

Sick Muse Art Projects a.k.a Muse Arts, seeks to engage community organizations, immigrant, newcomer and refugee artists and local residents to promote anWe are currently accepting submissions for our 3rd  edition, taking place May 29th-June 1st in Toronto, Canada.

Working with community partners, Muse Arts  creates spaces for Emerging Artists from equity seeking groups to showcase their work, to access opportunities for professional development and to engage communities meaningfully and actively in hands-on, high quality arts education integrated to issues of Social Justice. HAPPENING Festival is the result of Collaboration, Communication and Solidarity.

We are seeking proposals for new and experimental Visual Arts, Performance, Dance, Spoken Word , Poetry  projects that will be ready for presentation in May 2019.  We offer immigrant, newcomer and refugee artists a chance to share their finished work, proviing a platform to reach larger audiences and to establish new networks. Proposals are encouraged from both established and emerging artists who identify as immigrants, newcomers or refugees and who work in the areas of traditional and contemporary forms. Proposed works may have previous workshop presentation history.


  • Application Deadline: Friday  January 18-2019
  • Successful applicants notified by: Friday February 8-2019
  • Artwork delivered to Muse Arts  on or before Monday, May 27-2019
  • Artwork retrieved from Sick Muse Art Projects June 3–7, 2019

Event Date and Time: Opening Reception  Wednesday May 29 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm  Theme: Community and Identity


  • Application Deadline: Friday  January 18-2019
  • Successful applicants notified by: Friday February 8-2019

Event Date and Time: Thursday May 30 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm


  • Application Deadline: Friday  January 18-2019
  • Successful applicants notified by: Friday February 8-2019

Event Date and Time: Friday May 31 from 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Spoken word artists and poets are invited to share their stories with us. We are giving priority to poetry that explores this year’s HAPPENING theme: Community and Identity. 


  • Application Deadline: Friday  January 18-2019
  • Successful applicants notified by: Friday February 8-2019

Event Date and Time: Saturday June 1 from 7:00 pm to 11:59 pm

We are inviting musicians solo and/or groups to showcase their work at our closing event. We know of the importance of music among cultures and how music is the connector, the vehicle that carries stories generation to generation.  We want to hear the stories you share through your music and how they are used to express your sense of community and identity.


  • Application Deadline: Friday  January 18-2019
  •  Successful applicants notified by: Friday February 8-2019
    Event Date and Time: Saturday June 01- from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm

We see how important is to promote the love for the Arts and Literature among young audiences. We have devoted a full day at HAPPENING to celebrate the different arts forms in which kids are engaged, where they have opportunities to learn about their ancestors and feel pride for their  cultures. We are inviting dancers, performers and groups to present their work at HAPPENING.


  • Application Deadline: Friday  January 18-2019
  • Successful applicants notified by: Friday February 8-2019
  • Participation fee should be paid by: March 11-2019
    Event Date and Time: Thursday May 30 from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm

We are inviting Arts and non-Arts organizations working with immigrant, refugee and newcomer communities to be part of an organizational fair where you will have the opportunity to showcase your services,  interact and network with other  organizations and with immigrants, newcomer and refugee artists and communities.

We believe in the importance of fostering and building connections among artists and other community partners to promote art work and art education that engages communities in issues of Social Justice and Community Development. We want to see your organization there.

Participating organizations are asked to contribute $100 – $150

No Participation Fee:  In order to increase support, access and visibility to emerging artists from  equity seeking groups living in Canada as well as international artists, giving priority to newcomer and refugee artists, Muse Arts does not charge a participation fee to be a part of the HAPPENING Festival.


  • Selected applicants will be featured during the Festival.
  • Muse Arts supports participants with marketing materials and professional development opportunities while exposing them to the largest possible audiences, as well as industry professionals.
  • HAPPENING Festival provides a venue, technical staff, Festival publicity and marketing, technical and performance scheduling, front of house management and administrative support.
  • Participating artists or companies will receive an honorarium.



Sick Muse Art Projects also known as Muse Arts is a multi-faceted arts organization that brings together artists, facilitators and community arts projects. We support, develop and promote visual, contemporary art and literature of emerging or new-comer artists as well as artists from equality seeking groups. As well as the love for arts and literature among all children, the practice of arts in all its forms as a way to give voice to an individual’s experiences, dreams and hopes; supporting a person’s healing journey and as a pathway to seeking justice and a common well-being.  MuseArtsTO


Paola Gomez at info[at]sickmuseartprojects[dot]org   or

Maria Jose Bancalari at maria[at]musearts[dot]ca


Happening : A Multicultural Evening in Support of Community Arts , was our first HAPPENING was in 2017,  we decided to do it again and  we noticed how  much we have grown, and the need to take this opportunity to share space and the platform with many other amazing works HAPPENING in the City.  We are a Multicultural space that celebrates Diversity and is very intentional about Inclusion.

We did it again! HAPPENING 2018 was a total success. We have more wonderful artists , many of whom are refugees and newcomers to Canada. We are very proud of opening space for the talents that are arriving , to engage them with the talents that are here or have been here longer  and to showcase the amazing work that is HAPPENING in our communities. We are aware of our responsibility in promoting reconciliation , acknowledging that the land we live in , is the traditional territory of many indigenous communities  living here since immemorial times.

We are grateful for all the support you all give us every single day. You all make us realize what Radical Generosity truly is , and how we all can live and coexist in a space and be the best of and to each other.  Our gratitude to vendors and sponsors for your unconditional support.

We are getting ready for HAPPENING 2019 a 3-day Festival full of Art, Community and Diversity.



Happening 2018


Julian Marz HAPPENING 2018


#Happening 2018




Happening 2018


Gallery at HAPPENING 2018. OUR WORLD OF A THOUSAND COLOURS. We presented the work of participants.




Jieun June Kim (b. 1986, Seoul, Korea) based inToronto. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in the U.S., Korea and Canada.  As a newcomer artist to Canada, Kim finds herself in a transitional phase that can be best describe as “home away from home.” In her body of work, the past and present worlds coexist peacefully and combine with one other to create new unexplored territories.



I. M. BROWN is a Nonbinary Genderfluid Transgender latinx songwriter, lead singer of the experimental post-rock band I. M. Brown & The Transcendents. Writer, spoken word artist, storyteller, fierce advocate for trans visibility and inclusion, Carolina’s stories are raw, at times uncomfortable, but nevertheless always human, always beautiful.



Alberto Cruz visual artist/graphic designer from Mexico; His work involves various artistic disciplines such as painting, graphic design, murals and scenic arts.



Janet Romero-Leiva is a queer feminist latinx visual artist and writer whose work explores immigrant displacement, denied aboriginality, and the experience of living between the south and the north, between spanish and english, between memory and truth



Jackleen Salam is a writer, poet and journalist who emigrated from Syria to Canada in 1997. She has published five collections of poetry in Arabic and written numerous articles in Arab newspapers and magazines in the Middle East including As-Safir, Al-Mustaqbal, and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.



Julian Marz is an energetic mexican singer/songwriter based in Toronto, Canada. His career is growing with every project he gets underway. His powerful voice and charisma will make you have a good experience every time you decide to join him at any of his performances. Highly recommended



Sumedha Mongia  is an Indian dancer based in Toronto. She has learnt Indian Classical Dance (Odissi) from Guru Madhavi Mudgal and Somali Bose. She has also enjoyed learning and performing different dance styles including semi classical, folk, Indian contemporary, creative, bollywood etc. She has worked with community kids, youth and women for almost 20 years. Sumedha has always been passionate about building communities through dance



Gesilayefa Azorbo is a Toronto-based writer, photographer, filmmaker, and emerging programmer. She was born in Nigeria, grew up in Kenya. Her work explores themes related to music, creativity and identity.



Paloma E Villegas is a researcher, artist, and teacher who works at the intersection between migration, borders, citizenship, race and gender.