Toronto Games Week

Toronto Games Week: A Celebration of Playable Arts and Culture

Toronto is getting a new week of events to celebrate the creative Canadian talent present in gaming.

The inaugural Toronto Games Week packs 14 events – half free and three outdoors – into a single week [June 1-7].

Post-pandemic, Canada has lacked events to share the excitement with fellow gamers and creators, so seeing a week’s worth on a schedule is great. Whether it’s an outdoor, after-dark arcade at Trinity Bellwoods Park, a lecture on preserving gaming history at the Toronto Public Library Fort York branch, or an art and gaming meeting in OCAD’s NextGen Showcase, it’s incredible to see so many opportunities to go IRL.

Some have said that too many of these kinds of events take place in Toronto. Still, Toronto and other GTHA communities have become international-recognized for their contributions to gaming, especially in the indie space.

Speaking of communities, the week’s goal is to make these events spaces where many people can come together to share and learn from each other. All attendees can – and should be able to – participate and thrive regardless of their experience, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, personal appearance, race, ethnicity, body size, age, nationality, or religion. So, please read the Toronto Games Week Code of Conduct beforehand.

The week is truly a Canadian community effort, with organizers and participants coming from Toronto Game JamInteractive OntarioBuffer FestivalVector FestivalDMGDirty RectanglesHand Eye SocietyCONTINUE, and Funland Magazine. Representatives of the Ontario Arts Council, OCAD, TIFF, and the City of Toronto IDM Office gave additional input.

“Just as the city of Toronto is a diverse, rich ecosystem, the games scene in the city reflects this wealth of perspectives,” says Marie LeBlanc Flanagan of Game Arts International Network (GAIN) – one of the primary facilitators of the event. “Toronto Games Week brings together a wide variety of local communities to independently organize events that showcase our diversity and unique perspectives on games.”