This is a huge announcement for us. It is a dream I started working towards with my friend and mentor, Rebecca Finley-Schidlowsky in 2018. It began with writing down goals and a vision for what Squig could be one day and really opening up to ideas that were way beyond my 300 square foot studio space.
I could not have done any of this without all the support I have received from both the family and friends around me, but also the mentors I gained along the way.
I am so excited for this new chapter, and for Squig Space to be a place of community, creativity and belonging. I'm so happy you are along with us for the ride!
The Evolution of Squig
2017: Working as a Studio Manager at Artistic Space in London, UK
This was a time of introspection for me personally, and I filled it with working as a Studio Manager during the week and on the weekends I would run chocolate making workshops at The Chocolate Museum in Brixton, South London. Squig had not yet entered into the equation, and the absence of my own creative pursuits was nagging at the back of my mind.
2018: Squiggles to Squig
During this time I started hosting carving workshops at Blackhorse Workshops in North London. I loved the space and the people. A concept I soon learned was driven by an architecture firm called, Assemble, also based in London. Their projects were very community and maker based which I found inspiring.
I had started having discussions with Rebecca about how to create a future business plan and how I could create a social purpose business. The seeds of Squig had been planted!
2019: Studio Squig Ltd.
Rebecca and I worked on a business plan. We focused in on three areas that Squig could grow into: Squig Shop, Squig Space and Squig Supports. Squig Shop would sell not only Squig products, but work that we loved and aspired to. Squig Space would allow for us to have workshops and host gatherings. Squig Supports would be a way to impact the community we were in and support access and sustainability in the arts.
2020: Unprecedented Times (I hate me too for using that word)
I moved back to Toronto, where I grew up. It felt right to head back to my roots and I knew eventually it would be the right place to open Studio Space.
2021- 2022: The Search for A Perfect Space
A search began! It felt like a huge step that was terrifying albeit, in the right direction. I created maps of Toronto with areas that interesting things were happening and that creative spaces were thriving so that we could focus on spaces that would be the most accessible for Torontonians. It was a period of starts and stops, dreaming big and keeping the goals and visions front of mind.
Researching began on who would be a good match to work with us on the important work of creating a space for our goals and vision to flourish. Reaching out to BAIDA was a decision I have not regretted. It is how our partnership began with both Farida Abu-Bakare of WXY Studio and Tura Cousins Wilson and Shane Laptiste of SOCA Design. Our values have aligned in terms of inclusivity and the importance of community spaces for the arts.
2023 - Present: Building Blocks
77 Grange Ave is where we will call our future home! The physical building blocks for this community have been set into motion. At the very beginning of 2023, the contract was signed with Farida, Tura and Shane, and I couldn't be more excited to see this space evolve.
To keep up with what's happening follow along Squig Space on instagram or through the updates posted on our blog.