Enhance togetherness within the communities we engage.
We initiate, welcome, enable, facilitate and produce creative experiences with, for and by the people of the Esplanade and beyond to create shared memories.
We are intentional with invitations and programming.
We care for our relations with empathy.
We make space for imagination, creativity and magic in our lives.
We encourage collaborative agency with, by, and for the people engaged in our ecosystem.
We respond with agility and enthusiasm.
Jamii (Swahili for “community”) is an arts organization with the intent of building community and nurturing young women in leadership.
By creating shared memorable arts-based experiences, Jamii is on a mission to bring Esplanadians closer together to form greater social cohesion and bonded community. Since 2011, Jamii has produced over 250+ events, engaged more than 1500 people in creative processes, worked with over 300 artists, and reached 30,000+ audience members and 40,000+ exhibit viewers. Jamii receives the support of Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.
In 2014, Jamii produced the Crombie Park Basketball Court Mural – now a Toronto landmark and one of the most photographed court in Canada. In 2019, Jamii’s docu-film “At Heart, Citizens of The Esplanade” was presented the Public History Award by Toronto Heritage. In 2020, Jamii launched the Kisanii Hub, a mobile theatre that offered countless creative adventures to the community. In 2020, Jamii also launched LAINI, an initiative to encourage young women to affirm their capabilities to become tomorrow’s creative leaders. In 2023, Jamii opened The Jamii Hub, a space for the community to gather and create together.
Even though Jamii is based in The Esplanade community, downtown Toronto, the organization is connected to the world: Throughout the past ten years, we have offered international experiences to youths - Cambodia (2011), China (2015) and South Africa (2017). Since 2018, our projects connect communities throughout the Province of Ontario, Canada, especially with “The Stories The Wind Carries”. In 2020, Jamii initiated projects with artists and socially minded individuals and organizations in Kenya, expanding its connections to the African community.
Jamii is the proud recipient of the 2020 Community Arts Award, awarded by the Toronto Arts Foundation.
Jamii has a charitable status and was founded in 2011 by Isorine Marc.