Big Draw Festival 2019 to make its mark on Toronto next month

The City of Toronto today announced that it will host the Big Draw Festival for the first time on September 28 and 29 across all of its 10 Toronto History Museums. This festival is the world’s largest celebration of drawing, with more than 400,000 people taking part in Big Draw events annually. 

This year’s theme, “Drawn to Life: creativity and well-being,” is all about health and well-being, more specifically a positive, accessible “can-do” attitude with the creativity essential to a fulfilling, healthy life. The City is a sponsor-partner of the Big Draw Festival 2019. Participants, along with artists, will have the opportunity to explore art as a life-enhancing tool at this free event.

Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse will host the Big Draw across Toronto, free of charge.

Visitors will be encouraged to bring their own art supplies or use art supplies provided on site. Outdoor painting and drawing stations will be available at each site, with a wide range of media, such as watercolours, oil pastels, charcoal, finger paints, crayons and pencil crayons.

Launched in 2000 in the United Kingdom, the Big Draw Festival has motivated more than four million people worldwide to get out and draw. The festival has garnered two world records – for the longest drawing in the world (one kilometre) and the greatest number of people drawing simultaneously (more than 7,000). The Big Draw promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. Toronto’s festival will be supported by the British Council, which is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The festival will also be supported by Pomerleau, a leader in construction.

The Big Draw Festival in Toronto will align with the Culture Days weekend, a national celebration of arts and culture that supports free public events across Canada every year. 

The social media hashtags are #TheBigDraw, #BDF19 and #DrawnToLife. Other social media information: Twitter handle is @TOHistoricSites and @SpecialEventsTO; Instagram handle is @tohistoricsites; and Facebook page is 

More information is available at and


“The City’s museums have a long history of inspiring artists. We’re excited that Toronto will now be part of the world’s largest community of drawing enthusiasts through the Big Draw, and I will be encouraging Torontonians to participate in the festival.”
– Mayor John Tory 

“By broadening perspectives and offering fresh, and often challenging, insights, art breaks down generational barriers and builds cross-cultural bridges. The Big Draw in September and Nuit Blanche Toronto in October are among the many ways we turn the spotlight on Toronto’s outstanding talent and its rich arts programming.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Councillor Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee 

“This year, the Big Draw is celebrating Drawn to Life, inviting event organizers across the globe to celebrate the incredible health benefits and healing powers of a more creative life. We are proud to be represented in over 26 countries, and this year we are thrilled to include Toronto in the ever-growing list of international cities taking part in the Big Draw Festival. We look forward to developing this new creative partnership with the wonderful City of Toronto.”
– Kate Mason, Director, The Big Draw, United Kingdom

“Culture Days promotes inclusivity, awareness, participation and engagement in arts and culture for all Canadians. We are excited that the Big Draw Festival in Toronto will join us this year and promote these important values.” 
– Ruth Burns, Executive Director, Ontario Culture Days

Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. The museums include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. 

More information about the museums is available at, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter at, on Instagram at and on Facebook at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

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