In 1979, a group of young artists got together with the intent of exhibiting work which was not being shown by commercial galleries and institutions. YYZ Artists’ Outlet distinguished itself through strong, innovative programming that sought to combine theory and practice and to encourage dialogue between a variety of communities and audiences. YYZ continues to nurture and support contemporary art practices in Toronto and to make a recognized contribution to the Canadian cultural scene.
YYZ supports three areas of programming—visual art, artists’ film and video and writing and publishing on Canadian art and culture. YYZ is committed to paying artists’ fees and providing equipment and support, particularly for our time-based arts programming. In 1992 YYZ produced YYZTV, a program of contemporary film and video for Rogers Cable. YYZ Books was founded in 1988; it is the only publishing house dedicated to Canadian artists and writers. We have since produced fifteen books and fourteen catalogs; including Decalog, a ten-year survey of exhibitions from 1980-1990. In 2001, we began producing the YYZine, a new publication that combines promotion, information, critical writing and artist projects mailed out six times per year to our membership of 600 individual and organizations around the world. Our move in 1997 to 401 Richmond Street West saw an exponential increase in attendance, and we built an exciting new facility thanks to a donation of contracting and architectural services. In 2002, we expanded the two galleries and created a new window exhibition space with a generous donation from Margie Zeidler and funds from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. These are just some of the many changes we have made recently, as we continue to improve our services.