The MUST Go To Festivals in Toronto: Manifesto and your involvement

Tuwauna Hibbert is a first-year public relations student at Humber College.


What’s the similarity between Drake, Tory Lanez and Boi-1da? They are Toronto’s hip-hop icons for this generation, meaning that they are putting our city on the map when it comes to the hip-hop scene.

A quick look into history…

The Canadian hip-hop scene was first established in the 1980s. After a variety of trials and tribulations, hip-hop artists finally caught they’re footing and ran with it. One of the early supporters was CKLN-FM that had a special segment called The Fantastic Voyage, in 1983. A few years later, MuchMusic jumped on board and started playing music videos but those artist still couldn’t get in to any music stores until acts like Maestro Fresh-Wes and Dream Warriors broke though the mainstream wall in the 1990s. Now I can go on and on about the history but that would be drawing away from the main festival that I want to talk about.



Let’s fast forward to 2007: the year the Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture was born.

Manifesto is one of Canada’s major celebrations of hip-hop culture and beyond. It’s been said that it’s a “multi-disciplinary, world-class festival with a positive social and economic impact.” They’re not only a festival; they are a non-profit, youth-ran program that continues to bring local artists across the 6ix together to celebrate the growth of hip-hop in our city.

The festival is in the heart of downtown and it’s usually a week long event that is nestled in September (it’s always the week of my birthday so I always have something to do!). It offers free events to choose from whether you like dancing, music or art, it’s all there for the taking.

 Here’s a closer look at what Manifesto really is:


Now your wondering how can I get involved with this event? I’ve got the answer. Each year, Manifesto accepts over 800 volunteers for the weeklong festival. The process of being a volunteer starts by simply going on their website, filling out the application and sending it (you usually get notified as soon as possible). Then BOOM, you’ve got the volunteer position.

The volunteers are placed in one of the many sections that exist. There’s the art exhibition; which is the opening debut of the whole program where Canadian and international guest artists come to showcase their paintings, photography, illustrations and much more. Then there’s the dance showcase; an event celebrating the art form of street dance. The summit, is a collection of young artists, innovative entrepreneurs and industry experts who come as one and do workshops, discussions and network. Lastly, it’s the massive concert (where most volunteers will be placed),  that takes over Yonge-Dundas Square and features an artist market, live painting, street-to-stage dance battle, select food vendors and so much more.




There are also plenty of events to be part of as well, like the DJ competition, live graffiti, dance battles and an indoor concert with big names preforming. Keep in mind that these are all-day events, but they will be well worth the time spent helping out.

I will leave you with this though… this year is the 10th anniversary and they are going strong. I wonder what they have in store this year…don’t you want to know?






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