Mission Statement and History

Posted in About Propeller

Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts
Artists empowering artists
Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts is a member-run gallery supporting innovative, sustainable programming, and providing community building, networking, and partnership opportunities. Propeller garners critical acclaim and engaged public interest by supporting the creative, curatorial, and commercial endeavours of artists.


HISTORY: 1996-2013

Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts is the last-remaining artist-run gallery in the district. For the past 17 years, it has thrived as an independently funded space: innovative and self-sustainable.

Founded in 1996 by a group of OCAD recent graduates, Propeller was conceived as a centre where artists could support one another as a community; providing emerging artists with opportunities to display their work and a venue to enter the local market.

In 2001, the gallery moved from its original installment at 96 Spadina to its current location at 984 Queen Street West.

Propeller is a membership/ artist cooperative functioning outside of grant systems and without private support.  The gallery’s operations are sustained through annual membership fees, fundraising, and gallery rentals.
The gallery’s programming is membership driven, often involving community collaborations. Such collaborations include: CAMH, Workman Arts, Zoomer Media, One Hour Empire Magazine and Twist Gallery.

A programming highlight is the Annual Curator’s Show- past curators have included: Rae Johnson, Stuart Reid, David Liss, Pam Patterson, David Rokeby, Olga Korper, Gary Michael Dault, Moses Znaimer, Christopher Hume, John Kissick, Thom Sokoloski and Michelle Jacques.

Propeller has hosted a diverse range of experimental programming including Vector Game Art Convergence; a festival dedicated to the creative exploration of video games as an artistic medium of expression. The centre also functions as a hub for experimental video and film, comedy and story-telling evenings, a space for local theatrical productions and offers opportunity for other collectives and cooperatives to show.

Propeller is excited to continue to expand its innovative programming, including an exhibition on the evolution of the city’s much-loved Kensington Market and an upcoming collaboration with the Ontario Science Centre in 2014.

As one of the earliest galleries to lay its roots in the burgeoning Gallery District, Propeller remains an integral part of the neighbourhood art scene almost two decades after its inception.  


Become part of one of Toronto's most dynamic artist collectives!

We are a well rounded cooperative comprised of artists
in every stage of their career and who work in a diverse range of media and approaches.
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Propeller's LOCATION

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