Brockton Collective is housed in a nondescript industrial building on Dufferin just north of Queen. With tenants ranging from a reclaimed lumber shop to a chic hair salon to a kombucha company , perhaps no other complex so clearly represents the changing landscape of the area as this unobtrusive little corner of Dufferin Street.
One of the building's most recent tenants is the Brockton Collective, a multipurpose event, studio, and exhibition space that has garnered attention recently for its eclectic events and late night parties. Last year's Oui Paris party, most memorably, was a raucous tribute to Parisian nightlife featuring everything from Serge Gainsbourg to M83, as well as the "world's first Instagram music visualizer." But while it remains a safe bet for a great night out, what truly sets Brockton apart is its commitment to providing a professional (and most importantly, affordable) avenue for the city's burgeoning artists and artistic organizations to receive some much needed exposure.
Founded in 2011 by photographer Gregory Peralta and web developer Bruno Sousa, Brockton's mandate is to "facilitate artistic/creative endeavours through production, exhibition and education." This is accomplished via their open membership policy, on which grants almost any creative type the chance to join the collective and submit their work for inclusion in the collective's frequent group shows. Now with over 100 members, artists at Brockton run the gamut from emerging, mid-career and established visual artists, photographers, designers, and curators. Joining fees are free (yes, actually), and applications are always being considered.
As well as access to a community of like-minded artists, the most attractive selling point of Brockton membership lies in the space itself, the meticulous renovations of which were detailed on the collective's website. Brockton's gallery area is accessed through a narrow foyer, which acts as a window display for the work while still protecting the back room from street noise and light. The main gallery is substantial and spacious, and takes up the majority of the unit's 2178 square feet. And yet the major drawing point is definitely Peralta and Sousa's 29×17 foot, blindingly white cyclorama, which makes for a fantastic backdrop for photo and video shoots.
As with membership, rates for the renting the space are kept reasonable: an 8-hour shoot will set you back $400, while a full week's use costs $2000. Its unique design and killer price point have allowed Brockton to host video shoots from local acts like Azari & III and Platinum Blonde, as well as provide the backdrop for a recent Spin Magazine cover shoot featuring Fucked Up's Damian Abraham.
And when not housing electronic dance outfits or 80's new waves, Brockton also often promotes philanthropic creative endeavors. Recent fundraising exhibitions have included pieces from Photographers without Borders and SET SAIL, a voluntary, nonprofit company assisting aspiring music performers, producers and sound technicians.
So whether you're looking for visual art or audio experiences, the Brockton Collective is certainly a fantastic addition to the area. And hey, don't forget to drop off some timber and get your hair cut on the way in.
Photos by Christian Bobak