The BSM is proud to contribute to the community by organizing events and partnering with charitable or not-for-profit programs and organizations. Here are some of our ongoing activities.

Collection of Bata Shoe Museum. Copyright © 2016 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada
Kid high heels, Italian, 1660-1700, Collection of Bata Shoe Museum. Copyright © 2016 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

The Bata Shoe Museum is pleased to be the venue host on Saturday October 22, 2016 for the third annual Fashion Symposium, an annual nationwide gathering of Canadian fashion scholars. Experts from academia and industry, along with collectors and fans, who will come together to present and discuss their research in various fields of fashion—including history, material culture, gender, technology, eco fashion, and urban culture.

The symposium is designed to bring together scholars who focus on fashion-related topics in universities and museums, and for professionals in the creative industries in Canada. The symposium will encourage and facilitate discussions and collaborations on fashion-related projects.

The structure of the symposium is purposefully different from a formal conference to allow more time for discussion and networking. Instead of a formal (paper or slideshow) presentation, participants will be asked to introduce themselves and present their fashion-related work in 10 minutes max.

For more information, please see the call for presentations:!toronto-symposium-1/pp5tk


Organized by Dr. Katrina Sark, co-founder of the Urban Chic book series and author of Montréal Chic: A Locational History of Montreal Fashion (2016) and hosted at the Bata Shoe Museum.

storybootThe Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada has entered a unique partnership that combines education and cultural tourism with its long-standing commitment to document, conserve, collect, exhibit and promote indigenous footwear of North America. Working with Manitobah Mukluks and TreadRight Foundation, the museum will host a semi-permanent ‘Storyboot School’ that teaches the heritage art of mukluk-making to local indigenous students, while also introducing the art and culture to visitors. The project will also permit Storyboot artisans from across Canada to display and sell their mukluks at the museum.

Storyboot School originated with Manitobah Mukluks, a Winnipeg-based, Aboriginal-owned retailer of handcrafted mukluks and moccasins. Its goal is to keep the art of mukluk and moccasin-making alive and accessible, and to inspire the next generation of Indigenous crafters and artists. Aboriginal students will have the opportunity to see mukluks from the Bata Shoe Museum collection and interpret traditional designs in their own contemporary ways.

TreadRight Foundation, created and supported by The Travel Corporation looks to foster authentic cross-cultural exchange by supporting artisan enterprises that engage in the creation of handmade and culturally significant products through its TreadRight Heritage Initiative. Their travel groups will learn about mukluk-making from the Storyboot school teacher and engage with the students. Visitors to the Bata Shoe Museum will have the same opportunity.

In the words of Tara Barnes of Manitobah Mukluks, “To do ethical travel in Canada you have to walk alongside its indigenous people. This is a way for visitors to make contact with a real life practitioner of a living art rather than just reading about it on a museum wall.” The Bata Shoe Museum is enthusiastic to include these new students and visitors in its programming.


The Bata Shoe Museum ‘s Step Ahead initiative subsidizes education programs for at-risk children. Step Ahead is intended to be a long-term project committed to removing financial barriers for school children in at-risk communities. Click here for all the information on this exciting program!

Sponsors of Step Ahead

The Williams-Wilson Sherport Foundation

BMO Financial Group


Sponsors of Step Ahead After School with Beyond 3:30

Larry and Gerry Wilson Family Fund
Through the Oakville Community Foundation

OakvilleVandewater Family Fund at the Toronto Foundation
Anonymous donor
Through the Toronto Foundation


Presented in partnership with:


The Bata Shoe Museum is pleased to announce its Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) Thursday evening program is now brought to you by Bruce Etherington and Associates. The PWYC program, which is open to all visitors to the Museum every Thursday between 5 pm – 8 pm, offers visitors the opportunity to experience one of Toronto’s most unique attractions with a donation amount of their choice.

Program Sponsor:


Our annual fundraiser launches every November 13, World Kindness Day.


Spread the gift of warmth in our community—from the bottom of our hearts to the bottom of our feet. Socks are one of the first items people request when asking for assistance, and they are a staple of health care for the homeless because they keep feet warm and dry. Remember how good it feels to put on clean new socks? Help give that same joy to people in need. Give a small comfort that carries a big impact.

This year’s Warm the Sole Sock Drive was a great success. Thanks to all who donated we presented the Scott Mission with over 3000 pairs of socks. If you missed your chance to participate this year, make sure you check back next year!  Click here for more information on this annual fundraiser.


PrintThe Relax, Recharge & Renew program provides parents of children with special needs a much-deserved break. Tourism Toronto, with the assistance of members and partners, provides weekend packages for parents that include a limousine pick up, a two-night hotel stay, tickets to shows and museums and other attractions, and meals at local restaurants. Two families benefit from these weekend getaways every single week. Each weekend, two families will leave their child in a high-quality, provincially funded respite care setting and then return home where a limousine will pick them up for a three-day package that includes a two-night hotel stay, including breakfasts, tickets to a marquee theatre or sporting event, passes to major attractions, dinners at top restaurants, pick-up and return by limousine, TTC passes to get around the city throughout the weekend, an overnight bag and a gift for the child in care.

Vibe_Arts_logo_RGB_for_white_BKDsThe BSM is excited to be a community partner for the Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) artist-in-residence program. AFCY’s mandate is to engage young people living in priority neighbourhoods in high quality and accessible arts educational programs that are meaningful, relevant and collaboratively developed with community and education partners. AFCY positions arts programs in schools and neighbourhood venues as a means of building community, and empowering marginalized children and youth to reach their full potential as artists and social contributors. The BSM is excited to be a community partner for Arts for Children and Youth artist-in-residence program.

shoestoryThe Bata Shoe Museum is proud to be the venue sponsor for The Shoe Project.  This unique imitative grew from the efforts of three women: Novelist Katherine Govier, who wanted to help immigrant women polish their writing skills in English, BSM Senior Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack, who was interested in presenting immigration stories at the Bata Shoe Museum, and a private sponsor, who wanted to help women newcomers to Canada.

The Shoe Project has evolved into an ongoing writing workshop for women who are new to Canada,  directed by Katherine Govier. It is now in its fourth year. Members meet for eight weeks in spring and fall here at the BSM, where they exchange stories of arrival, and write about the role shoes play in old and new lives. Click here to read the stories of The Shoe Project.