Making arts and culture accessible to Toronto’s students

The Bata Shoe Museum’s Step Ahead program subsidizes curriculum-based museum education programs for at-risk children. Backed by BMO Financial Group, the Oakville Community Foundation and the Toronto Foundation, Step Ahead is intended to be a long-term project committed to removing financial barriers for school children in at-risk communities.

For information about bringing your school as part of the BSM’s Step Ahead program or to find out how you can support the BSM’s education programs, please contact our Education Department at or 416-979-7799 x 242.

To make a donation to our Step Ahead Program please use the PayPal button below.

During their visit to the BSM elementary students can take part in an interactive curriculum-based program in our exhibitions and with our hands-on collection. In addition, students will paint a Dutch clog to take home.  Teachers will receive suggestions for pre- and post-visit activities to enrich the class visit. Curriculum links by grade, and booking information, are available below.

Each school year the Step Ahead fund subsidizes 850 students, or approximately 35 class visits to the Bata Shoe Museum. It has been a long-term goal of the Education Service of the Bata Shoe Museum to be able to reach students prevented from enjoying our unique collection due to financial barriers. We are delighted to have the resources to strengthen our ability to provide access for so many children from at-risk neighbourhoods.

Program Sponsors:

BMO Financial Group

Great West Life, London Life, Canada Life

The Williams Wilson Sherport Family Foundation 


The Bata Shoe Museum (BSM) and Toronto Foundation for Student Success(TFSS), the registered independent charitable foundation of the Toronto District School Board, are pleased to announce the launch of Step Ahead After School which expands the BSM’s existing Step Ahead program to partner with the TFSS’s unique initiative beyond 3:30. The beyond 3:30 program provides free programming focused on healthy living and learning opportunities in the arts for middle school students between the hours of 3:30 and 6:00 p.m.

Middle school students from 18 beyond 3:30 programs will attend Step Ahead After School at the BSM during the 2015-16 school year for a rich arts-based program. This offers students a unique opportunity to engage in imaginative thought and action, and to further develop visual literacy skills. The Step Ahead After School program includes a gallery visit, a hands-on artefact session and a paint-a-clog workshop (students will take their clog home with them). The program is guided by the four central ideas used in the Ontario visual arts curriculum: developing creativity, communicating, understanding culture, and making connections.

Presented in community partnership with:

The Toronto Foundation for Student Success


Program Sponsors:

The Larry and Gerry Wilson Fund
(Through the Oakville Community Foundation)

The Vandewater Charitable Fund (Through the Toronto Foundation)
Anonymous (Through the Toronto Foundation)


Great West Life, London Life, Canada Life