Manifesto has primarily been focused on cultivating diversity in the local arts community and creating opportunities for young people since it was founded it 2007. The festival brings a series of discovery concerts designed to give a platform for up-and-coming local acts, culminating in a free main stage event, held at venues including Yonge-Dundas Square and City Hall, with big names like Chronixx, Charlotte Day Wilson, Majid Jordan, the Internet, A Tribe Called Red and Anderson .Paak.
The festival runs yearly in the heart of downtown Toronto and is a built from a combination of concerts, workshops, block parties, summits and pop-ups. Manifesto coins itself as “locally grounded, globally minded,” referring to the fact that the festival has branched out its community driven event to both New York and Jamaica. Many of their bigger concerts are free, outdoor events, and you can purchase a ticket to attend their summit at the end of the festival. There are some late-night ticketed club events throughout the festival as well.
In conjunction with Manifesto’s main goal of supporting the local arts and culture community, the festival also hosts a multi-disciplinary talent and training incubator in hopes to build careers for their many volunteers, employees and interns. While the festival occurs over the span of a week each summer in Toronto, Manifesto also hosts year round event programming.