Goethe-Institut Toronto
How We Work

Principles of Co-operation Photo Goethe-Institut Toronto/Tobias Wang

The development of major projects depends, now more than ever, on people and institutions willing to support this kind of work. Additional resources from foundations and private sponsors help us to realize exceptional projects aimed at promoting international understanding and to assume responsibility.

You can support our work as a sponsor or supporter. If for example you would like to get involved in promoting the German language by supporting education or exchange projects, or if you want to deepen mutual cultural understanding through programmes in music, theatre and performing arts, please contact us. Together, we can reach many people and create a basis for lasting friendly relations.

The Cultural Programs of the Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut Toronto operates on a partnership basis. For individual projects, as for longer-term joint ventures, we connect with stakeholders in the cultural scene – institutions, organizations, companies, people in and from Canada, Germany, and other countries (in particular our European neighbours). Often a project involves several partners working together.

The Goethe-Institut organizes its programs proactively, on a long-term, sustainable basis. It is of special importance to us to jointly develop ideas and create the dialogue between the stakeholder from the outset. Events and projects achieve their best results when they are planned cooperatively, starting with the original idea and proceeding via engaged discussions on the different formats and types of events, on the selection of artists and speakers, to the financing, scheduling, and organization. Thus all parties benefit from shared work loads and implementing projects together. Consequently, we request that you contact us as early as possible (about one year in advance) if you are interested in working with us so that mutual interests, content development and internal processes can be taken into account. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make financial contributions to projects which have already been planned without our participation.

Topics that interest us:

We focus on topics in multi-year cycles, currently:

  • Shaping the Future: A Cultural Perspective
  • Shaping the Past: A Cultural Perspective
  • Civil Society
  • "Downtown"
  • German Film 
In general:
  • Current German cultural positions and scenes, contemporary ideas and artistic practices;
  • Germany, Canada, and Europe – art, culture, society, knowledge, cultural diversity, and perspectives of international exchange;
  • Cultural liaison between Germany and North America. 
Criteria that guide our work: 
  • The Goethe-Institut actively curates programs and is not a foundation or a funding body such as the Canada Council. Therefore, there is no formal application process for most of our projects.
  • The Goethe-Institut is an independent registered association. Our projects and programs are not-for-profit and serve the public good. We want to facilitate projects which would not take place without us.
  • Our target groups are Canadians. Consequently, our programs are generally in English. Exceptions are special events for students and teachers of German.
  • The Goethe-Institut is not a sponsor (on the contrary, we welcome sponsors!).
  • Every partner, including the Goethe-Institut, should retain its identity vis-à-vis audiences and the public and be able to communicate this identity visibly in an appropriate manner (from its logo to collaborative PR).
  • We are based in Toronto, but engage in selected strategic arts initiatives across Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, for example major multi-city touring opportunities.
  • In addition to focusing on topics, information, and cultural content, we are concentrating on creating sustainable relationships. We bring people together and contribute to the formation of international networks.
  • The Goethe-Institut likes to work within the framework of Germany-related series or clusters (for example, “The Future of Cities" & or "Culture talks @ Goethe”). In this framework, the visibility of German artists or contributions in the Canadian context is central.
  • We want to present the best and most exciting aspects of Germany's cultural life today. Our close co-operation with our cultural advisory councils in Germany, our Munich head office and with the other Goethe-Institutes in North America ensures that our programs are relevant and of a high quality.
  • We do not have an in-house concert or screening hall, but we are happy to use our library and classrooms for conferences, talks and presentations.
Would you like to work with us? Do you have a project or an idea which could bring us together? Please contact us with your suggestions.


The Goethe-Institut Toronto is privileged to collaborate with the following Canadian and German institutions, whom we thank for their continued support: