Noisey News

The Weeknd and XO Creative Director La Mar Taylor Launch Toronto Art Space

Hxouse, founded with marketer Ahmed Ismail, promises to be an incubator and resource hub for homegrown talent.

by Phil Witmer
May 24 2018, 8:05pm

Photo by the 1point8

The Weeknd has a history of giving back to his hometown of Toronto, and the latest venture he's involved in is no different. La Mar Taylor, creative director for the Weeknd and his XO collective/label, is starting a creative space for artists in Toronto. According to an article in the Globe and Mail breaking the news, the space is co-founded by Taylor and sports/entertainment marketer (and fellow Scarborough native) Ahmed Ismail, and is called Hxouse because everything is XO in Toronto.

The piece talks about how Hxouse promises to "bring in artists from many disciplines, including fashion, music, and visual media, for mentorship programs, brand partnerships as well as collaboration opportunities with the minds behind XO." Ismail notes that the concept is to fill a niche similar to those of Silicon Valley incubators, "In the tech world, you have tech incubators, but there’s no hub for creatives." The launch of Hxouse comes at a time when Toronto is losing its DIY spaces to legislation and a booming condo market, which Taylor alludes to when he says that "There’s no creative industry in Toronto. If you have a talent and want to make it big, you have to go elsewhere to get it."

The piece refers to The Weeknd as a "silent partner" in Hxouse compared to Taylor and Ismail's more public-facing roles. Hxouse reportedly opens as part of Artscape Daniels Launchpad in the fall. Read more about it here and you can donate to Hxouse's Up the Ante Fund at Toronto Foundation if you want to here.

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