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About Us

Founded in 1970, incorporated as a registered non-profit charitable organization in 1973, the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD) preserves, encourages, and advances the arts and culture of Canada’s Deaf population by featuring performing and visual arts, media arts and literature reflecting Deaf heritage. The CCSD also promotes new forms of creativity and better understanding between Deaf and hearing adults, youth, and children through the arts.

The DEAF CULTURE CENTRE, a project of CCSD, provides a forum to celebrate Deaf life through the arts. It opened in the Distillery District in Toronto in 2006, featuring a museum, art gallery, gift shop, archives and multimedia production. Open to the public and rooted in the Deaf community, it provides education, culture, visual and performing arts. The CENTRE hosts over 60,000 visitors and mentors over 90 students and interns annually and promotes Deaf artists of all ages through annual art exhibits. We have moved to 15 Mill Street in the Distillery Historic District to open the new Def-T Shop & Gallery, a social enterprise project. This is also where the CCSD headquarter is now located.

This is the only CENTRE of its kind. People from all over the world come to see it. Visitors learn about Deaf leaders and Deaf contributions to society throughout history, Deaf cultural values – including the importance of signed languages, culturally appropriate behaviours in the community, the values of the collective, and Deaf arts — known as Deaf View Image Art (De’VIA).

The CCSD firmly advocates the use and promotion of sign language.


Palgong Tea Partnership

We are pleased to announce our new partnership between the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE and Palgong Tea Company. This partnership will immerse visitors in a signing environment in the Distillery District of Toronto, a revitalized heritage site. Visitors/customers can enjoy the aromas and unique blends of Palgong Tea in our open tea shop-gallery environment. Whether popping in for a cup of tea “to go” or attending one of our inspiring and educational art exhibits, customers can taste and savour a sip of Deaf culture. This significant and strategic enterprise is indicative of the Deaf Culture Centre’s forward-thinking innovation and framework for social responsibility.

The DEAF CULTURE CENTRE pushes Deaf culture forward into the world in a new way where old assumptions are challenged. The Center is receptive and open to all cultures, but its primary function is to enrich and elevate the achievement of the Deaf community for everyone to understand and appreciate.

One of our core mandates is to feature a growing number of high quality Deaf visual and performing artists, exhibiting their work to significantly increased audiences. Our new and strengthened partnerships help build and solidify our place in the arts eco-system.


Art Gallery Exhibit

Come and visit our centre to see artwork by Deaf artists!

The Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf is seeking Deaf artist applicants for its NEW Deaf Artist-Run Collective (DARC) to showcase their professional artworks of all kinds. We are working to foster a network of artists, gallery exhibits and collections to represent the interests of Canadian Deaf artists, while providing the opportunity to advance their economic standing and enhance the public’s interest in Deaf artist-run cultural exhibits. Works of art for display or for sale will be showcased throughout the year, featuring four to six Deaf artists per year.


Sign Language Institute Canada

Sign Language Institute Canada (SLIC) trains ASL/LSQ instructors from across Canada with standardized teaching methods using sign language instruction, Educational resource materials, and networking connections with professionals, mentors and the Deaf Community. We are a growing organization and as an advisory team member, your participation is vital for the success of this program.

Our understanding of the complexity of sign language and the methods of teaching ASL have changed to provide a higher level of education, raise the literacy rates of Deaf people, and meet the needs of Deaf people requiring access to services by certified professionals.

The priority of the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf has always been to preserve Sign Language of the Deaf Community, increase literacy levels across Canada, improve accessibility to quality education and services, and celebrate Deaf Life.

SLIC Members are a network of mentors and leaders in Deaf Education and Sign Language.  As a SLIC Member, ASL instructors across the nation become familiar with standard teaching methods using sign language, have access to an extensive library of reference and resource materials, and become a large network of leaders and mentors.  SLIC Memberships fees support the development and enhancement of programming and training initiatives across Canada.


Deaf Arts Institute without Boundaries

The Deaf Arts Institute establishes pathways to fuel innovation in Deaf artists’ practice and performance, embracing new perspectives on public arts engagement and outreach.

Supporting current and next generation arts enterprises across Canada, such as the Deaf Artists Run Collectives (DARC), the Deaf Arts Institute aims to expand the reach of Deaf artists across Canada. Our goal is to provide arts training and workshops for Deaf artist enthusiasts. 


Community Outreach and Events

Community outreach programs and events are facilitated by the Community Development Director. The Director supports the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf by organizing and promoting projects and community development activities to inform and engage the Deaf and mainstream communities with regards to Deaf arts, sign language, culture and heritage.

Celebrating Deaf Life through the Arts and Sign Language