Building on our existing relationship with Toronto International Film Festival, in 2011 HES entered into a partnership with them for TIFF.Nexus, a year long OMDC-funded project that had the HES leading four different creative initiatives: The Difference Engine Initiative (12 female artists mentored through the process of creating their 1st indie game), The Peripherals Initiative (connecting hardware hackers with gamemakers, with results showcasing at Digifest), Comics vs Games (collaborations between cartoonists and gamemakers presented at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival), and The Youth New Media Initiative (non-screen game design for kids, presented at Sprockets).
In 2012 we were invited to showcase the Torontrons at a Toronto Symphony Orchestra event at Roy Thompson Hall, and curated music games at Toronto Long Winter, an art-music series that had over a thousand attendees. We also continued the Comics vs Games initiative with another TCAF partnership.
2013 saw the inaugural WordPlay Festival partnership with the Toronto Public Library as well as a successful first run of a game literacy program called Game Curious. This program, intended for people who feel marginalized and not part of the existing games community, will be continued through til 2016 thanks to Trillium funding.
For our fifth birthday party in 2014 we partnered with Wild Rumpus and the Art Gallery of Ontario to do an unprecedented game exhibition that attracted more than 600 people.