HES_JoshDesignHow to Join the Hand Eye Society

Whether you’re looking for like-minded game enthusiasts, fellow creators, or artistic collaborators, getting engaged where it starts. Our mandate of showcasing and nurturing games made primarily for creative expression has inspired many similar organizations internationally, and we’d love you to be a part of it!

There are several ways to get involved with the Hand Eye Society, including Paid Membership (Monthly, Annual and Student) and Volunteer Membership (10+ hours of service per year). We also recommend subscribing to our e-mail newsletter to keep on top of videogame arts news and opportunities around the city. Keep on reading for more details on how to support us and get involved!

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Become a Member

Membership dues are $7/month ($5 for Unwaged/Student), and this is what you get:

Studio Memberships are $200/year and include 3 individual memberships with the above perks, plus:

You can choose to pay dues month-by-month or annually. Paypal will automatically renew both subscriptions every month or year, depending on which option you choose. You can cancel any time through your Paypal settings. Annual payers of regular membership get a free limited edition American Apparel Hand Eye Society t-shirt with original art by Josh Holinaty as a thank-you bonus — that’s a $25 value!

We will be in touch with the email provided to complete the membership process; this may take a few days at most. The subscription can be cancelled at any time.

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Thanks so much for offering to help out! The Hand Eye Society relies on volunteer power, not only to get things done, but also because it has proven to be a great way to maintain the health and sustainability of the organization. In fact, many of our current staff members started out as volunteers! Whether it’s running a workshop, lending a projector, helping a dev watch their game booth or helping to move a massive arcade cabinet, we’re super appreciative of whatever you have to offer.

To register as a volunteer, please fill out the Volunteer Registration Form and we will reach out to you when the time comes. This allows us to keep records of who has expressed interest in helping out so we can notify people of specific opportunities, though we will occasionally do general call-outs via e-mail/blog.

If you’ve volunteered 10+ hours in the last year, you might be a HES  volunteer member!

If you’ve volunteered at least 10 hours or more with any videogame-related arts/culture activity in the previous year (even non-HES events), you automatically qualify for a year’s worth of HES membership. To get the process started, please e-mail volunteer@handeyesociety.com with the subject line: 10 HOURS VOLUNTEER and the following information in the body of the e-mail:

  • Your name
  • Mailing address (so we can mail you your membership card and stuff!)
  • A brief description of your videogame volunteer activities for the year

Feel free to ask any questions about this process!

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Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We post any news of interest to the Toronto games community 3-4 times a month, including a monthly digest of local events, game releases and media hits, as well as job/volunteer opportunities. It’s free, and it’s easy to unsubscribe for any reason. Disclaimer: Many of the events and organizations listed in the monthly digest and calendar are not affiliated with the Hand Eye Society and are tagged as such. They are simply compilations of local videogame arts events in an easy-to-read format. 


You can check out our previous mailings, and subscribe via RSS. To submit a tip about an event, opportunity, or any other local videogame arts and culture news in Toronto/GTA, please send it to calendar@handeyesociety.com and we will do our best to include it! We also have a handy Google Calendar you can subscribe to if you want to see everything that’s happening at the same time.

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What will my membership dues go towards?
The vast majority of our budget goes towards paying people to run programs (WordPlay, Game Curious, one-off events, etc). While no one is full time or salaried, coordinators are paid an hourly wage. We also think it’s important to be able to pay guest speakers, presenters, mentors and artists when they contribute to videogame culture, so the more money we have coming in, the more interesting and diverse content we’re able to put out. We have a long wish-list of initiatives we’d like to get off the ground, but the reality is that we sometimes have to wait for the right financial opportunities.

Don’t you get support from arts councils and other public funders?
Yes, we do, and we make a small amount of money go a long way! But public funding is always vulnerable to political changes, and there is a limit to the kinds of things the arts councils are able to fund. To continue the work we do, we need to be bringing in a mix of income streams to keep the organization viable. Having additional support from a variety of sources allows us to have a greater flexibility in the kinds of things we program and the number of people we’re able to pay. (Incidentally, all of our revenue and expense information is accessible to our membership.)

What’s the difference between being a paid member and a volunteer member?
Not much; the perks are basically the same, although Annual Members get a free t-shirt when they sign up. The only difference is the way people choose to help support the organization, either with time or money (or both). These two contributions are very valuable to the running of our daily operations, so huge shout out to our members!

Are there company memberships?
We want to focus on the individual memberships first, but we will be rolling these out. We do have some exciting plans for perks for game-making collectives and companies, however — why not get in touch and we can loop you in?

I have an idea for an event/workshop/sponsorship/partnership!
If it aligns with our mandate of exploring videogames in an arts + culture context, we’d love to hear more! Give us a shout at info@handeyesociety.com and we’ll discuss it further.

I have a videogame arts event I’d like you to add to your newsletter and/or calendar!
Excellent! E-mail calendar@handeyesociety.com or Tweet at our official Twitter handle @HandEyeSociety to put it on our radar. We send out these digests at the beginning of each month, so if you want your event to be seen by our mailing list subscribers, make sure to get it in to us prior to the month when your event will be happening. Check out our previous monthly roundups to see the kinds of local games happenings we post about.

I love the Toronto game scene and/or what you guys do but I don’t live in Toronto. Can I become a member?
You can! International pals welcome.Any other questions? Please email us!

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