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The Bata Shoe Museum Foundation: For Every Shoe There’s a Story

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Bata Shoe Museum’s Story began in May of 1995, when it opened the doors of its award-winning building designed by renowned Canadian architect, Raymond Moriyama. The Mission of the Museum is to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the role of footwear in the social and cultural life of humanity. As a public and charitable institution it acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits material evidence related to the history of footwear and shoemaking for the purposes of study, education, and enjoyment. 

Today – 20 years later – the Museum boasts a world-class collection of more than 13,000 artefacts comprised of important holdings in Circumpolar, 18th century European, Indigenous North American, and Asian footwear spanning 4,500 years of history. These artefacts offer a point of entry into the cultures of the world, fostering cross-cultural understanding and at the same time, opportunities for community engagement. 

The Museum is proud of its charitable and community outreach programs such as: Step Ahead, Pay- What–You-Can and our annual, Warm the Sole Sock Drive. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, all of our programs are designed to ensure public access to the arts through the removal of financial barriers. 

Since 2009, the Bata Shoe Museum’s Step Ahead Program has subsidized educational outreach to children from Toronto’s at-risk neighbourhoods. A new community partnership initiative, Step Ahead After School with beyond 3:30, was launched in the 2014-2015 school year, with the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, and The Toronto Foundation. 

The Museum’s weekly Pay-What-You-Can program invites individuals and families to experience one of the world’s most unique collections. 

Socks are one of the first items people request when asking for assistance in the care of the homeless. Each year, in celebration of National Philanthropy Day, the Bata Shoe Museum hosts the Warm the Sole Sock Drive. Socks collected are donated to shelter-based charities. 

To learn more about the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation, please visit their website

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