Sharleene Osbourne +

Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly ADBCC)

A Conversation on the Importance of Community + Connection


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We are finding ways to connect more holistically with the communities in which we operate, and our recent work with Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly ADBCC) demonstrates how building strong relationships and new bridges supports community hubs, builds awareness, and creates opportunity.  

Below, learn from Sharleene Osbourne how she connected with Blackhurst Cultural Centre and got Teknion involved with their initiative:

What is Blackhurst Cultural Centre?
Originally a bookstore, Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly ADBCC), located in the heart of downtown Toronto, has grown and evolved into a non-profit hub and destination that shares and gives voice to the rich culture and history of Canadians of African and Caribbean ancestry. The not‑for-profit Cultural Centre engages the public through a range of programming in literature, music, drama, dance, culinary and visual arts.

How did you and Teknion get involved in the project?
I met Judah Mulalu, and Nazlie Salehi the project architects at a local panel discussion on the perils and promise of community development and revitalization. We struck up a conversation on the intent of Blackhurst and their aspirations for what it can become. As part of the City of Toronto’s community redevelopment plan for the block on which the Centre was located, an opportunity had arisen to expand the Cultural Centre to support programming like rehearsal spaces, performance areas, art galleries, meeting and event rooms and a tech hub. I thought it would be a great idea for Teknion to participate in this initiative. I began with seeing if we can get some furniture donated. However, once we saw the plans put together by the team at Ten‑2‑Four Architecture, we (Teknion) were all in agreement that we wanted to do more. To go beyond just furniture and collaborate with Blackhurst Cultural Centre in a more meaningful way.





From left to right: Sharleene Osbourne, Sales Co-ordinator, Teknion; Judah Mulalu, Principal, Ten-2-Four Architecture; Nazli Salehi, Principal, Ten-2-Four Architecture



Why is it important to support this initiative?
There’s not a lot of people who look like me in the A+D community, so it was important for me to get involved – to connect my industry with my community. That means building awareness within my community and promoting architecture and design as a viable career path. Getting Teknion involved on an ongoing basis will help ensure we stay connected to the diversity and promise of our city and our industry – two things I’m super excited about.



Sharleene Osbourne

Sales Co-ordinator


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