The Madness and Arts World Festival was conceived by Workman Arts in association with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and held at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. The first festival was held in Toronto in March 2003. It was the world’s first arts festival devoted to celebrating creativity and mental health. The plan was to have different countries host the festival every two to three years. The Festival was held in Muenster, Germany in May 2006 and most recently in the Netherlands in the fall of 2010.
The three festivals combined have had 36,000 visitors to 17 venues to participate in 14 different forms of creative presentations. A total of 842 people from 29 countries have participated. Past participating countries include: Afghanistan, Albany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Togo, Ukraine, and the USA. Discussions are underway to hold the fourth Madness and Arts International Festival in a country TBD.