Art / Culture / Events

[ Picture This ] Expanding my Reality with Refinery29’s #29Rooms


It’s easy to dismiss Toronto’s newest pop up installation as your standard Instagram bait. However, once you step inside 29Rooms, you can easily see that it’s so much more than that. This installation is a wonderful blend of art, creativity and whimsy. It’s all about the experience, art and okay fine, also the insta factor.

This is the first Canadian stop for Refinery29’s Expand Your Reality Experience tour. It’s been touring around Chicago, New York and Atlanta, to name a few.

29 Rooms is in Toronto until October 5th at the Exhibition Place, and tickets are $34.50.

Here were my favourite experiences throughout the evening. Thanks for snapping photos with me, Neetu!


I was super excited to hear that Toronto based artist, Maria Qamar aka HATECOPY had an installation in 29Rooms. I’ve been a fan of her pop art style illustrations. Her installation is “inspired by Desi sisterhood and how powerful it can be. It’s a reflection of the women who I’ve seen, the women I love, and the women who I’ve been.” Here, guests can pick up a brush and get creative with paint by numbers.

 MAKE YOUR MARK: When is the last time you picked up a paintbrush or put pencil to paper to capture what you see in front of you? Art is not just a final product meant to be seen; the beauty is as much in the process as it is in the product. Here, creativity comes to life as you work live in the space; creating, improvising and unleashing. Enter this studio bravely, ready to express yourself and make your mark. Guests will be able to get hands on with two interactions within the space – a speed round circuit training of mini art class exercises, and a collaborative sculptural color by number, designed in collaboration with HATECOPY.


This room was so much fun! They only play R&B hits from the 2000s. You pick a song and sing while dancers start the dance party around you.

We’re throwing a dance party and everyone is invited. Behind these doors, you’ll encounter the soundtrack to your city and characters that will inspire you to make room, make moves and release. We just need your energy to kick things off, so get in there and start moving…This is your dance break!


This room was filled with eyes and sequins! It was so fun and shimmery. There are sequins capes to pose with.

Step inside this larger-than-life lash playground, where big, bold, uninhibited lashes go hand-in-hand with big, bold, uninhibited personalities. COVERGIRL invites you to uncensor yourself, and embrace your inner exhibitionist.


THE ART PARK In Collaboration with Yvette Mayorga, Dan Lam, NNEKKAA, hanski, Trap Bob: Refinery29 has invited five artists from around the country – one from each tour stop – to transform our geometric playground into a canvas for creativity. The Art Park explores new ways of showcasing art and creating space at 29Rooms through playful composition and discovery.

YOU ARE MAGIC In Collaboration with The Hoodwitch

Our spirit is the essence of who we are. Magic is everywhere and it is available to all of us. Explore this enchanted crystal cave where The Hoodwitch will guide guests to awaken the deepest part of themselves and tap into their own inner magic. Because now more than ever, the universe needs your beacon of light, so have no fear in shining bright.


I loved this! It was a strange experience to read a strangers palm, but a fun one.

It is believed we hold the secrets to our deepest selves right in the palm of our hands, we just have to learn how to unravel them. Taking a page from the ancient art of Palmistry, you’ll embark on a cosmic journey to unpack the mysteries of your fortune by surrendering control and putting your destiny in a stranger’s hands.

DEJA FOOD ELEVATING THE EVERYDAY In Partnership With Stella Artois

 On opening night, we experienced the Stella Artois Sensorium. The space reimagines the concept of the immersive dining experience to not only activate the five senses, but also to explore the less tangible 6th sense – the sensation of déjà vu.

My favourite part was the human powered vending machine. It served up raclette cheese bites and tasty creme brulee.

 Okay, now back to the art!


From the beginning of time, humans have gathered around fires and told stories to one another. Yet our increasingly technological world can sometimes keep us from truly connecting. In this room, guests are invited to step outside of their comfort zone, pull up a chair, and connect with a stranger. Try 29Rooms’ social experiment and tap into the joy of shared humanity.

A LONG LINE OF QUEENDOM In Collaboration with Unbothered

This room celebrated being black. It was really refreshing to see a room that was dedicated to women like me!

When Black assemblies are seen as threats, Black voices heard as noise, and Black culture something to be co-opted, here marks a space of tribute. Powerful and soft, queenly and human, an individual and a community; there are a spectrum of truths that make up Black women’s experience. Brought to life by Refinery29’s dedicated platform for Black millennial women, Unbothered, we invite you to “say her name” or take your place within a long legacy of Black excellence, beauty and achievement.

DREAM DOORWAYS In Collaboration with Kali Uchis:

Throughout history, the interpretation of dreams has been studied far and wide. Ancients believed that dreams were prophetic messages from the Gods. Some believe they are merely a doorway to our true thoughts and unconscious. In this surreal installation, guests are invited to fall down the rabbit hole to an alternate universe where nothing is what it seems.

FLIP IT FITNESS In Partnership With Reebok Canada: Get ready to Sport the Unexpected with Reebok Canada and venture into a world where breaking convention and shifting the everyday is the new normal. Flip It Fitness brings you a throwback step class with a twist. Here we celebrate the unapologetic risk-takers who make bold moves and shape culture, whether they’re heading to the gym or hitting the streets. We invite you to step inside and channel your inner game changer.

Those were only my favourite installations. There are so many more to discover! Grab your tickets while you still can at

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