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BIG on Bloor Festival: Arts x Culture Bloordale

July 21, Noon - Midnight Pedestrian Takeover Dufferin - Lansdowne
July 21 - 28 - Artsite x Bloordale - Various Location Based Projects

Opening minds and creating points for connectivity, creativity and exchange through arts, culture and community magic, BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts & Culture returns for an 11th year with a condensed day of programming from noon until midnight on Saturday July 21st, and Artsite x Bloordale, extended installation-based works at various locations between Dufferin and Lansdowne until July 28th. New this year, Artsite x Bloordale delivers a series of large scale projects as unique site-specific works curated by Festival Director Darren Leu. Look for installations by Camille Jodoin-Eng, Ness Lee, Janine Miedzik and celebrated Polaris Prize winning artist Lido Pimienta, along with murals by woodland style painter Brent Hardisty (Niiwin Binesi) and Lauren Pirie recently featured on CBC Arts. The festival within a festival model returns with curated projects: JOUEZ Participatory/Performance Art Projects, Card-Yard and How We Live In Cities’ presentation of ParkSite.

All Creative's "Mother Nature," JOUEZ Participatory/Performance Art Projects 2017. Photo credit: Krystle Merrow

JOUEZ Participatory/Performance Art Projects returns with 12 new original projects by local artists with practices reflecting the diversity of the community curated by Carla Garnet. Highlights include All Creative’s “Room to Grow” by experimental conceptual artist Kwasi Agyei and Rachel South, building on their 2017 Festival installation “Mother Nature.” This year child sized mannequins plotted in soil will be surrounded by vegetation to embody the cultural and ethnic diversity of Toronto. Kate Starchild and Addelle McCauley give women-identified business owners space in “Echo/Location,” an installation where festival-goers have the opportunity to learn more about the people behind the shop fronts, while reflecting on the disappearance of Holy Oak, a key space for the queer (LGBTIQ2S) community in February 2017 due to rent hikes. Nic Cooper establishes a Do-It-Yourself immersive therapeutic installation, “Pain-free,” directed to the care of repetitive strain injuries and chronic pain. Shantel Miller constructs a deeply personal and simultaneously socio-political piece in “A Prayer for Song Bird.” With “Dream Strong” Diana Yoo documents her visit to the site of April’s van attack at Yonge-Finch from her uniquely Korean-Canadian and artistic lens, re-emerging at the Festival wrapped in a dress of multi-coloured ribbons representing the intersectionality of communities impacted. Participants will be invited to share their dream by writing them on multi-coloured ribbons to begin to heal Toronto’s collective societal trauma. Festival goers can also look forward to installations by Addae Nurse, Jackson Abrams, Iain Downie, Natalie Wood and Nila Gupta, Leslie McCue, Lauren Cullen, presented by Xpace, and curator Claudia Aranab's artists, participating in JOUEZ through the City of Toronto’s "New Connections" program.

How We Live In Cities, an art and ecology organization, offers ParkSite, a hub all about parks curated by Dyan Marie. This year’s Festival events build on a season of local park activities where family-friendly, hands-on animations in neighbourhood parks celebrate these places as the dynamic centers of neighbourhoods. Parks lower our carbon footprint, improve health and mindset, and create a better experience of living in cities for people, plants, insects and animals, while providing diverse ways for community-building, expression and place-making. Ideas, activities and information about parks comes to BIG on Bloor with the acclaimed activities first featured in Dufferin Grove Park by CELOS, No Plastic In Parks by Stop Plastic, Spot Gardens garden-making and park-connecting by How We Live In Cities, ideas about the expansion and redesign of Wallace Emerson Park through ReImagine Galleria, and Park People, an organization with ideas on how to support parks. ParkSite also features an exchange with an 8-person artist team from Japan offering cross-cultural park Q/A and art-making, and more.

Card-Yard 2017. Photo credit: Krystle Merrow

Card-Yard, a free art, activity and performance hub presented by PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art and Design and curated by Rotem Yaniv returns for its 6th edition. This year PULP brings a new moveable sculpture made of reclaimed and cull lumber in addition to the successful installations from previous years – PULP: Make and PULP: Obstacle which create a playground out of plywood and reclaimed cardboard tubes. PULP's Ksenija Spasic will invite participants to make art out of reclaimed plastic bottles. Tijana Spasic and Anupa Khemadasa construct “Warm Up To Me,” a living room on the street playing conversations with residents from different neighborhoods. Cardyard stage will also be animated with flamenco by Lala and Alison MacDonald, poetry and prose by Emerging Writers Series, magic by The Great Baldini, and music by Ben Bootsma and Yola Beru.

BIG on Bloor Festival is free and open to everyone. The Festival would like to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors and funders: Bloor + Dufferin, Bloordale BIA, Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario, along with Fuller Laundau LLP, Nitta Gelatin, and also the BIG: Bloor Improvement Group, City of Toronto, Darren Christopher Projects, Mercer Union, New Horizons Tower, PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art & Design, SL Graphics & Printing Inc., Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), and Toronto Parking Authority. A special thank you to Media Partners: CHOQFM,, Indie88 and NOW Magazine.


Learn more:
Facebook | @bigonbloorfest | #bigonbloorfestival






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