BIG on Bloor Festival: Arts x Culture Bloordale

July 20, Noon-Midnight Pedestrian Takeover Dufferin – Lansdowne
July 20 – 27 – Artsite x Bloordale – Various Location-Based Projects

Celebrating community magic, creativity, and diversity through arts and culture, this year’s concept is “All Colours as Equal,” designed by Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Jacquie Comrie in “homage to our diverse human spectrum.”

BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts & Culture elevates Bloordale for a 12th year with a full day of free, inclusive, and interactive programming from noon until midnight on Saturday, July 20th, and the 2nd annual Artsite x Bloordale extending until July 27th. These installation-based works at various locations between Dufferin and Lansdowne curated by Festival Director Darren Leu include: A mural by Jacquie Comrie at Daily Grind, a sculptural installation by Christina Mazzulla & Shanna Van Maurik, and live painting by Mony Zakhour, Billy Franklin, Jordan McKie, Andre Kan, and KIZMET, as well as in-house happenings. JOUEZ Participatory/Performance Art Projects and Card-Yard return, and a new collaboration with InterAccess constructs inflatable forms – “PUFF!”


JOUEZ 2018, Dream Strong by Diana Yoo. Photo credit: One Day Creates

JOUEZ is a sequence of outstanding original, interactive, arts and culture programs, created by local artists, whose practices reflect the diversity of the downtown neighborhood. A vehicle to make a shared community experience that everyone attending can enjoy and become involved in, JOUEZ is about creating street culture together, connecting people with place, enabling a communal narrative to unfold.

Curated by Carla Garnet, JOUEZ 2019 sees selected participatory artists, artist-run centres and/or collectives returning to present new works alongside, new to JOUEZ, artists and not-for-profits. This year’s program embraces the following projects:

  • looming large, a performative and collaborative work in tapestry weaving presented by emerging trans artist Sebastian Pines with project facilitator Ada Kloosterman.
  • The Bitching Booth, is a social practice project engaging in old school feminist bitching! Come spend some time to bitch (vent, air some thoughts) with friendly neighbourhood feminist art collective Sister Co-Resister, with invitational guest artist Frizz Kid. This project provides free peer listening and support to any self-identified feminists and allies – you talk, we listen, #feminists.
  • FOIL FACES, demonstrated by mid-career artist Hollis Baptiste, renowned for the ways in which he works with ready-made objects, creating a space wherein Black creatives can share their experiences.
  • Comic Book Collage Party, presented by neighborhood multimedia artist Jackson Abrams, inspired by contemporary comic book depictions of incongruity and mutability in pop culture.
  • The Tarot of Aird: New to the neighborhood, The Aird Gallery (TAG) invites an imagination of Art through Tarot. Pick a favourite TAG exhibition, a favourite kind of art, and help predict TAG’s future.
  • Thou$and x BIG on Bloor, created by Sébastein Miller, an emerging new media artist whose practice involves digital appropriation, showcasing popular pieces from his first collage collection Civil Disobedience with project facilitator Shantel Miller.
  • FEAR OF MISSING OUT, hoping to help break down stigmas Ajeya Gonzalez (Fomo) and Nancy Kim capture LGBTQ youth culture in Toronto. Festival-goers will get to enjoy this photo exhibit over music by a line up of talented local DJs as well as make their own jewellery catering to their own individuality.
  • FREAK FLAGS, presented by Impulse[B], the conceptual continuation of IMPULSE magazine, offering a participatory installation with a playful approach to games of chance and collaborative writing as a means to generate visual poetry.
  • Let’s Make A Zine with Caitlynn & Carly, Caitlynn Fairbarn and Carly Whitmore, both queer emerging artists recently graduated from OCAD-U, extending an invitation to join them in making a mini zine!
  • Community Circles, an interactive installation delivered by Paola Gomez, a community activist engaged in ending violence against women and forced migration with support from Muse Arts (Community Arts, Arts Education and Community Engagement).
  • Mercer Union presents from root to lip, a solo exhibition by Toronto-based artist Jennifer Rose Sciarrino. In a series of sculptures referencing biotic matter – seeds, spores, cells, pollen, bacteria and yeast – Sciarrino interprets scientific imaging and illustration of such phenomena towards new fictions in blown glass and carved stone.
  • love with no bounds by 21-year-old multidisciplinary artist Gisselle Rodriguez, with a little help from Bye or Bi !, a queer black femme party collective, showcasing photographs of queer love and queer family units providing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth of colour.

Card-Yard is an art, activity, and performance hub presented by PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art and Design, returning to Brock and Bloor for its 8th edition.


Card-Yard 2018. Photo credit: One Day Creates

Curated by Rotem Yaniv, 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. This year Card-Yard will feature artists Alisha Sunderji and Brianna Smrke’s “Don’t Be a Dinosaur,” consisting of two 7ft high dinosaur sculptures made of reclaimed cardboard. The Card-Yard stage will be animated by flamenco dance performance with Lala and Kiyo Asaoka, Khatak dance performance by Vaishali Panwar and family, poetry and prose by the Emerging Writers Reading Series, magic by The Great Baldini, and music by Ben Bootsma. An after-dark dance party hosted by MYSTK MARSHALL closes it out.

New to BIG on Bloor, Dames Making Games’ BIG Arcade, Evolve Skate Camp, The Word On The Street 30th Anniversary Festival preview, and an interactive experimental karaoke booth by Bump TV. These projects and collaborations are in addition to the 100+ vendors sharing the street with local shops, bars, restaurants, and reptiles.

BIG on Bloor Festival presented by Bloor Improvement Group would like to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors and funder: Bloordale BIA, Canadian Heritage, Fuller Landau LLP, Bloor + Dufferin, Reimagine Galleria, Nitta Gelatin, BIG: Bloor Improvement Group, Long & McQuade, 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,, Exclaim, Indie88 and NOW Magazine.


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