City of Toronto launches new outdoor Awakenings projects


Continuum by Krista Kim, 2021. Installation rendering by Benny Or Studio

This October, the City of Toronto’s Toronto History Museums will launch new, in-person outdoor content for the Awakenings program. This new content includes a light and sound meditative experience at Fort York National Historic site, powerful art projections on Toronto History Museum sites, and a final opportunity to view Luminary Mary Ann Shadd on the exterior of Mackenzie House Museum until October 30.


Continuum by Toronto-based artist Krista Kim will use light and sound to create a meditative in-person, outdoors, free experience at the Fort York National Historic site from Saturday, October 2 to Monday, October 4. Time-ticketed one hour visits must be booked in advance online at

On Friday, October 1 at 8 p.m., Continuum will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Continuum features a free-standing video wall measuring 100 feet long paired with original music composed by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder and immersive healing sound frequencies. This is the largest sound and light installation ever to be on display at Fort York.

Live 45-minute performances by Jeff Schroeder will take place throughout the installation on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3 at 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Continuum experience has been designed following Toronto Public Health recommendations. Guidelines include physical distancing, wearing a mask, reduced site capacity and health screening.


AVA Animations & Visual Arts, Todmorden mills, 2021

We Were Always Here

As a continuation of the Awakenings’ We Were Always Here project, parts of these films will now be presented at a free in-person experience at Toronto History Museums’ historic sites. These public art projection-based installations will run from Saturday, October 9 to Monday, October 18, bringing hidden truths in Toronto’s history to life.

In 2020, world-renowned director Julien Christian Lutz pka Director X, mentored 10 Black, Indigenous and people of colour Toronto-based emerging and mid-career filmmakers, to present short films that aimed to disrupt, discover and display colonial narratives from the past. This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

The following We Were Always Here projections will be available Saturday, October 9 to Monday, October 18, from 6 to 10 p.m.:

  • October 9 – Mission Sankofa Awakening at Montgomery’s Inn, 4709 Dundas St.
  • October 10 – Mimie & the Garden at Colborne Lodge, 11 Colborne Lodge Dr.
  • October 11 – Acknowledgement at Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Blvd.
  • October 12 – circa at Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd.
  • October 13 – Reverence at St. Lawrence Market, 93 Front St. E.
  • October 14 – Lanes at Mackenzie House, 82 Bond St.
  • October 15 – The MIS(re)EDUCATION of The Invisible yet Furious Five at
    Zion Schoolhouse, 1091 Finch Ave. E.
  • October 16 – Fuyuzakura at Gibson House Museum, 5172 Yonge St.
  • October 17 – A Portrait in Red at Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery Rd.
  • October 18 – EMPIRE at Scarborough Museum, 1007 Brimley Rd.

Visuals for We Were Always Here, a public art projection-based program, were created by AVA Animations & Visual Arts Inc., a woman-led Toronto based animation studio with award winning expertise in projection mapping and interactive content for immersive spaces.


Luminary: Mary Ann Shad project installed at Mackenzie House

Luminary: Mary Ann Shadd

Toronto History Museums presents Luminary: Mary Ann Shadd on the exterior of Mackenzie House Museum. This is a reimagined portrait of the first Black woman in North America to publish a newspaper, in a contemporary light by Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist, Adeyemi Adegbesan.

Mary Ann Shadd published The Provincial Freeman newspaper. Her newspaper fought for the abolition of slavery and the rights of women and helped people escaping enslavement adjust to life in Ontario. This project is available to view until Saturday, October 30.

Awakenings program details and content are available at Additional Awakenings programming will be available throughout 2021.

The Awakenings program is supported by the Continuum Foundation, community partner the Toronto Raptors, technology sponsor Panasonic and media partner 106.5 ELMNT FM Toronto.

Launched in December 2020, Awakenings is a series of art projects by Black, Indigenous and artists of colour, operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism and anti-racism. The series is part of the City’s efforts to address anti-Black racism.

Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information is available at

Michele Simpson
City of Toronto