Animating Toronto Parks Recipients: 2016

Animating Toronto Parks is a pilot program that provides funding to professional artists, organizations and collectives to support free arts programming in selected Toronto parks. For the purposes of this program, “arts programming” includes the presentation of dance, literary arts, music, theatre, visual arts and media arts, community-engaged work and any combination of the above. Animating Toronto Parks is a component of the Arts in the Parks initiative which is managed by Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Council (TAC) in partnership with City of Toronto Arts & Culture Services, Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R) and community partner Park People.


Animating Toronto Parks recipients (2016):


Agincourt Community Services Association | Chester Le Park (Scarborough)

Agincourt Community Services Association will partner with Three Sisters House and Red Pepper Spectacle Arts to present an art installation and Pow Wow to celebrate the new Indigenous garden at Chester Le Park (Scarborough). Red Pepper Spectacle Arts will lead a community mosaic project with local residents inspired by Aboriginal heritage and celebrating the ‘three sisters’ crop. The unveiling of the mosaic will coincide with a traditional Pow Wow organized by Three Sisters House. 

anahita dehbonehie | Parkway Forest Park (North York)

WordPlay Collective/Mashed Collective envision a summer-long residency in the Parkway Forest Park (North York). They will create a hub for multi-disciplinary artistic activities, including: visual art, comedy, sign-making, soap opera screenings, yarn bombing, chalk murals, performances, audio installation – all in response to an exploration of words derived through community-based research.

Art Starts | Earl Bales Park (North York)

Art Starts will facilitate professionally choreographed flash-mob dances throughout Earl Bales Park (North York). The dancers will be participants from three different community dance programs and will include children, adults and seniors. The flash-mobs will be repeated throughout the park during the course of one day. 

Cajuca Mas Arts Producers | Neilson Park (Scarborough)

Cajuca Mas Arts Producers will present an interactive carnival arts exhibition featuring large carnival costumes in Neilson Park (Scarborough) with live Calypso and Soca music by a DJ and rhythm section. The costumes are over 25 feet tall will be presented by performers who bring the costumes and their stories to life.

Children's Peace Theatre | Dentonia Park (East York)

Children's Peace Theatre will present Culture Jam, a free arts exploration program designed to Create a Culture of Peace. Three weeks of activities will explore culture and identity through puppet-making, mixed-media and play with artists and Elders. Free week long sessions of creation and play for children and youth as well as daily drop in activities for families in Dentonia Park (East York) culminate in a Peace is Possible Parade, to celebrate the strength in the diversity of Taylor Massey Community.

Clay and Paper Theatre | Wincott Park (Etobicoke)

Clay and Paper Theatre will present Fables for the Future in Wincott Park (Etobicoke). Inspired by First Nations lore, ecological concerns, and community histories, Fables for the Future incorporates original and vibrant design, music, dance, and signature Clay & Paper Theatre satire and wit gone awry.

Community Canoe | Edithvale Park (North York)

Community Canoe Collective will present a canoe planting along with an arts festival in Edithvale Park (North York). Activities include: a pollinator parade; Interactive canoe planting; honey tasting; butterfly arts and crafts; food tents; live music, dance and puppetry performances; guided tree tour; DIY beehouse building workshop; and free milkweed seed packet giveaways.

Eldritch Theatre | Panorama Park (Etobicoke)

Eldritch Theatre, along with members of the band, Local 164, join together to create The Cavalcade of Marvels in Panorama Park (Etobicoke). The Cavalcade of Marvels is a carnival-inspired vaudevillian style theatre performance with puppetry and live music. The performance features three mini-plays, each based in a different carnival tradition: street magic, glove puppetry and the flea circus.

Euba Quartet | Reading Sprouts Garden (North York)

Tuba quartet, Euba, will perform a wide variety of repertoire including contemporary compositions and classical favourites. They will perform four concerts in Reading Sprouts Garden (North York) over July and August. 

Feast In The East Collective | Prairie Drive Park (Scarborough)

Feast In The East will present a one-night festival of live music, art installations and free dinner in Prairie Drive Park (Scarborough). Music includes Doomsquad, Not The Wind, Not The Flag, Pantayo, and Isla Craig. Art includes a conceptual ‘entrance fence’ by Joele Walinga, illuminated sculptures by Vanessa Rieger, an island and moat installation by Natalie Logan & Zoe Alexis-Abrams, surreal creatures which inhabit the greenery by Dmitry Bondarenko & Morris Fox. Dinner will be prepared and served by chefs Heather Rule & Stephanie Fielding.

Hand Eye Society | Dorset Park (Scarborough)

Hand Eye Society will engage local youth (age 9-12) to design outdoor games, with the ultimate goal of co-creating a series of site-specific outdoor “tiny games” — simple games playable by visitors to Dorset Park (Scarborough) with no additional resources. 

Jamea Zuberi | Shoreham Walkway (North York)

Jamea Zuberi will present a showcase of the Carnival Arts of the Caribbean and a celebratory animation of the spaces from the school yard to the greens of Shoreham Walkway (North York) with a live steel band, costumes, dance, stilt-walking and music, featuring community residents of all ages.

Kristine White | Amos Waites Park (Etobicoke)

Kristine White will present a community solstice celebration in Amos Waites Park (Etobicoke) themed on light and the changing of the season, with a day of workshops in Western European folk dance, mask making, and shadow puppetry, culminating in a big social dance and music session and an after-dark shadow play. 

Lua Casu | Flemingdon Park (North York)

Lua Shayenne and Company will present West African song, dance and drum presentations followed by audience participation/drum and dance workshops in Flemingdon Park (North York).

MABELLEarts | Broadacres Park (Etobicoke)

MABELLEarts will present Walking Home, a spectacle-based and community-engaged site specific performance in Broadacres Park (Etobicoke). Created through a community-collaborative process that will include experiential walking tours, neighbourhood mapping, tree education and care, performance, costume-making and props workshops, Walking Home will encourage participants to encounter their neighbourhood park in a new and exciting way. 

Melanie Lowe | Reading Sprouts Garden (North York)

Melanie Lowe will present an outdoor art installation entitled, it loves to happen (silver lining) in Reading Sprouts Garden (North York). The constructed square space surrounds those who enter in a comforting, safe space, for contemplation and experience. 

Music Can Heal | Earl Bales Park (North York)

Music Can Heal will present a weekly concert series in Earl Bales Park (North York) featuring musicians Steve Koven Jazz Trio, Bill Westcott Ragime & Blues Piano, the Junction Trio (commemorating Alexander Muir's "The Maple Leaf Forever"), Kristin Lindell's Bliss Singers; award-winning Jazz vocalists Ori Dagan, Sienna Dahlen & Rita Di Ghent; Debbie Danbrook's healing Shaukuhachi meditations and more.

Ollin Tonatiuh | Morningside Park (Scarborough)

Ollin Tonantiuh will present Summer Solstice Celebration and the Xilonen Celebration to Empower and Honour Young Girls in our Communities in Morningside Park (Scarborough). These two performances will give audiences an opportunity to learn about Aztec culture and dance, participate in dance circles, and enjoy traditional, live Aztec music. 

Parks n' Wreck | Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens (North York)

Parks n’ Wreck will present a free one-day outdoor streetdance event in Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens (North York), which aims to present, preserve, and promote streetdance culture in Toronto. Free workshops, showcases, battles and cyphers will be held all day, featuring hip hop, house, waacking, and popping, along with other disciplinary articulations of streetart culture like MCing, DJing and graphic design.

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show | Queensway Park (Etobicoke)

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show will present a dusk screening of Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) in Queensway Park (Etobicoke) with an original musical score composed and performed live by Toronto-based band Del Bel. The programme will also contain pre-show entertainment curated in collaboration with the local community. 

Tune Your Ride Collective | Prairie Drive Park (Scarborough)

Tune Your Ride Collective will present Bicycle Music Festival, an annual free, family-friendly, and mobile pedal-powered music festival showcasing diverse artists while connecting Toronto’s great communities and parks. The festival will begin with a concert and dance battle on the Corktown Common followed by a mobile music performance leading a group bike ride to Prairie Drive Park (Scarborough) for an afternoon of music and dance performances on a stage powered by audience-driven stationary bicycles.

Shadowland Theatre | Alexmuir Park (Scarborough)

Shadowland will present The Spirit of Our Park in Alexmuir Park (Scarborough). Shadowland will host open, day-long workshops in building a giant puppets, processional and percussive music, stilt-walking, making costumes and headpieces and animated images. Workshops with musicians, makers, performers and Aboriginal teachers will guide community participants in discovering and expressing the history and character of their local landscape, culminating in a celebratory parade through the park.

Shakespeare in the Ruff | Walter Saunders Memorial Park (North York)

Shakespeare in the Ruff will present My Co-mates & Brothers in Exile, a site-specific new theatre work using Shakespearean text and text from Canadian and International female poets in York Beltline Park (North York).  It is a comedic, multilingual and multidisciplinary promenade piece exploring an immigrant's journey as they set off for Canada and ultimately are welcomed by the community. 

Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS) Initiative | Walter Saunders Memorial Park  (North York)

STEPS will deliver a community-engaged mural project entitled Woven for Walter Saunders Memorial Park (North York). Woven is a locally-inspired wayfinding system that draws on the area’s rich textile legacy. A temporary ground mural or pathway installation will engage both historic and new communities of the Beltline through a multidisciplinary program series hosted in Walter Saunders Park and the adjoining sections of the Beltline.

UrbanArts Community Arts Council | Memorial Park (York)

UrbanArts will present the 11th year of CultureShock Community Arts Festival, a multi-day festival in Memorial Park (York) celebrating Caribbean, South and Central American culture in Weston-Mount Dennis.

Urbanvessel | The Elms Park (Etobicoke)

Urbanvessel will present Singing River in The Elms Park (Etobicoke). Singing River is a multidisciplinary performance bringing dance, music and storytelling to Toronto's streams, rivers and ravines, revitalizing our connection to the watershed.