On Saturday June 16th the culminating event of Arts4All’s 11th year of existence took place. Artists involved included Liz Rucker (Artistic Director of Arts4All), Keirsten Tough, Esther Maloney, Michael Burtt, Sonja Rainey, Shifra Cooper and others. Here is a report from Esther Maloney:
It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday at Pelham Park Gardens, in the Davenport-Perth area, where we gathered with the Arts4All players, Arts4Youth, Pelham Seniors and many other residents of Pelham and community members who have dropped by over the last several weeks of our Thursday lobby days. The last weeks have been an ongoing collaboration between these different groups around the themes of discovering messages and surprises from underground, interpreting these messages and riddles and responding by creating stories, characters and a space for a community garden.
What emerged was a wonderful story, the youth decided it must be aliens that were communicating with them through the puzzle pieces they found, and that these aliens must be arriving soon! In the meantime, the Arts4All players were rehearsing alien walks and sounds through movement, inspired by drawings the youth had made of what they thought the aliens might look like. The seniors prepared signs for the different vegetables that would grow in the community garden. Participants in lobby days created medalions, flowers and leaves that were hung as part of a garland that was used in a parade. A magnificent sculpture, large alien puppets, a collective story about space travel, gigantic vegetables, alien mask-making, live drumming and violin and an original song created by the youth entitled “Juicy Juicy Mango” made for a very fun day. All of these aspects came together in a kind of intergalactic themed garden party, with live music and drumming, collective storytelling and the appearance of aliens and vegetables. We sang and ate juicy, juicy mango and later in the afternoon, connected our parade with CultureLink and Bike Toronto’s official opening of the West Toronto Railpath.
Here are some photos of the event, taken by Navid Khavari: