Posts Tagged ‘costumes’

It was the last night of October, the rain had stopped earlier in the evening, and Church Street was closed between Gloucester and Wood streets.  It was ‘Halloween on Church’, an annual street party filled with costumes on display wanting to be seen and other people wanting to see and take pictures.   These photos represent only a small selection of what there was to be seen that night (obviously!).

below: A one night stand to remember

a person at a Halloween costume dressed as a one night stand, table up to neck, a clock, and a picture on a frame on the table, or rather, the night stand

below: Glowing red and green

two women pose with three people wearing oversized skulls on their heads, with lights inside that make the eyes appear bright, two red eyed skulls and one with green eyes

below: Japanese ghouls, dressed to kill?

two women in elaborate embroidered red silk kimonos, one with a parasol too, one with a make up gash on her cheek

below: White man on keyboard.

man in black tux with white cloth overhis face plays a keyboard that he has around his neck

man dressed in a dress that is made of yellow police caution tape, also wearing a police cap. Posing with a woman who is also wearing a poilce hat

below: A group of people went as the 3D Toronto sign.

a group of people pose for a photo. Each is holding a 3D letter and together they spell Toronto, a miniature copy of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square.

below: More playing with lights, this time as stick people.

two people in jogging suits with hoods, with lights down the front so it looks like stick people

Church Street, Halloween party, a couple in costumes suitable for day of the dead celebrations, juxtapositioned with a man holding a baby

a man in an elaborate gold embellished old fashioned scuba diving mask with glittery gold coloured rays emanating from it

two people standing under a clear umbrella with little lights dangling from it, one person has a black mask on and a costume like the invincible movie character

couple posing for pictures at the corner of Church and Wood, both are dressed in Halloween costumes, night time,

below: Looking at instagram in a new light, from a different point of view.

a photographer has made it look like he's a live instagram photo

below: With a doll and a lit candle

a man in a black and white striped shirt is holding a doll and a lit candle

below: With a doll and a dog.

A woman in long braids holds a green fabric doll and a small dog in her arms. Her face is covered with makeup that makes her look like a skull with large black eyes, a black nose and a mouth with notches (stitches?)

below: This one is for Jude, something about wanting to take this one home with her…..

a topless man leans against a concrete pole to pose for a photo. He has a large tattoo that covers most of his right arm. He is wearing a rubber mask with rabbit ears and a bandana over his face as well as large goggles.

below: With pale pink hair, a shimmering dress, and a big smile

a person with a pale pink wig and shimmering fabric dress

three people in big long haired wigs, one red head and two blondes

below: Crossing light sabres with Darth Vader.

a woman crosses light sabres with darth vader, hallowwen party on Church St. in Toronto

below: Kermit only has eyes for Miss Piggy….. or else!

two people in costume, one as a life sized Kermit the Frog and the other as Miss Piggy, both from The Muppets

a group of people waiting for a green light, two are in costumes for Fan Expo

Fan Expo came to Toronto for a few days this weekend.   If the person beside you on the subway was dressed up in some sort of costume, perhaps they were heading to Fan Expo.  Prizes were award to the best costumes and from what I saw when I hung out around the convention centre, the competition was quite steep.

Here are some examples of the people that I saw.

man in red leather mask, holes for eyes but nothing else,

below: Looloo from ‘The Fifth Element’

a woman with a bright orange wig

below: The Littlest Mermaid, Ariel

a woman dressed up as Ariel, the Disney mermaid, long red hair and a purple flower in her head

below: Robin, Boy Wonder

a woman dressed as Robin, Boy Wonder, reddish orange wig, and large glasses

a woman in costume, black top, har, and face paint,

a woman in costume, long curly black hair, fangs, black lips, claws and fur on hands,

 

a woman in pale pink wig and totally covered face with pink paint

below: The Queen of Hearts

woman dress as the Queen of Hearts, head only, curly red hair, white face paint, tiny red heart on lips

a person in an elaborate costume looking like a metal robot figure

below: You’re never too young to dress up!

a mother with a child on her shoulders, walking to Fan Expo, child has spiky hair and an orange costume

below: The Joker and mini Joker with a Harley Quinn or two.

man dressed up as Joker pushes a stroller with a young boy also dressed as the Joker with green hair and purple suit

below: A Sailor Moon gets a touch up

woman with green hair is applying blue lipstick

below: Batman comes in many shapes and sizes!

child in long red wig and batman mask, also purple batman costume with a yellow bat symbol, Batman is in the right of the pic

woman in black leather and tophat

woman in turquoise face paint, dark blue veil and a white frilly collar and white hair

a woman in pale blue shirt, pale purple witch shaped hat, carrying a purple umbrella

woman in yellow wig, and matching yellow dress, carrying a yellow basket

a woman wearing a tall crown made of sticks, three strands of yellow beads and a cross around her neck, lots of make up to make her face look mottled and bumpy

man in black and red bandana, black vest open to reveal bare chest, tattoo above his heart, black glove, carrying a can of red bull

two women in costume, the one in front is smiling, the other is not, hair in braids, small crown on head,

man with shite face and yellowish green eyes

people walking to Fan Expo. Man in a red T-shirt with drunk 1 on it, similar to a Dr. Suess thing 1 t shirt

below: Anime inspired costumes.

four asian women in navy and white frilly anime french maid costumes, with hair tied up with bows,

asian woman in navy and white frilly anime french maid costumes, with hair tied up with bows, pompom bracelet on

asian woman in navy and white frilly anime french maid costumes, with hair tied up with tartan bows,

asian woman in navy and white frilly anime french maid costumes, with hair tied up with pink and green bows, blue nail polish

asian woman in navy and white frilly anime french maid costumes, with hair tied up with pink and purple bows,

below: Anonymous mask

person wearing anonymous mask from v for vengence movie

woman with orange hair

a woman lies on her arms on a table, sitting at the table, as she works outside at Fan Expo

Pictures from the annual Pride Parade down Yonge Street – my apologies for the large number but everyone is just so photogenic and engaging!

woman in pink hat and round sunglasses cheering while holding a banner in one hand and two flags in the other

people in black hats and black coats taking photos of group in pride parade marching with signs that say stop executing apostates and dissidents

two women walking in the pride parade, crowds on both sides of the street, one is topless with a rainbow frilly skirt and the other has a rainbow umbrella

two people hugging at the pride parade, one is a man dressed in a Rocky Horror outfit and the other is a woman with a rainbow flag and a Mcdonalds drink in her hand

float in the pride parade about sex education through theatre, called sext,

the United Church of Canada float in the Pride Parade, people lining the sidewalks on both sides of the street, people walking in front of the float

a woman wearing a rainbow dress and garland in her hair, smiling

a boy on his father's shoulders, playing with a green bead necklace as they watch the pride parade in TOronto

man in long black robes and hat with two black horns, walking in parade, crowds behind him,

a black woman with long curly hair is holding three signs in bright colours while getting ready for the pride parade, the photo is photobombed by another black person with bright green sunglasses on

a float enters the pride parade while spectators watch from the sidewalk, behind barricades

a woman on stilts carries a rainbow umbrella as she walks with iatse group in the pride parade

man in drag - blue and yellow feathers, lots of sequins and glitter, carrying a mask

man with flag riding on float in pride parade, lots of pink and purple balloons and ruffles

lots of bubbles as people walk in pride parade, man holding a banner, boy in yellow jacket walking in front of banner

group of people in blue T-shirts and carrying rainbow flags that say proud to be a Catholic teacher

group of three pose for a picture, two are wearing Tshirts that say choir Choir Choir.

crowds watching the pride parade, all ages, some standing on planters in the middle of Yonge Street, College Park building behind them

a group of four young people from the fido section of the pride parade, in teal shorts, covered with colourful body paint hearts and stars and rainbows

two men, one with a makeup sparkly beard and moustache in blue and silver and one in drag with a loarge red hat covered with flowers

two policemen in yellow rain jackets control crowds and traffic on Dundas street at the end of the pride parade, as a float is coming to the end of the parada

carrying a black and blue striped flag, two men, one in diaper and dog leather mask, the other in ordinary clothes

two men walking in the pride parade, one in a skimpy tight silver pair of short pants and carrying a Mexican flag, the other in drag in a black and silver costume, long dress, with hat with silver horns on it

prid eparade float passes by a crowd, lots of shouting and cheering

getting ready for the pride parade, a topless woman stands near a group carrying posters, one with Frida Kahlo on it and the other with Vivek Shraya

four people in stretchy tight fitting unitards, a pink, a blue, a yellow and a red, all have sashes that say Ding Dong Girls

two men on a float at the pride parade, one is covered in silver paint, the other is seated and wearing a large brimmed hat and holding balloons

trigger fish waterpolo team parades in their red swim suits, dancing to music, arms out at their sides, passing in front of College Park building

an out of focus arm covers the bare bottoms of two naked men as they walk past

a couple hugging on the sidewalk

three women with super soakers (water guns) on a float in the pride parade, ONA, ontario nurses association

behind metal barricades, people watching the pride parade

on a float at the pride parade, sign says penalty box. Man in referee shirt with a sign that says Two minutes for looking so good. He is pointing at the camera

a woman helps a man in a pink shirt stand on a bicycle lock ring on the sidewalk

polyamory group, men, women and children, with colourful clothes and signs waits their turn to join the pride parade

group with red hats and purple and silver sparkly pom pom things poses with cheers and waves for a picture before the pride parade begins

marchers from the presbyterian church walking in the pride parade, man holding a sign that says Knox Waterloo, in clericals, with beaded necklaces around his neck

people watching pride parade on yonge street in toronto, scaffolding for construction, people on roofs, people walking by on sidewalk

the Queen of Hearts, a drag queen in red with large red plastic wig and a red dress, posses for a pic with a woman

university of toronto float in pride parade

a man holds a banner with one arm, has the other arm lifted up, pink fabric draped around his shoulders, and a rainbow flag around the back and top of his head

two military personnel sitting on top of a green jep with rainbow flags as they drive in the pride parade

a man wears a dress made of yellow police caution tape in a parade

three women wearing tight silver bathing suits and purple wigs

men in leather but no clothes walking in parade

pride parade, animal section

up close shot of man wearing blue star shaped sun glasses

federation of canadian naturists walking nude in the pride parade

drag queen in elaborate gold costume with white feathers on fans one in each hand) and headdress that also has a large gold glittery star shape front piece

 

a man in a rain pncho covreed with red maple leaves is posing with a man dressed in a dress that is covered with condoms

man in a silver mask covering his whole head, with a group in white t-shirts in the pride parade

a very skinny man with grey hair, a yellow top and red skimpy short pants, other pwople wakling by on the sidewalk

candle in a pumpkin carved into a spider jack o'lantern

Another year of jack o’lanterns and giant spiders

a giant spider halloween decoration in front of a house

and other creative spooky and creepy decorations.  Clowns and pumpkin heads.

life sized skeleton in a front yard, one with a creepy clown face and one with a pumpkin head

And even bunnies can be fearsome.   Bunny with baseball bat.

three life sized skeletons in a front yard, a rabbit mask on one which is also holding a baseball bat, a pumpkin head, and one with a bear mask that is half brown and half black

It’s a time for dressing up in costumes and having fun….  for kids

kids in Halloween costumes laughing together

…. and for adults (night time photos taken on Church street)

below: What’s scarier than Donald Trump?  Three Trumps! Thrice the thrills.

three men in suits and ties with large cardboard Donald Trump faces

a group dressed up for Halloween, night time, street party, 2 women, 2 men, toy guns, gangsters and burlesque.

woman in black with large black antlers stand against a wall, an older man is looking at her

a large inflatable dinosaur costume, a death ghoul costume, and many people standing around them posing for photos at a night time halloween party on Church St., toronto

posing for photos in Halloween costumes

Not everyone was scary – look at these cute and cuddly animals!

a group in full animal costumes pose for a photo, a walrus, a shark, a cat, a leopard,

a man wearing a cowboy hat with a sheriff's bagde, and a skull mask checks his phone while standing outside pizza pizza, window lit up and people inside including a man making pizza

two men in gruesome halloween masks and baseball caps

Smurfs!

two people dressed as smurfs for Halloween, a large smurfette and a smaller male smurf with a red hat

Even Marilyn stopped for a picture.

a man dressed in drag as Marilyn Munro with blond wig and white dress, posing with an Asian woman

 

a young man in purple jacket and white face with the word damaged written across his forehead

a young woman poses as a black faced zombie between two men with creepy clown masks on

an Asian woman with black cat ears poses with a man in white boa and very large day of the dead head hat

close up of a person in a furry, hairy monstrous mask with bloody fangs

a boy with his arm made up to look like his hand is fallen off

Did you do something lazy like sleep in and then stay in your jammies all day?
Did you stay home and stay warm?

I know a few people that did just the opposite! More than 60 people took the plunge and got wet, frigid cold wet that is. The 12th annual Polar Bear dip at Sunnyside Park was well attended this year and these are some of the brave and crazy people who were there (and the less brave and crazy who came to watch, support, and take pictures of the swimmers).

 

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

below: The event is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity and over $64,000 was raised this year. Habitat for Humanity had a team who participated, they could be spotted wearing orange T-shirts and orange hard hats.
people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - Habitat for Humanity team wore orange T shirts and orange hard hats

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - members of bearded villains team

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

blog_crowds_water_polar_bear

blog_fuzzy_brown_robe_guy

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a man with large black beard and many tattoos is wearing a pink tutu held up with bright green cord

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a series of 3 shots as a boy gets into the water

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a man does the front crawl in the water

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a swimmer with a Santa outfit sort of, apron and tie

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

#dothedip | #topolarbear

You’ve probably never heard the word asafo before.  You probably have no idea what it means.

Until last week I didn’t know the word existed either.

I went to the Royal Ontario Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit.  There were 100 excellent pictures of insects, animals, marine life, the sort of thing you’d expect.  There was no photography allowed in that exhibit so I have no photos of the images on display.  You’ll have to take my word for it that I was there.

I can appreciate the skill and patience that it takes to capture rabbits in the snow or a school of fish in a certain light underwater but those kind of pictures don’t excite me.   That’s not to diminish the work of the photographers, it was all very high caliber both technically and visually.    What I think I’m trying to say is that I left the exhibit wanting more, something more from my visit to the ROM.

Luckily I didn’t have to look far.  In the next room was Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana.

museum exhibit of asafo flags from Ghana, colourful flags of militia groups in yellows, reds and black. Many are hanging in display cases.

Colour, lots of colour.  And a subject that I knew nothing about, asafo flags.  I wasn’t even sure what part of Africa Ghana is in (It’s on the south coast of Western Africa between Togo and the Ivory Coast as it turns out.).

The flags are hand made with an assortment of different motifs.  The British Jack in the upper left corner is a very common feature.  That’s a clue.  Yes, Ghana was a British colony.   Reading the history of Ghana is like reading the colonial history of large parts of Africa.  The Portuguese built a fortress at Elmina in 1482.    Interest in the region was piqued by the presence of gold, hence the name Gold Coast.   By the early 17th century the first African state,  Akwamu, controlled an extensive part of the coast.  They were displaced by the Ashanti who were very involved in the slave trade, especially in trading slaves for weapons.   When European countries outlawed trading in slaves in the early 1800’s,  Ashanti power suffers.   Some tussles ensue, a few battles, some back and forth, and by 1902 what was Ashanti becomes is a British colony.    It remained a colony until 1957.

close up of a flag, hand made, British Jack in the top left corner, a man walks in front of a church in the center, a black bear in the top right.

I’m not going to pretend to know or understand African history.  I’m only trying to give some context to the flags.    First, jump back to my mention of Elmina and the Portuguese. When the Portuguese arrived in this area in the 15th century, it was the Fante (or Fanti) people that they encountered.  Both the Fante and the Ashanti belong to the Akan people.  The Fante prevented them from venturing inland and leased properties for Portuguese trading missions. But when the Portuguese objected to Fante rules and regulations the Fante expelled them.  Soon after, the Dutch arrived.  The Fante served as middlemen in the commerce between the interior and Dutch traders on the coast.

Around 1724 the Dutch either established or made important a number of militia groups of local Fante.  These are the Asafo companies.  Historically, Asafo companies were in charge of the safety and protection of the local community.   At the height of the slave trade they protected individuals and communities.   They exerted power, exercise political influence and maintain codes of conduct within Fante communities. Each company has a flag and that flag has many roles.   They represent proverbs and depict narratives of pride and wisdom.  They accompany oral history and provide a means to preserve customs and traditions.

below:

  1. top flag, by Kweku Kakanu, Saltpond Workshop. “Only a brave man goes under a large tree” because only large animals go under large trees. Made sometime between 1950 and 1957.
  2. bottom flag, artist unknown, Kromantse Workshop. “Only tie a bull to a large tree”. Both the animal and the tree are acknowledged to be strong and mighty.  Made around 1980.  It has a Ghanese flag in the top left corner.

 

two flags displayed on a black background, with three femail mannequins dressed in traditional Ghanese costume.

below:

  1. top flag, by Kweku Kakanu, Saltpond Workshop. A crocodile dominates and controls a pond of fish. Made around 1940.  The prey can not escape.
  2. bottom flag, by Kwesi Budu, Saltpond Workshop. The fish cann’t escape the net of the fishermen just like enemies will not be able to escape when confronted by the company.  Made around 1950.

two flags displayed on a black background, with two male mannequins dressed in military Ghanese costume.

Fante asafo flags from Ghana, two on display in a museum, chickens and roosters,

Fante asafo flags from Ghana, two on display in a museum, griffons

two mannequins in military uniforms as part of a museum exhibit at ROM

 

 

Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costumes,
ROM, 4th floor,
until March 2017.

 

 

 

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

… and he arrived on Saturday amidst the gusty winds and light snow.   Winter arrived on the same day!

Before the parade there was the Holly Jolly Fun Race, a 5 km race along the Santa Claus parade route.

Holly Jolly Fun Run, before the Santa Claus parade, runners getting ready to start the race - group shot, woman in Mrs. Santa outfit, man in ho ho ho toque and red Santa jacket, woman in blue and another woman in a white Toronto hoodie

Holly Jolly Fun Run, before the Santa Claus parade, runners getting ready to start the race - a boy with black scarf over most of his face, wearing red gloves, gives a two thumbs up

Santa Claus parade - two clowns in fuzzy hair wigs mingle amongst the crowd before the parade starts, lots of smiling faces.

Santa Claus parade - two kids in shiny orange, green, red and yellow costumes, sitting on a float in the parade, they have their hands in mitts covering their mouths and chins trying to keep warm.

Santa Claus parade - Toronto mayor JOhn Tory poses with two kids at the start of the parade

Santa Claus parade - people walking in the parade dressed in large blue and white rabbit costumes, all carrying large stuffed carrots.

Santa Claus parade - a girl is looking cold, sitting on a float in chef's jacket and hat and large orange scarf. She is sitting beside a large sculpture of a woman sitting on a wood chair with an orange cup in her hand

 - a boy is sitting on a float in a white chicken costume, two fake but real looking chickens are beside him

Santa Claus parade -

Santa Claus parade - a float with a very large replica of Thomas The Tank Engine with three kids sitting beside it.

Santa Claus parade - two kids wearing Toronto Maple Leafs sweatshirts and toques sitting on a float with a loarge replica of Carlton the Leafs mascot. The skate and end of the stick of a large statue of a hockey player is also in the picture.

Santa Claus parade - a young boy stands with his back to the camera. He is in front of people sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to start. It is snowing and people are all bundled up. In this case, a mother and her daughter are dressed in white jackets and have a white blanket over their knees.

Santa Claus Parade - a young woman with a gold crown decorated with little red hearts, wearing a pale yellow dress, walking in the parade, waves at the camera

Santa Claus parade - the mascot for the Toronto Raptors basketball team is standing on the back of a golf cart driven by two people, others in costume walk behind, people standing on the sidewalks watching the parade go by

Santa Claus Parade - a man dressed as a clown with frizzy orange hair and a polka dot outfit laughs as the wind tries to blow his wig off

Santa Claus Parade - a black woman in a red jacket and brown scarf poses with a man in a clown costume with bright red hair.

Santa Claus parade, pokemon float, with a large yellow pikachu in front

Santa Claus parade - many people dressed like raggedy Ann dolls in pink, orange and yellow with bright red hair.

Santa Claus Parade - a young Asian boy stands beside a float featuring large sized characters from the Peppa Pig story books.

Santa Claus parade - three people walking in the parade with costumes that make it look like they are clowns that are walking on their hands, people on the sidewalk watching the parade.

Santa Claus parade, along the beginning of the parade, off to the side, a character in a Chase costume (a character from the TV program Paw Patrol) is posing with two little kids and their father

Santa Claus parade - a young woman in a clown costume with large fuzzy white wig, waves, she is wearing white gloves

two kids dresses as Christmas elves in green, red and white wave to passersby as they sit on a float with a large Grinch reading a book, Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus parade - a woman in hat and plaid shirt has a puppet of a long necked white goose on her hand and arm

boys cheering and watching floats in the Santa Claus parade, some people dressed in costumes like gold and blue toy soldiers, a fox on a float.

Santa Claus parade - at the end of the parade, Santa arrives on his sled being pulled by reindeer

people standing on the sidewalk cheering and waving at the Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus parade - two girls huddle under blankets and parkas while sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to start

#TOsanta | #TOsantaparade