Posts Tagged ‘festival’

Toronto in the summer means street festivals every weekend.   One of the festivals this past weekend was the 15th annual South Asian Festival in ‘Little India’.   Gerrard Street East was closed to traffic between Greenwood and Coxwell for the occasion.

below: Shopping, strolling and playing games.  Try your skill at cricket or buy some jewellery or some clothing.

street scene at South Asian festival. a man hits a ball with a cricket bat, two women in head scarves are talking, men behind a table are selling jewellery and clothes

a woman leans on the top of a rack of clothing for sale, sidewalk sale, as part of the South Asian Festival on the Gerrard Street.

three women are looking at a blouse (dress?), red and white pattern, on a hanger at an outdoor sidewalk sale, as part of a street festival. They are looking at the same piece of clothing

mother and daughter look at bangles, jewellery, for sale outside, at street festival. Both are wearing sunglasses

an older man sits behind a small table covered with a white cloth. on the table are toys that he is selling. he is holding an orange Nemo shaped bubble maker plastic toy. behind him, a man is standing smoking a cigarette

Like all street festivals, there was lots of food and drink available.

below: Extracting sugar cane juice.

a man shreds sugar cane in a machine to extract the sugar cane juice which he is then selling, outside, street festival, Little India

below: Fresh baked naan, straight from the oven.

a man removes freshly baked naan from a tandoori oven

There were many photo ops provided.  For instance, there were cut outs for faces in pictures of Bollywood actors.

at a street festival, two people are putting their heads through cut outs while others take their picture, cut outs are on faces of Bollywood actors and actresses.

… and a richly decorated cart (What is it’s proper name?)

an older couple pose for a picture while they are sitting in a decorated cart, purple velvet, and many colourful tassles

and mannequins in traditional costumes.

two young boyus pose with a manniquin dressed in traditional Indian (South Asian) costume

below: There was also entertainment.   In this case, a rapper in Hindi and English.

a man with a black shirt with the word security on the back watches a performance of a rap artist who is on a stage with many people watching him

one woman adjusts the floral headband on another woman, both are dressed in traditional South Asian clothing

young kids lean over a yellow barricade as they watch a performance a girl is giving a thumbs up sign

a woman is airbrushing black paint onto a stencil on the upper part of a small girls arm, temporary tattoo

a woman with shiny bangles, bracelets, on her wrist puts her hand on her boyfriend's lower back

… and there was even a large elephant parked beside Victoria Whole Foods!  It looks a bit tacky with the big advertising  banner on its side but it was still a popular place to take selfies.

a couple, man and woman, each with a dog on a leash, is taking a selfie in front of a large elephant sculpture

road losed sign and yellow metal barricades, street festival going on behind the sign & barricade. Also racks of sarees for sale and in the distance, a large fake elephant

Maybe you thought that the duck was a waste of money  or maybe you thought the duck was a fantastic idea.    Maybe you didn’t like the duck because it wasn’t Canadian enough for a Canada Day celebration (the Canaduck!) or maybe you didn’t care about such things.   It certainly generated a lot of discussion even before it arrived – who hasn’t heard about the duck?  Who didn’t have an opinion about the duck?   It spawned the hashtag #whattheduck, a play on WTF.

big yellow duck, side view, people on shore

The noise has now all died down.   The 150th birthday party is over.

I don’t think that I am alone in thinking that the duck was the star of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and that the festival organizers have no regrets about spending the money on the duck.

below: The yellow duck was moored by HTO beach (that’s the one with the yellow umbrellas) for the duration of the July 1st long weekend.   It smiled through rain and shine.

large inflatable yellow rubber duckie sits on the water, Lake Ontario, at the waterfront in Toronto

below: It was a popular duck and it attracted about a million people. People of all ages.  It was about 6 storeys tall so even if you couldn’t get close to it, you could still get a good view.

a litttle girl is being held up by her father, she is pointing at the duck and looking at her mother who is taking a picture of it

below: Millions of photos were taken with (and of) the duck. It was a willing subject and it stayed still – it was good at holding a pose.   The trick was to get a selfie that didn’t have lots of other people in it!   He was a bit grubby – maybe too big for a bathtub? – but no one cared.

three people are taking selfies in front of the big yellow duck

below: Not everyone was excited to see the duck!

an older man is sleeping on a white muskoka chair and under a big yellow umbrella at HTO beach in Toronto, crowd of people standing behind him

below: One last look at the duck.  On Monday evening the duck was towed across Toronto Harbour to the Port Lands where it was deflated and readied to be sent to Owen Sound for the next port of call on its Ontario tour.

the large yellow rubber ducky is being towed across Toronto harbour

Myseum of Toronto is a fairly new addition to the cultural fabric of the city.  It is a museum without walls.  It is an organization that helps deliver programming to different locations in the GTA.  Last night, March 6, at City Hall, Myseum of Toronto launched its second annual festival of events and exhibitions.  This festival, Myseum Intersections,  consists of 36 different events and exhibits spread around the city throughout the month of March.   “One Toronto.  Infinite Perspectives” is the motto of this year’s festival.

In keeping with that motto is an exhibit called ‘Cosmopolis Toronto: The World in One City’.   It was showcased at the Myseum Intersections launch party.   A few months ago it was on display at 18 libraries around the city but it has been brought together in one exhibit for the festival.   At the moment it can be seen on the ground floor of City Hall but it will also spend some time at Metro Hall and then end the month at the North York Civic Center.   (schedule at the bottom of the post).

people looking at an exhibit of photos and stories that are printed on upright posters standing on the floor.

“Cosmopolis” consists of a series of portraits and interviews by Colin Boyd Shafer.   The goal was to find a person from every country in the world who now calls Toronto home, hence its tagline “Photographing the world, one Torontonian at a time”.   I am not sure if that goal was attained, but the series is a fascinating look at a very diverse group of people.

Cosmopolis posters on display at City Hall as part of Myseum Intersections festival

Cosmopolis posters of Andrea from the Congo and Nevena from Serbia

Two photos were taken of each person.     The first was a portrait taken in a Toronto location where they felt “at home”.  The second was of an object that they felt connected them to their country of birth.

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

The Cosmopolis website has more information as well as the portraits and stories of many more new Torontonians.

portrait and story about Yosvani from Cuba, a violin player

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

***

EXHIBITION DATES & TIMES:
MARCH 5 – 8 & 13 – 19
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 8:30AM – 4:30PM
City Hall
100 Queen St W, Toronto

MARCH 9 – 12
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8AM – 6PM
Metro Hall
55 John St, Toronto

MARCH 20 – APRIL 2
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30AM – 9:30PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8AM – 6PM
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St, Toronto

#myseumTO | #myseumX

 

 

Many people walked and danced, clapped and chanted, as they paraded down Yonge Street on Saturday to start the annual Festival of India weekend.

The parade is similar to an annual procession (Ratha Yatra) that has occurred for centuries in the city of Puri, India as part of a Hindu festival associated with the god Jagannath.  Here in Toronto, as in Puri,  three chariots constructed to look like temples are pulled through the streets in a procession from one temple to another.    Each chariot carries a richly decorated representation of a god, first is  Jagannatha (another name for Krishna or God) and then his brother Baladeva and his sister Subhadra.   The chariots are pulled by people and the procession symbolizes the pulling of the Lord into our hearts.

In Puri, this Ratha-Yatra procession continues to attract over a million people every year.  In Toronto, the numbers aren’t quite that high!

a police car drives slowly in front of a parade as it makes its way down Yonge Street

people walk behind a yellow horizontal banner that reads Festival of India, Join us at Centre Island.

two women in sarees are pulling on a large rope in a parade. In the foreground, a man is pulling on another rope.

a group of young South Asian women walking in a parade. One of them has her face decorated with paint. In front of them is a group of young men in yellow tops and white bottoms, one has a drum.

South Asian, Indian, women, in long colourful sarees dancing as they move down Yonge Street in a parade

some older people dressed in white riding high in the chariot float in the Festival of India parade, others walking in front and pulling ropes to make the chariot move.

South Asian, Indian, women, in long colourful sarees dancing as they move down Yonge Street in a parade, lifting their skirts a little bit as they move

people walking in front of one of the chariots in the Festival of India parade in Toronto

a large blue wheel that is holding up a chariot float in the Festival of India parade, people walking beside and behind it as they walk down Yonge Street

lifting the red rope that separates the parade from the traffic, women dancing and clapping and walking as well as other people, pulling ropes to pull the chariot in the parade

May is photography month in Toronto.  It is the month when there are numerous exhibits in public spaces and in galleries, all part of the CONTACT Photography Festival.   Over the next few weeks I hope to visit many of the exhibits and blog about some of them.   From past experience I have discovered that a lot of the public installations appear before May 1st so I went exploring yesterday.

below: Looking south from Spadina and Adelaide….  Partially obscured by a building, on the right in this photo, is the first large black and white photo that I saw.

view from the NE corner of Spadina and Richmond streets. a small parking lot is directly across the street, two large billboards loom over the lot. Once is for Lorne's coats showing two people wearing coats. The other is for Maple flavoured iced capp at Tim Hortons.

below: Up close,  ‘Drape’ by Eva Stenram.  Stenram has taken a 1960’s pin-up photograph of a woman and manipulated it.  She has brought the background, the drapery, forward and has covered up the original subject in the picture.

large black and white photo by Eva Strenram called 'Drape'. It is mounted on the upper level of a three storey red brick building. It shows a woman sitting on the floor partially obscured by drapery. Her upper body and head can not be seen.

below: Looking west on Wellington from Spadina.  The light grey building is the Old Press Hall (Globe and Mail) which will be demolished in the near future.

looking down the street past parked cars. A large black and white photo is on the side of the building.

below: Up close, ‘Stopping Point’ by an unknown photographer.  The original title and description was: ‘Along the new Highway, which runs from Smooth Rock Falls to Fraserdale, Ontario, there’s no sign of human habitation apart from one empty lumber camp, c.1966. 

A very large black and white photograph from the 1960's of a car on a two lane road with pine trees on either side. There is a boat tied to the roof of the car. The photo is on the side of the Globe and Mail building with cars parked around it.

The above photograph is one of 750,000 photos in the Globe and Mail’s picture library.   100,000 of their old photos are being digitized to create a new historical archive.  From these, a collection of 20,000 prints will be donated to the newly formed Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada.

More of the photos from the Globe and Mail’s collection are on view inside the Old Press Hall.

Toronto International Buskerfest for Epilepsy, 2015,
over 70 acts from Canada and around the world.

Yonge Street, College to Queen,
28th Aug through 31st Aug

below: The Funnykito Show,  Dan Marques is a performer from Brazil, part magician, part mime and part clown.  Here he sets up a trick whereby he tries to remove a beer bottle from the hands of a volunteer with a whip.

A busker, Funnykito, has a volunteer on stage, The man (volunteer) is holding a beer bottle upside down between the palms of his two hands
Part of the Funnykito Show where he tries to remove a beer bottle from the hands of a volunteer using a whip
Two kids, boy and a girl, sit on the pavement while they watch a performer at an outdoor busker festival

below:  MaracaTALL, drummers on stilts

Men on stilts, wearing large gold hats and gold and green costumes, play drums as they walk on stilts above the crowds on Yonge St.
A man in a blue shirt and beige baseball cap watches in fascination at a performance at a street festival. There are other people in the crowd around him.

below: There were four or five members of the Mirror Family roaming around Yonge Dundas Square.  They were covered from head to toe with small pieces of mirror.

A woman with blue reflective sunglasses is standing beside a roaming busker act, one of the Mirror Family, a woman covered from head to toe with small pieces of mirror
In the foreground a person is clapping, in the background is a crowd of people that are out of focus

below: Meow Mur, a cosmic cat from another planet

Meow Mur, a busker character dressed in a bright multicoloured leotard costume with cat like facial features.

Two people watching a performance at a street festival. One of them is wearing a large red and white Dr. Suess hat.

below: Max T. Oz

The busker, Max T. Oz performs his sleight of hand act at a street festival. A crowd is watching he pretends to slice his arm with a large knife.

A picture of the crowd watching a show at buskerfest, they are smiling and clapping. A small table with some oranges and a baseball is the foreground, part of the equipment used by Max T. Oz

A girl sits on her father's shoulders as she watches a show at buskerfest

below: Brant the Fireguy has a burning desire to entertain and does so with his ‘O Yeah’ show.

fireguy juggles three flaming torches at an outdoor street festival, Toronto buskerfest on Yonge St. , in front of a crowd of people

Part of Fireguy's Oh Yeah show where he puts a flaming rod into his mouth.
In the foreground is a close up of the busker Fireguy's feet as he stands on a skateboard that is balancing on a large tube, all on top of a box. On the box is written the words 'A burning desire to entertain'. Many people are watching the show.

people sitting on the sidewalk watching a busker perform

below: Pierre St. Pierre

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below: Buskerfest helps to support Epilepsy Toronto; it is their largest fund raiser.

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below: Lulu’s World, where a black marker and some tissue paper helps to bring a story to life.

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below: Upside down on the rope, Natural Wings

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A woman with part of hair dyed a bright pink colour sits with a group of kids on the pavement, others stand behind them. They are all watching a performance at a street festival

below: Wacky Chad, pogo sticks, dance moves, little bikes, and more

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blog_buskerfest_wacky_chad_airborne

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below: Alakazam, throwing knives and other sharp objects as his show’s finale

blog_buskerfest_knives_juggling

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below: Pyromancer, fire breather, entertains the crowd.

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Three boys in orange T-shirts sitting on orange benches. A very orange picture

below: Taking turns conducting a small string orchestra

Two young girls take a turn at conducting a small group of musicians playing string instruments at an outdoor festival

  below: Giant Sauruses wander Yonge Dundas Square looking for food.  They are part of Close Act Theatre Group from the Netherlands.

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A woman with long dark hair and sunglasses is holding a small white dog

below: The Yo-Yo Guy, John Higby, performs.

The Yo yo guy is doing a trick with a yo yo where he makes a shape out of the string and his fingers while the yo yo keeps spinning

below: Part of his act involves removing a coin from behind the ear of a volunteer with a spinning yo-yo.

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A summer in Toronto is a summer of small festivals all over the city.  This past weekend, a part of Spadina was closed to traffic to make way for the Chinatown Festival.

looking north from Dundas, up Spadina. Part of the street is closed to traffic to make room for the Chinatown festival. Many people are waiting at the red light.

There were dragons,

Two women under a white Chinese dragon costume and they are walking beside a black dragon, They are following a girl who is holding a white flag with red Chinese characters on it

blog_chinatown_festival_black_dragon

food,

Fried squid on sticks being barbecued at a street festival

deep fried twisted potatos for sale at an outdoor festival

demonstrations and shows,

Four kids, two girls and two boys, practice kicking as part of a muay thai demonstration on an outdoor stage at a festival

Muay thai demonstration

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Two girls wearing shiny red dresses and gold and silver boots perform a dance on an outdoor stage. The audiencee is in the background

dancers from M. Dance school

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magician Stephen Cheung shows a deck of cards at an outdoor show

Stephen Cheung, magician

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A chinese woman sings on an outdoor stage at the Chinatown festival on Spadina Ave

Angel Cheng, singer

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as well as vendors and booths

members of the Toronto Chinese Baptist church making music, singers, accordian, and guitar player

music by members of the Toronto Chinese Baptist Church

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A girl tends a table full of cold drinks that are for sale, on the sidewalk

A young Asian boy sits on his father's shoulders