Sunday, SEPTEMBER 16th, 2018
For this tour our audience braved the ferry crowds to bring their bikes and join us on the Toronto Islands for an Art Spin tour. We witnessed performances along the edges of the islands, from the Eastern Gap on Ward's, to the beach on Hanlan's, finishing at Artscape Gibraltar Point for our after party with more installations and
performances to finish the night off. This was our first time programming any projects on the Toronto Islands, and we were so excited to traverse the magical park, particularly since we, and many other events, had to cancel the previous year due to the flooding.
We're so grateful to have been joined yet again by our eloquent emcee Shamez Amlani, and to have DJ General Eclectic with his Boom Bike join the ride to create the soundtrack for our route.
Our events are made possible through community partnerships, collaborations, funding bodies, and plenty of volunteers. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our event: Geoff Bercarich for hauling all of his bike tools to the islands and providing free tune-ups to keep our audience safe; Matt and the team at Pirate Life for letting us use their vessel and John Santos for providing all of our AV equipment.
Thank you to Artscape Gibraltar Point, in particular Andrew, Teya, and Lisa, for partnering with us and providing such a magnificent and magical island venue for our after party. Also thanks to the Island Cafe, for providing delicious dinners for our hungry audience, and to Priam Thomas for the amazing photography you see below, and to Jamie A.M. for his work on videography.
We really appreciate all of our volunteers for this event; Adrian, Andrew, Casey, Geoff, Gerry, James, Jess, Leah, Nick, Sarah, Vanessa, and Will. This tour is made possible through the generous contributions from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.
Artscape Gibraltar Point, Pirate Life, CDR Toronto
Shamez Amlani, DJ General Eclectic, John Oswald (with Christine Duncan and the Element Choir, Rose Bond, Alice Norton, and many other performers), Nichola Feldman-Kiss (with performers Valerie Buhagiar, Leila Moslemi, Roula Said, Lodi Awad, Suzanne Farkas, Sally Ishag), Pulga Muchochoma with Moyo Rainos Mutamba, Chris Foster, Andrew Maize, Bruno Capinan, Ice Cream, Wrik Mead, Katherine Watson, Zoe Santo, Tangi Ropars, Daniel Rotsztain
"In 2013, for Crowd Passage, a street in Liberty Village was filled with people, notably naked, who approached and passed through an Art Spin audience embedded and interspersed with singing choir members. For Island Passage, in three movements at three different locations on Toronto Island, passagers, brass players, and, once again the Element Choir, immerse, sing and emerge from Lake Ontario. The second movement is spontaneously composed and conducted by choirmaster Christine Duncan. John Oswald directed the first and third movements. Nicole Rose Bond, the featured processional soloist in the first, enshrouded by islander Alice Norton, reappears in the third, part of a brave wet crowd, backlit by a setting sun."
– John Oswald
We were very excited to follow-up our collaboration in 2013 for John Oswald's work Crowd Passage with this piece in three acts, that was staged on Ward's Island, Snake Island, and ended on Hanlan's Point beach. Thank you to all the performers for braving the chilly waters of Lake Ontario to make this ambitious work come to life.
"A siren is a caution and a lure – a beacon and a beckoning. Staged at the remote pier of Toronto Island’s Eastern Channel, a small group of women perform improvised ululations and spoken words in dialogue with the sonic landscape. While Siren is a sound installation inspired by the mythologies of seafaring folk and the calls of Ontario’s common loon, the artwork invokes contemporary geopolitical narratives of displacement and migration. Ululations are celebratory vocal expressions of feminine cultures of Africa and the Middle East, and are traditionally performed to welcome and clear paths."
– Nichola Feldman-Kiss
This work by Nichola Feldman-Kiss was the second part to a work we presented in August on our Kajama Boat Tour. This time, instead of passing the performers from the sea, we came upon them on the island. The performers moved through the crowd, parting the group to pass with their improvised vocalizations and continue down the pier into the distance.
Performers: Valerie Buhagiar, Leila Moslemi, Roula Said, Lodi Awad, Suzanne Farkas, Sally Ishag
"MANDJÉ means WATER in my native language Chuabo, from the centre part of Mozambique. As a title for the work MANDJÉ comes mostly from the idea of forced migration where most of the time water can unite us but also has the ability to separate us from our loved ones. This project is an effort to create awareness that can bring me back to my tradition where water is a way of communication and also a path to reconnect with our ancestors. When it comes to forcing people away from their place of birth, it raises so many questions. Who are we as HUMANS?
Who are we as INDIVIDUALS? The sound of water, wind, music, and the sound of silence is the best language to use as a tool to bring this work to life. This piece is more of a conversation between myself, my musical collaborator, and those whose bodies were never found while trying to escape a forced migration."
- Pulga Muchochoma
Choreographer and Dancer: Pulga Muchochoma
Music: Moyo Rainos Mutamba
Thanks to Pirate Life for letting us work with their ship as a performance space.
Similar to our commissioned project with Jasmyn Fyffe for the Kajama Boat Tour, and the themes of forced migration and displacement, we approached Pulga with the invitation to choreograph and perform a piece for the Pirate Life Ship and to respond to these challenging themes around our conflicted relationship with water.
The Gibraltar LIGHThouse performances
by Katherine Watson (flute), Zoe Santo (violin), and Tangi Ropars (Accordion) with Daniel rotsztain
Throughout the evening we led small intimate groups up to the top of the old Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, one of the oldest buildings in Toronto. After climbing a steep stone spiral staircase, audiences were met with a single musician at the top to serenade them as they look out across the island.
Thank you to our musicians Katherine Watson (flute), Zoe Santo (violin), and Tangi Ropars (accordion) for wooing our audiences atop the lighthouse. Big thanks to our lighthouse keeper, tour guide, and storyteller for the night, Daniel Rotsztain.
OTher PROJECTS & PERFORMANCES
Raising big Questions
"A simple kite, flies not with the wind but in opposition to it. Kites fly because they remain tethered to the ground. But what keeps us grounded? And how do we confront an uncertain future and weather unprecedented storms?"
– Andrew Maize
Finally the wind was on our side and we were able to present this work by Andrew Maize that we've been dying to get in the air. Andrew's piece flew high above Artscape Gibraltar Point until the wind died down. It was a breathtaking sight to see as you emerged onto the beach through the brush.
This piece was made possible with help from Zachary Gough, Joshua Collins, Jessica Sheppard and everyone in her class, as well as the whole team at Flotilla Atlantic.
March of Development
This installation by artist Chris Foster transformed this beautiful vintage bus, a Calgary transit bus from 1967, into a massive shadow-lamp that casts moving images of a busy city skyline onto the windows.
Thanks to resident island artist Manuel Cappel for giving us access to his bus to make this work come to life.
We were thrilled to install this video work by island resident and artist Wrik Mead in one of the old classrooms at Artscape Gibraltar Point. The 50 minute-long animated work depicts a year in the fractured life of the artist. The work, created in a style that evokes chalkboard drawings, was the perfect piece for this space that used to be a school itself.