Inspire North Festival
Art installations, music, dance, family-friendly fun, food, and more! Celebrate art and summer with us at The Orchard Pavilion this August, and leave feeling inspired and joyful, with a smile that’ll last the whole week!
Register below to secure your FREE spot on Friday Aug 18 2023 and Saturday Aug 19 2023 at The Orchard Pavilion (Downsview Park) Toronto, ON M3K 2C5.
Incredible art installations by Leila Refahi and Jieun Kim, watch these talented artists in action as they create murals in real time at The Orchard Pavilion! Then take a stroll through the Orchard and check out art created by four local North York based artists, and learn about their process and artwork.
Delightful music in multiple genres by Big Smoke Brass Band, Nathan Baya, and Sean Stanley Trio, these musicians are not to miss!
Beautiful dance performances by Rakeem Hardy and Zoe Kwan with TOES FOR DANCE that are sure to inspire and blow you away.
Family-friendly fun for your young artists! Stop by our kite-making eco-friendly art station with OrfeEcoArt on Friday, and come back an exciting arts activation by the lake on Saturday.
Whether you’re looking to gain new insights, connect with like-minded individuals, or simply want to participate in your local arts community, Inspire North is the place to be. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to celebrate the community. Mark your calendars and get ready to experience Inspire North.
Inspire North was made possible thanks to the support of City of Toronto, ArtsVest, Northcrest Developments, Canada Lands Company, and XOXO Downsview.
We can't wait to see you there!
Friday August 18th – 6pm to 8pm
Born on the streets of Toronto in 2017, Big Smoke Brass is a leading voice in the Canadian brass scene. Dedicated to fostering community and connecting people through their high-energy music, the band has given hundreds of performances across Canada and released a growing discography of original music and videos. Wherever you may be, Big Smoke Brass is determined to share their love of music with you.
Catch Big Smoke Brass in the Orchard on Friday!
Rakeem Hardy, originally from Toronto, Canada, received their BFA and the Thayer Fellowship Award from the State University of New York at Purchase College. Through their time at Purchase, they performed works by Ohad Naharin, Doug Varone, Sidra Bell, Norbert De La Cruz III, and Roderick George. They received additional training at the Taipei National University of the Arts, as well at Springboard Danse Montreal where they performed pieces by Crystal Pite, Alejandro Cerrudo, and Aszure Barton. Rakeem has collaborated and performed with A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Loni Landon Dance Projects, Collectif LA TRESSE, and Gallim Dance.
TOES FOR DANCE (TFD) is an artist-run non-profit contemporary dance organization based in Tkaronto. Our mission is to share art and connect people through workshops and performances; fostering a community inspired by shared values of curiosity and collaboration. Our understanding of contemporary dance emerges from the wide range of movement artists who lead and contribute to our programming; an expansive definition that includes a diversity of practices working in the current and ever-evolving ecology of dance. TFD has presented performances for over 10,200 students and public audience members and has offered educational classes/programs for approximately 13,000 people. www.toesfordance.ca.
Catch Rakeem Hardy and Zoe Kwan in the Pavillion!
Zoe Kwan (dance artist, choreographer, producer), has worked with artists including Michael Caldwell and Colleen Snell in her professional career. She produced Carnival of the Arts: a full-length dance show featuring six original pieces. Zoe holds a BFA in Performance Dance and was awarded the Lipson Family Endowment Award for an emerging choreographer, the Performance Dance: Highest CGPA award, and the Orly Watkin Dance Award in 2021. Her work “I Woke Up” was selected to be featured internationally and locally in Ryerson Choreographic Film Festival, Bloom Festival, the fifth edition of Artists For Peace, and in Lisbon Dance Platform.
TOES FOR DANCE (TFD) is an artist-run non-profit contemporary dance organization based in Tkaronto. Our mission is to share art and connect people through workshops and performances; fostering a community inspired by shared values of curiosity and collaboration. Our understanding of contemporary dance emerges from the wide range of movement artists who lead and contribute to our programming; an expansive definition that includes a diversity of practices working in the current and ever-evolving ecology of dance. TFD has presented performances for over 10,200 students and public audience members and has offered educational classes/programs for approximately 13,000 people. www.toesfordance.ca
Catch Rakeem Hardy and Zoe Kwan in the Pavillion!
I am an environmental artist and creator/facilitator of an eco-friendly community art program for children, Orfe EcoArt Program. My passion for art, environmentalism, and community engagement, along with my art education experience with the TCDSB and the TDSB, have strengthened my motivation to engage young people in protecting the earth through participatory community arts.
Orfe EcoArt Program is a social enterprise that aims to stimulate creativity and environmental responsibility in children and youth through its ecological art program, understanding that a creative mind and responsible attitude are key to becoming an active member of society and contributing to the health and safety of one’s community.
Create eco-friendly art with Orfe by the lake at our Inspire North Art Station!
Leila Refahi is a visual artist and experienced art teacher with roots in Canada, Iran, and Germany. She works with painting, installation, and digital media to create participatory art experiences. Her work mainly focuses on environmental issues, climate justice, and endangered animals. Refahi has presented six solo exhibitions and participated in more than 60 national and international group exhibitions and festivals.
Check out Leila’s Art Installation in the Pavillion!
Four artists will be exhibiting their work near the Orchard Pavillion, and discussing their art process and inspiration for the work they create.
Artists will be announced soon! Check them out by the Orchard Pavillion.
Saturday August 19th – 1pm to 5pm
The Sean Stanley Trio PROUDLY plays Jazz, Swing and the blues. The music of Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Erroll Garner and Duke Ellington as well as Sean’s original compositions. The band consists of 2-time Juno winner Kyle Tarder-Stoll on tenor sax, local Toronto staple bassist Gram Whitty and Sean Stanley on piano and vocal. Their music ranges from hot and fiery to smooth and sweet but is always based in the blues and improvisation.
Catch the Sean Stanley Trio in the Pavillion on Saturday!
Jay Northcott is a multidisciplinary artist; director, playwright, burlesque dancer, and producer. Jay works to decolonize their art and practice with storytelling, movement, and gesture to create a foundation for their work. They push their own boundaries by rejection notions of a ‘final’ or ‘polished’ project and focus on a live-ness by continuing to discover their own bias as a theatre maker. They continue to grow and make it their mission to continue to unlift projects that put bipoc queer artists in the spotlight. They continue to create a community that is run by and for racialized and queer artist. Their goals: to make you cry and piss yourself at the same time, and to bleed, break, grind, make money, fuck, fight and blow some shit up with their post-britney2007 (after she shaved her hair off) aesthitic. Directing credits include: blacktop sky (obsidian thearte), passover (obsidian theatre, ad) sweat (arts club & citadel theatre, ad), scarlet letter (theatre calgary, ad), iphigenia and thefuries (saga collectif, ad), cows (theatre junction)
Producer of And Their Sibling, The House Royale, TMI+, and father of Rebel Gen Alexandher Brandy is passionate about creating safe spaces for Transgender, and Gender-Non Conforming people. Alex strives to bring people together through music and dance. You can find him fluttering around a good party, but if you really want to get him excited – ask him about queer history. Get the #BrandyEffect on instagram @axbrandy!
Catch Alexandher Brandy in the Orchard on Saturday!
Nathan Baya is an artist, songwriter and performer born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Baya’s parents immigrated to Canada from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
His cultural heritage has influenced his musical sound and through his electrifying energy, he has performed on over 100 stages including Toronto Pearson International Airport, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, Toronto Raptors, Afrofest, Toronto Black Film Festival, Afro Carib Festival, Vibe Arts Festival, Active Ontario Festival, Brussels Summer Festival in Paris, Unity Hip Hop Charity Festival, Royal Ontario Museum, Nuit Blanche, Youth Day Toronto, Canadian Music Week, The Art Gallery Of York University, Toronto Metropolitan University, University Of Toronto St George, University Of Toronto Scarborough, Rise Edutainment, Toronto Biennial of Art, etc.
Catch Nathan in the Orchard Pavillion on Saturday!
Jieun Kim (AKA. June) is Toronto based, Korean born painter, tattooer, and activist public muralist. She has exhibited her paintings around the world since 2010 at notable galleries and events, exploring the idea of “home” as an immigrant. Jieun’s painting practice is founded on her connection to the spaces around her; her love of the natural and urban environments and folk arts in Korea; the homeland where she was born and raised.
As an expansion of her studio work, Jieun is also interested in creating safe spaces through street art. She has created numerous murals with various arts organizations and corporate partners such as City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto, The STEPS Initiative, Toronto International Film Festival, Samsung, Stella Artois and more.
Catch Jieun in the Orchard on Saturday!
These bright and fun, larger than life puppets are an absolute delight for all ages.
Hercinia Arts Collective is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary, contemporary circus organization dedicated to the creation, production and dissemination of new contemporary circus works. Our mission is to further the development of contemporary circus through collaboration and integration of a multitude of voices and art forms, and to bring circus arts (and all of its intersections) to individuals, spaces and communities that might not otherwise experience it.
Patrick Walters is an international poet & arts educator, who is dedicated to sharing stories that speak to the issues we all battle daily. His work is a constant reminder to us to never give up on our own hopes & dreams, even in the face of the harsh realities of the world we live in. After releasing his debut Album, The OffShore Account, Patrick has been focused on his arts education and consulting career as well as sharing his works of poetry on stages across North America and the Caribbean region.
The Jane Finch site of Community Music Schools of Toronto (CMST) is excited to participate in the Inspire North Festival. At the CMST booth, community members are invited to test out various musical instruments and jam along with our staff! We will also share information about our programs and registration details for Fall 2023.
We look forward to having you join us to try out some instruments and share your musical talents! Community Music Schools of Toronto (CMST) is a registered charity that gives children and youth a rich and rewarding music and social education. We offer free music programs for students aged 4-18 in various disciplines (from piano, strings, voice, brass, wind and percussion to electronic music, songwriting and recording).
Join Jasmine at the picnic tables by the lake for three fun and interactive nature art activities!
Hula Hoop Pollinators
Decorate a bee, butterfly, or bird and tie it onto a hoop “windchime”
Nature Walk Bingo (Discover Downsview Bingo)
Discover Downsview on a self-led nature bingo card! Beetles, birds, and buildings – oh my!
Positive Affirmation Rocks
Spread positivity by creating positive affirmations on found rocks to create a message for our community.