Big Band Exchange (in lieu of Sunday Serenades)

Big Band Exchange (in lieu of Sunday Serenades)

Big Band Exchange 2021

Big Band Exchange is Back!

Last year, in lieu of our music and dance festival Sunday Serenades, we brought you Big Band Exchange – an online video series where musicians and community members came together to exchange knowledge and ideas about the importance of music.

After a successful run, we are back this year with a new iteration that brings an even more impact straight to your screen. NYA invited tap dancer Travis Knights and Holla Jazz founder Natasha Powell, in dialogue with jazz singer Jenna Marie Pinard, to share their love for social dancing and their vision for a future where jazz and dance are reunited.

Tune in this Fall (date TBD) as we delve deep in four short video conversations with the artists on the following topics:

Date: TBD

Link: TBD

The Contemporary Challenge: Striving Toward A New Identity
How Jazz provides a blueprint for societal cohesion, celebrates individuality/authenticity, and promotes history and lineage.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Clap on 1 & 3: The Rules of The Game
what are the rules to swing?

Shout Out To The Mentors: The Gift of Passing It On
Showing love to the elders

The Playlist: The Soundtrack of Our Lives
what are the sounds/songs that change(d) our lives?

Meet The Artsits

Jenna Marie Pinard (she/her)

At the vanguard of ‘The New Jazz Generation’ and freshly graduated from the University of Toronto’s prestigious jazz studies program, Jenna Marie Pinard possesses a signature jazz and blues voice that hints at Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Aretha Franklin, but is distinctly her own. She is best known for her smooth-sounding jazz and rich R&B vocals, her wide vocal range, and passionate performances. She is quickly gaining reputation in Toronto as a uniquely warm spirit and engaging performer. Originally from Montréal, Jenna Marie now lives in Toronto and plays weekly all over the city. Jenna Marie is also the radio-host and co-producer for “Orange Grove Radio”, a 24-station syndicated radio show that plays “The latest and greatest in Canadian jazz”.

Instagram: @jennamarielive
Tik Tok: @jennamarielive
Facebook: jennamarielive

Natasha Powell (she/her)

Natasha Powell is a dance artist. She is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of HOLLA JAZZ in Toronto, Canada, presenting historical jazz dances in a new light. No stranger to the stage, Natasha has collaborated and created over 20 dance works for live performance. FLOOR’D, her company’s first full-length production was nominated for four (4) Dora Mavor Moore Awards and named one of the top 10 dance shows of the recent decade by NOW Magazine.

Instagram: @tashapowellto


Travis Knights (he/him)

I’m a Tap Dancer of the Ethel Bruneau and Mary Bruce lineage. The DaNcE has allowed me to play rhythms on stages around the world. It feels like the more experience I get within Tap, the more questions I have. I explore these questions as the host of the Tap Love Tour Podcast. The DaNcE is my way of connecting with people. For that reason, I am both grateful and dedicated to rhythm and movement.

Instagram: @tkxperience
Facebook: Tap Love Tour
SoundCloud: Tap Love Tour
Patreon: travisknights

Big Band Exchange 2020

For the first time in over 25 years, we couldn’t gather on Mel Lastman Square to dance to the sound of the best Big Bands of Toronto and beyond. The safety of our community is always of utmost importance.

While the physical festival didn’t take place, we didn’t let that stop us from finding a way to bring the music to you. So, in lieu of Sunday Serenades, we launched a special project called Big Band Exchange and had YOU participate.

Big Band Exchange is a one-of-a-kind experience for you to connect with and support Toronto bands and musicians through the “exchange” of memories and stories about jazz, music, dancing, and everything in between through conversations and video podcasts!

Participants had the opportunity to sign up for a 1-to-1 30-minute conversation with a big band musician to chat all things music! Had a question, comment, or idea? This was a unique opportunity to connect with local talents.

Then, Every Sunday in August we brought the jazz directly to you! Each band released a pre-recorded podcast on Facebook Live. Watch below as these amazing performers share stories. We encourage you to tune in to listen, sing along, and dance!

Jenna Marie Pinard

Advocats Big Band

Toronto All-Star Big Band

Martin Loomer’s Orange Devils

Supported by: 

Sunday Serenades History

Big Band Exchange 2020 (in lieu of Sunday Serenades)

Due to COVID-19, NYA presented Big Band Exchange in lieu of Sunday Serenades. Big Band Exchange is a online program celebrating music and conversation. Four bands presented video podcasts to share and exchange memories and stories about jazz, music and dancing! Attendees tuned-in live on Facebook. 

Dates: August 9, 16, 23, 30
Bands: Advocats Big Band, Jenna Marie Pinard Ensemble, Martin Loomer’s Orange Devils, and Toronto All-Star Big Band.

Video Podcasts:

Funded by: Government of Canada


Sunday Serenades 2019

Dates: July 7, 14, 21, 28, 2019
Bands: Metro Big Band, Toronto All Star Big Band, Swing Shift Big Band, Starlight Orchestra 

Partnering Sponsor: TO Live
Community Partner: North York Seniors Centre
Funded by: Government of Canada

Sunday Serenades 2018

Dates: July 8, 15, 22, 29, 2018
Bands: George Lake Big Band, GTA Swing Band, Starlight Orchestra, Metro Big Band

Partnering Sponsor: Toronto Centre for the Arts
Supporting Sponsor: Delmanor
Community Partner: North York Seniors Centre

About Us

North York Arts (NYA)  collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities

Contact us 

North York Arts
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Art Connects

Art Connects

Art Connects

Art connects is an ongoing initiative that started in 2019 to address North York Arts’ role in Truth and Reconciliation. As we build programs, partnerships, and relationships, we continues to ask ourselves “As a non-Indigenous organization, what can we do to support the process of decolonization and build right relations with Indigenous communities?”

See below to learn more about our past, current, and upcoming programs as part of Art Connects!

Art Connects 2021 – 2022

As a continuation of NYA’s 2019 training program, we are focusing on projects that aim to connect the local North York community with the environment and history of the land in which it lives, works, and plays on. A series of Indigenous and non-Indigenous research tools and community workshops will inform a public art installation created by Haudenosaunee/ Anishinaabe multi-media artist, Lindsey Lickers.

Lead Artist

Lindsey Lickers
‘Mushkiiki Nibi Kwe’

Art Connects Programs

Art Connects 2019 – 2020

Art Connects began as a cultural competency training program for NYA Staff board, and community partners. The program addressed how North York Arts can better incorporate/adapt to some of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The program was done in two phases:

1. A series of consultations between NYA staff and board, an Elder and Indigenous leaders

2. Community conferences with other arts organizations to share NYA’s findings and discuss our role as a sector.

Program Consultants :

Elder Joanne Dellaire

Veronica Johnny

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone

  1. Sep 2019NYA received funds from the Government of Canada’s Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anit-Rascism Initatives Program
  2. Oct 2019NYA staff have their first consultation with Elder Joanne and Indigenous leaders Veronica and Aqua.
  3. Dec 2019NYA staff have their second consultation to discuss action steps
  4. Jan 2020NYA board meets with Elder Joanne to discuss the role of the board in making change
  5. Jan 2020 NYA hosts a community Consultation with our sister Local Arts Service Organizations (LASO)
  6. Feb 2020NYA partners with PAONE to host a second community consultation
  7. Apr 2020NYA Staff participate in Medicine Wheel teaching
  8. May 2020Program evaluation by Maria Montejo

Art Connects Outcomes: 

  • An organizational commitment to authenticity, education, and balance
  • Development of a new land acknowledgment 
  • Received funds to develop our Art Connects Public Art Project
  • Plans to write an environmental policy
  • Shared knowledge and understanding within the arts sector
Funded By:

About Us

North York Arts (NYA)  collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities

Contact us 

North York Arts
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Downsview Hub Programs

Downsview Hub Programs

Downsview Hub Programs

North York Arts is a proud partner of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art!

The program celebrates Toronto’s incredible collection of public art and the artists behind it, while creating more opportunities for the public to connect and engage with the work.

NYA has curated a series of activities – taking place at Downsview Hub, Downsview Park, and online –  that engage with people of all ages starting March 2022! In response to Year of Public Art’s theme of the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action, we will be celebrating our connection with the land we inhabit as settlers and share with Indigenous Peoples. Our free public programs will centre on the land and have a focus on environmentalism.

Our programming includes an upcycling collaborative art exhibition called “We CAN do it” Pow-Wow dance lessons, “African Beats” cardio-fitness program, kite-making spoken word for youth, beading, public art tours and so much more. Stay tuned for more details to come.

We can’t wait to see you all at the Downsview Hub and Downsview Park!

Click here for more information about ArtworxTO.

Local Discoveries

All six of Toronto’s Local Arts Service Organizations (LASOs) are participating in ArtworxTO! Together, our programs are called “Local Discoveries.Click here to explore Local Discoveries Programs!

NYA’s ArtworxTO programs

About Us

North York Arts (NYA)  collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities

Contact us 

North York Arts
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network