Cultura Festival

Cultura Festival

NYA and the Cultura Team have made the difficult decision to cancel Cultura Festival this year due to COVID-19. We know how important this festival is to the community and we plan on returning in 2021.

Cultura is a free family friendly outdoor festival presenting Music, Art, Food, and Film every Friday evening in July.

Cultura celebrates Toronto’s rich diversity, featuring world-renowned musicians, tasty international street food, explosive buskers, interactive art activities, and evening film screenings under the stars.

Co-presented by Councillor John Fillion and North York Arts, Cultura serves to benefit the local community.

Presenting Partner:

Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Place: TBD

Price: Free

Fanny Martin | NYA Producer
John Filion | Founder
Derek Andrews | Music Consultant
Brant Matthews | Busker Consultant
Lila Karim | NYA Executive Director
Melissa Foster | NYA Program & Outreach Director
Cecilia Garcia | NYA Program & Volunteer Coordinator
Rachel Birnberg | NYA Development & Communications Coordinator
Kavita Gurm | NYA Communications Assistant

Photos taken by Kayla Wondergem

Fanny Martin – Producer

info@culturafestival.ca

Cultura Festival History

Cultura Festival 2019

Dates: July 5, 12, 19, 26, 2019

Featured Music: Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Circle Music Band, Delhi 2 Dublin, Arsenals 100% Kick-Ass Ska
Featured Busker: Nemesis, Hoop You LED Glow Show, The Greg Tarlin Juggling Show, Fireguy Show
Featured Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, The Breadwinner, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Incredibles 2

Co presenting Partners: North York Arts, City of Toronto
Secondary Stage Sponsor: TD Bank
Presenting Sponsors: Sorbara Development Group, North York Centre 
Partnering Sponsors: TO Live, Longos
Supporting Sponsor: St. Louis Bar & Grill

Cultura Festival 2018

Dates: July 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018

Featured Music: Sharon Riley and the Faith Chorale, Persian All Stars: Amir Amiri and Friends, Songs of Leonard Cohen, The Lemon Bucket Orchestra
Featured Busker: The Fire Guy, Mike Wood, Isabella Hoops, Mighty Mike
Featured Film: Wonder, The Post, Lion, The Greatest Showman

Co presenting Partners: North York Arts, City of Toronto
Main Stage Sponsor: TD Bank
Government Partners: Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF)
Cultura Festival Donors: Arthur Dalfen
Presenting Sponsors: Sobara Development Group
Supporting Sponsors: North York Centre, St, Louis Wings

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Uptown Kid Lit

Uptown Kid Lit

Uptown KidLit

Uptown KidLit is a new FREE children’s literary festival in North York for kids aged 12 and under, offering comic drawing and storytelling activities, kidlit and comic exhibitors, and feature presentations by top comic and literary artists!

Featuring George OConnor, Deborah Kerbel, Richard Scrimger, Britt Wilson, Ted Staunton, Lesley Livingston, Kean Soo, Lis Xu, John Martz, Tory Woollcott, Chad Solomon, Anoosha Syed, Brian McLaughlan, Hilary Leung, and many more!

Date: Saturday, Sept 28th

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Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm

Address: North York Central Library 5120 Yonge Street, North York

Price: Free

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

ThrowDown Dance Convention

ThrowDown Dance Convention

ThrowDown Dance Convention

UrbanArts is presenting the ‘ThrowDown’ Dance Convention– a 1-day annual urban dance platform aimed at promoting the importance of accessible and inclusive dance programs, highlighting the importance of physical literacy, offering new and exciting opportunities for growth and recognition to young performers, and encouraging community engagement through the vehicle of creative movement. Our 2019 theme is ‘Healthy Living through Dance’.

Through their dance showcase & competition, workshops & masterclasses, artist chats, and awards, ThrowDown promotes the development of artistic and life skills for youth in a supportive community atmosphere. Because of the generous contributions from key partners and supporters, Urban Arts is able to offer this dynamic dance platform 100% FREE for participants and attendees to experience.

Date: April 6th, 2019

Time: 10:30am – 5pm 

Place: Toronto Centre for the Arts

Price: Free

ThrowDown Dance Convention History

2018 ThrowDown Dance Convention

Date: May 13, 2018

Panel Discussion: “Creating A Balance As Communities Shift” – An expert panel will explore and exchange ideas on how to respond, advocate, and innovate in our schools, studios, and communities to provide dance programs and training for participants of all ages with different backgrounds, abilities, and evolving needs. How do we balance various cultural contexts, socio-economic conditions, and the varying landscapes in our communities? We welcome you for can-do thinking, deep discussion, and exchange of big ideas.

Dance Workshops & Masterclasses (For facilitators and dancers):  These workshops will focus on teaching dance-making skills to youth dancers, including creating movement themes and variations, exploring selected choreographic structures and utilizing elements of design to create exciting, meaningful and impactful work.

Community Dance Competition & Showcase: School & community dance programs, troupes, and local dance initiatives across the city come together to showcase in a main event that includes expert judges, hosts, prizes and loads of fun! ThrowDown will consist of a team dance/crew competition (16 teams). Performances will be scored by a panel of expert judges. (See ‘Rules & Regulations’ tab for scoring criteria). Various awards will be given out throughout the evening.

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Art as Medicine

Art as Medicine

Art as Medicine

Hosted by: Veronica Johnny
Featuring Indigenous Workshop Facilitators: Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire and Veronica Johnny

Art as Medicine is a half-day workshop that focuses on both traditional and contemporary explorations of the relationship between health and art from an Indigenous perspective.

Par of the Emergence Symposium and NYA’s Beyond Access, Beyond the Creative Workshop Series.


Veronica Johnny
Veronica Johnny is a two-spirit, multi-disciplinary, Indigenous artist. She is Cree/French Metis on her mother’s side and Dene/Scottish First Nation on her father’s side. Veronica is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation; was born and raised in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories and presently lives in Northern Ontario.
From humble musical beginnings, Ms. Johnny has emerged as a dynamic force in the Canadian music & arts industry, working as a performer, producer, manager, promoter, writer, arts educator, workshop facilitator, entrepreneur, youth mentor, cultural knowledge keeper and Cree language advocate.
She is a singer/songwriter, contemporary Indigenous hand-drummer and also the front woman, vocalist and manager of The Johnnys, a high-energy rock’n’roll band she founded with husband Dave Johnny. Veronica has become a seasoned performer as both solo artist and a member of groups, amassed studio experience on either side of the mixing console, manages several artists & facilitates workshops for hundreds of youth, each year.
Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire
Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire LLD is proudly Cree, her ancestry is Omushkego from Attawapiskat and Mattice Ontario and Hull Quebec, calling Toronto home. Joanne has dedicated her career to counselling, advising and educating on Indigenous concerns, empowering and capacity building and advocating for change in terms of broader societal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Her over 30-year social service career has contributed to transforming the lives of individuals, and the culture of agencies and the recognition and respect for Indigenous people, concerns and contributions within mainstream society. Joanne facilitates and consults in the not for profit sector and Toronto District School Board, around hiring practices, staff training, group facilitation and policy and procedures development.  She sits on several councils and committees.
Joanne received an Honorary Doctor of Laws in the Community Service Faculty at Ryerson University in recognition of her life’s work, the Minaake Award for Leadership, Herbert H Carnegie Amazing Aces Award for Courage, the City of Toronto Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards – Aboriginal Affairs Award.
She sits as the Elder for Ryerson University, Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council, and the Truth and Reconciliation directive for 10 years. “Her presence on this council is essential to its ability to work as a cohesive, respectful body responsible for the infusion of Indigenous curriculum, worldviews and overall presence in Ryerson University as a whole. It is in no way an exaggeration to say the progress that is envisioned for Ryerson University in terms of the mandate of the Indigenous Education Council would not be possible without the support, guidance and active engagement of Joanne.”
Joanne’s approaches to working with individuals as well as small and large groups are not only comprehensive but creative, effective and unique.  Her work has transformed lives and improved relations between people and the community.  She openly shares her own life’s journey through all forms of abuse, intergenerational trauma from Residential School and finding her profound sense of self.   http://www.healingworks.ca/
Schedule
12:30-1:00: Registration and Light Refreshments
1:00-1:15:    Introductions and Welcomes
1:15- 2:30:   Workshop 1
2:30-2:45:    Break
2:45-4:00:    Workshop 2
4:00-4:30:    Closing and De-brief/Networking

 


Date: November 22, 2018

 Hours: 12:30pm-4:30pm

Place: North York Central Library

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Volunteer Orientation: North York Arts Summer Festivals

Volunteer Orientation: North York Arts Summer Festivals

Volunteer Orientation: North York Arts Summer Festivals 

We’re thrilled to announce that Cultura Festival and Sunday Serenades, North York Arts summer festivals, are back! Are you looking for some fun event volunteer opportunities this summer? Join us for these free outdoor festivals at Mel Lastman Square.

Attending one volunteer orientation is mandatory for new volunteers!

More about our festivals:
Cultura Festival is a free family-friendly outdoor festival presenting music, art, food, and film every Friday evening in July. Cultura celebrates Toronto’s rich diversity featuring world-renowned Musicians, tasty international street food, explosive buskers and dancers, interactive art activities, and evening film screenings under the stars.

Sunday Serenades is a free outdoor concert series at Mel Lastman Square featuring some of Ontario’s best live swing bands, big band, and jazz acts.


 

Date: Jun 14 – Jun 21

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Time:  June 14, 5:30 – 6:30 | June 21, 6:30 – 7:30

Place: North York Civic Centre, North York Committee Room #1,

Address:  5100 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5V7

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Walk Together Children: A Cross – Cultural Celebration

Walk Together Children: A Cross – Cultural Celebration

Walk Together Children

Musicians, dancers, and other artists from Toronto’s African, Jewish and Shia Ismaili Muslim diasporas unite in a joyful sharing of their cultural traditions.

Headlined by soprano Denise Williams, the event brings together some of our best-known performers – pianists Brahm Goldhamer and Nina Shapilsky, percussionists Sam Donkoh and Daniel Barnes, clarinettist Ben MacDonald; members of the Toronto Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir, directed by Adrian Savin and Salima Dhanani; and Ismaili dancers. Guest artists include tenor Mitch Smolkin, dub poet Clifton Joseph, dancer Shakeil Rollock, and pianist Babak Naseri.

The program will include songs of inspiration, evocative melodies of yearning, lively dances from Africa, and joyous klezmer numbers, sung in many languages.

The afternoon will also honour Canada’s First Nations by having singer/songwriter Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone open the event.

The event dovetails with the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, and his aspiration for global pluralism: that the peoples of the world collaborate and learn from one another, and live together in peace.

Presented by the Children of Abraham Collective under the ageis of No Strings Theatre in partnership with North York Arts (NYA).


Pop Up exhibition by Art Ignite: 

To compliment Walk together Children, we will be hosting a pop-up exhibition by Art Ignite’s workshop Repainting Perceptions.

Repainting Perceptions was a photo and painting workshop where residents from the Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park communities had the space to share their stories, challenge religious and cultural stereotyping, and break through social isolation.

 

Date: Sunday October 14, 2018

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Time: 3PM

Place: George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts

Address: 5040 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 6R8

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show 2018

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show 2018

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show 2018

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show will present an outdoor film series titled “Cinematic Cities” for the Parkway Forest Park community in North York. Each week of this series will explore a different international city’s depiction in cinema – from New York to Toronto, Cannes to Mumbai. Throughout the series, short films set in Toronto will complement the feature films, allowing the programme to explore the diverse stories of our hometown onscreen. The overarching “Cinematic Cities” theme will draw bridges between vibrant and complex cities around the world, while highlighting the people who make each of these cities unique.

We invite you to journey to Parkway Forest Park for a cinematic trip around the world, from your home across the street or across the city, just a stone’s throw from Don Mills station!

Date: Thursday evenings, August 9th to 30th, 2018

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Time: TBA

Place: Parkway Forest Park

Address: 80 Parkway Forest Dr, Toronto, ON

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Community Picnic

Community Picnic

Community Picnic

The recent horrific tragedy has caused great sorrow. The Van Attack has also brought this community together.

To commemorate the many thousands of acts of kindness, goodness and love shared between people in the Willowdale community, many local groups and organizations (including the City of Toronto, TDSB, North York Arts, Orchestra Toronto, We Love Willowdale, and many others) are working together to organize a

COMMUNITY PICNIC in Mel Lastman Square!

This picnic will draw to a close the 26 Days of Music on Yonge, one day of music for every person injured or killed here in Willowdale on April 23rd.

So bring your family! Bring your own lunch and eat together as a wide family at tables that will spread across the entire Mel Lastman Square.

There will be kids’ activities, interactive art projects, live music, meditation, and much more!


 

Date: Monday May 21st, 2018

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Time: 11am

Place: Mel Lastman Sqaure

Address: 5100 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5V7

Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/444475982640709/

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network

Scotiabank Contact Festival: Ghosts of Monsters Exhibition

Scotiabank Contact Festival: Ghosts of Monsters Exhibition

Ghosts of Monsters Exhibition

Ghosts of Monsters is a photographic installation of neighbourhood architecture, a representation of evolving tastes and an expression of shifting cultural capital. This three-year-long project observes how communities express themselves in outer urban contexts. It is grounded in two photo series, Ghosts of Monsters and ParkHome.

Ghosts of Monsters and ParkHome Details

Ghosts of Monsters
Artist Paola Poletto set out to photograph postwar homes for sale in a one kilometre square section of north Toronto known as Willowdale with the intention of returning to re-photograph the various sites after they were sold. Her goal was to combine the images of the older homes before their demolition (a.k.a. the “Ghost”) with the newer and much larger multi-level Neo-Eclectic replacement house (a.k.a. the “Monster”) that would inevitably assert their position on the various sites explored. This resulted in a series of 6 composite images overlaying the two types of homes on top of one another.

ParkHome
For the ParkHome series and bookwork, a street composition of 56 homes along Park Home Avenue combines the diverse front façades as viewed from the street with a backyard view of their collective landscape taken from the perspective of the adjoining cemetery. The conceptual narrative begins and ends with a military tank pointed toward City Hall, Queens Park, Lake Ontario, Tarontha, Taronto, Toranto, Torento, Toronto, Toronton, Tkaronto – “where there are trees standing in the water.” 

The project set out to reflect the diversity of settlers, represented by their domestic architecture. The absence of bodies in these photographs avoids documentary as an endpoint. It is impossible to see neither ghosts nor monsters when viewing the source images independently. But when they are superimposed as a photocollage, we enable our imaginative eye to see into fluctuating and impermanent worlds that surround us every day. Indeed, a narrative that disrupts the idea of the colonial “heritage home” is also implied. And Willowdale’s most commonly used languages —English, Chinese, Farsi and Korean—are preset alongside the photo collages within the bookwork, considering multiple voices through the process of translation. 

About the Artist(s)

Paola Poletto’s work shifts between DIY and institutional-based practice. Comfortable in both artistic and creative paradigms, she is consistently fascinated with representations of collaborative productions where visual constructions are transformed into rigorous narratives that express multiple points of view. Paola’s independent practice includes photography, bookmaking, installations and project management. She is the independent curator of several art/lit projects which include: Kiss Machine (2000-5), Inflatable Museum (2001), Girls and Guns (2004), Boredom Fighters! (2008), Tel-talk: art interventions in telephone booths (2012) and Oh Dear: public art (2013).

Ghosts of Monsters is produced by Paola Poletto with Flavio Trevisan, Brendan George Ko and Paul Hong. Writer Paul Hong contributes a speculative fiction set amongst the urbanscapes explored, photo-based artist Brendan George Ko worked with Paola to create the photo collages, and artist and founder of Hex Editions, Flavio Trevisan, collaborated on the design and production of the bookwork, PARKHOME, for OOL imprint.


Exhibition Dates: May 10 – 27, 2018
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday1 – 6 pm;
Weekend Hours: Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27, 10 am – 5 pm
Place: Toronto Centre for the Arts, Lower Gallery, 5040 Yonge Street

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

info@northyorkarts.org

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Join Our Network