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BigArtTO visits York South-Weston and Beaches-East York (October 21 to 24)

Part Three by Kaya Joan.
Part Three by Kaya Joan.

The City of Toronto’s free outdoor public art celebration, BigArtTO, continues to offer residents with opportunities to safely explore their communities, while still respecting public health guidelines. And OCAD University is excited to participate as a proud partner.

This week, BigArtTO visits the neighbourhoods of York South-Weston and Beaches-East York.

Twenty-one of the BigArtTO productions are the result of a close collaboration between the City of Toronto, OCAD University, and AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc. Three of the BigArtTO productions are being delivered at waterfront locations and will be activated by program partner, The Bentway. These meaningful partnerships will provide opportunities for emerging Toronto-based artists and students.

October 21 to 24: daily from 7 to 10 p.m.

Ward 5: York South-Weston

Weston GO/UP Station , 1865 Weston Rd, M9N 1V9)

Artist:  Kaya Joan (OCAD U Student, Indigenous Visual Culture)

Title: Part Three

Part Three is an assemblage film of footage collected from my journeys throughout the urbanscape of T'karonto (Toronto), overlaid with ethereal animated gifs which together illustrate a dreamscape world, parallel to our own. This is the third part in a series of poems, exploring how land acts as a portal to otherworlds and modes of being, offering space to breathe, to be in relationship, and to deeply listen.

A being enters the dreamscape world through a portal, after a nuclear apocalypse sends them into a transformative, reclusive state underground. They seem to be the only human form in this otherworld of lush, wooded territory, with little recollection of their past life. After bonding with otsíhkwes, a fox, the two navigate this world of spirits and abundant resources together. Part Three explores what healing from ancestral, intergenerational and environmental trauma might look like in an otherworld, a parallel present, future and/or past, and how access to land affects healing processes, through ritual, grief and blood memory.

Kaya Joan is a multi-disciplinary Afro Caribbean (Jamaican/ Vincentian) and Indigenous (Kanien’kehá:ka with relations from Kahnawá:ke) artist living in T’karonto (Dish with One Spoon Treaty territory). Kaya’s work focuses on healing, transcending linear notions of time, blood memory and decolonial aesthetics, rooted in imagery from the lands of their ancestors (Turtle Island and the Caribbean). Afro and Indigenous futurity and pedagogy are also centred in Kaya’s practice, working through buried truths to explore how creation can heal seven generations into the past and future. 

Kaya has been working in community arts for five years as a facilitator and artist. They are a core member of Weave and Mend, an Indigenous femme/non-binary collective. 

To view more of Kaya’s work, please visit 

Instagram: @kayajoan

Ward 19: Beaches-East York

(Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pool, 1867 Lake Shore Blvd. E., M1P 4N7)

Artist: Alvin Luong

Title: Life Preserver

In Life Preserver, a leisurely walk along the water leads to the discovery of a bundle food that has been washed ashore. The bundle appears purposeful in its assembly, yet its function is unknown. We watch as a pedestrian tries to make sense of the bundle as they grasp it, look through its seams, and place it upon their body.

Alvin Luong creates artworks based on stories of human migration, land, and dialogues from the diasporic working class communities that he lives and works with. These stories are combined with biography to produce artworks that reflect upon issues of historical development, political economy, and social reproduction; and how these issues intimately affect the lives of people. The artist is currently focused on migration and economic corridors between the South China Sea and the West.

For more information on Life Preserver, please visit the Bentway website:

The BigArtTO initiative runs to December 5, 2020. A complete event schedule is available on the City of Toronto website