JOUEZ is a sequence of outstanding original, interactive, arts and culture programs, created by local artists, whose practices reflect the diversity of our downtown neighbourhood.

JOUEZ is a vehicle to, make a shared community experience that everyone attending the BIG On Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture can enjoy and if they like, become involved in.

JOUEZ is about creating our street culture together, connecting people with place and enabling a communal narrative to unfold.

Curated by Carla Garnet, JOUEZ 2017 sees many of the participatory artists, artist-run centres or collectives such as: Iain Downie: Clint Griffin, Stephen Fakiyesi, Andrew Harwood, Annie Wong and Impulse[b:] with special guests, Magdalena Suksi, Andrea Werhun and Fan Wu returning to present new works alongside, new to JOUEZ, arts organizations: ALL CREATIVE: (Kwasi Bugyei and Rachel South), curated by Jennifer Vong, OTHERNESS: (Pamila Matharu and Marilyn Fernades), XVK: (Xuan Ye, Véronique Sunatori and Sara Kay Maston), curated by Audrey D’Astous, and Xpace Gallery: (Genevieve Wallen, Katie Kotler, Wil Brask and Emily Gove).

Justin Oliver programs the Saturday July 22nd HOLY OAK/JOUEZ STAGE (St Clarens and Bloor St W), from noon to dusk with performances by: DJ Valeroo, Pursuit Grooves, Gayathri Premkumar, Witch Prophet, Chiquita Magic and Mamalia.

Mercer Union and TSV (Trinity Square Video) are organizing performance art/video screenings for the stage into the hot July night. Program TBA.

Sunday July 23rd sees Finn and Wolf Sonic Media program the HOLY OAK/JOUEZ STAGE with performances by: Oji Bird George, The Winter Swells, Jeremy Fisher and Todd Tolls, Nico Henderson and Gideon and the False idols.

 JOUEZ @ BIG curator Carla Garnet, with special thanks to JOUEZ curatorial assistant, Jennifer Vong   


Staged by Andrew Harwood, Glitter Blessings is an interactive work that involves a tent filled with Mylar metallic coloured streamers. After visitors make their way through the shiny maze they will be asked if they would like a further glitter blessing. At the point glitter will be poured into a fan that will lightly shower the participant.

Andrew Harwood is Andrew Harwood is a Toronto-based artist, curator, writer and performance artist. Harwood has two exhibitions this summer 'Flight' at The Fleishman Gallery, July 7 - Sept 3, 25 Baldwin St, TO and 'While I Was Away' at NO Foundation, 1082 Queen St W, TO, Aug 14 - 27.


Free Hand_Annie Wong

Preformed by Annie Wong, Free Hand, is a participatory installation inviting individuals to engage with the public as a ‘free hand’ -- a free-floating hand emerging from a fitted aperture in a white wall – while offering balloons, pieces of candy, or handshakes. Free Hand is an exercise in public trust and generosity as much as it is a collective performance of surrealist play with the symbols of everyday life. Contrary to Magritte’s disavowal, “ceci n'est pas une pipe,” Free Hand is very much a literal and material hand superficially divided from the rest of the body while also representational of a ‘free hand’, gesturing free offerings of affection to the public

Annie Wong is a multidisciplinary artist interested in the poetics of intimacy, cultural memory, collaboration, and participation as methods of reflecting the social ecology of affinities. 

She holds a BA with Honours in English Literature and a MA in Communication and Culture from York University. She has presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Nuit Blanch, and Modern Literature and Cultural Research Centre.



Curated by Audrey D'Astous the In Between is the creation of XVK, an asian-pop-girl-band-artist-collective founded by Xuan Ye, Véronique Sunatori and Sara Kay Maston. Working in a combination of traditional craft, performance, installation, and new media technologies, XVK uses varied media to assume and subvert personal histories referenced from their East Asian heritage. By creating work from the standpoint of their individual and collective identities, XVK explores the question of what it means to exist in the in between.  

Using a feminist approach, XVK, challenges hybridity by subverting stereotypes and de-centering anthropocentric perceptions. Merging images, sound, video, performance and sculptural objects, the collective speculates on intersectional feminism in relation to concerns surrounding diaspora and globalization, as well as post-human conditions. In the wake of the concurrent sociopolitical environment, and around the circulation of disinformation, XVK searches for an alternative history that casts light on the contemporaneity, suggesting a praxis of activism that functions beyond the conventional white box context. 

Xuan Ye was born and raised in China and is now a permanent resident of Canada. Her multidisciplinary practice is derivative of digital computation and sonic somatic performance.

Véronique Sunatori is from Canada, born of a French-Canadian mother and Japanese-born Father. Her work focuses on object-based conceptual sculpture and assemblage.

Sara Kay Maston was born of a Chinese-born mother and American father in Canada. Her work in painting, ceramics and fibres touches on themes relating to non-human animals. 

Audrey D’Astous is a French Canadian artist, starting her MFA at the University of Windsor in the fall of 2017. Working in soft sculpture using primarily household items, she is most interested in exploring everyday themes in her artwork. Audrey pays special attention to the titles of her pieces to reflect the role of perception in understanding our surroundings. The physical labour required by the process based approach is important as it calls on the idea of women’s work that goes unnoticed and undervalued. She received the Office of the President Curator’s Choice Award (2014), the Excellence Award (2014) and the Lynn Holmes Memorial Award (2013) from the Fine Arts Department at the University of Waterloo. Audrey has most recently exhibited in the Salt Spring National Art Prize Exhibition (2015), The Red Head Gallery (2015), the John B. Aird Gallery (2015), the World of Threads Festival (2014), and Art Mûr (2013).


Otherness is a collaboration between Toronto-based graphic-designer Marilyn Fernandes and visual artist, Pamila Matharu.

Often working in an interdisciplinary dialogue at the intersections of art, design, and pedagogical strategies; they create installations, small-run publishing/ephemera and socially-engaged projects through the contentious lens of the personal and the political.


Here Come the Neighborhood_Clint Griffin

Created by Clinton Griffin, Here comes the Neighbourhood, is an imaginered project for all ages that will be open to interpretation / participation. Collaborative drawings and diagrams will be mapped out and played like a game as a way of imagining alternatives / recreating the neighborhood.

Clint Griffin lives and works in Toronto. His work has been widely shown in Canada and the United-States, namely at Mulherin Art Project (Toronto/New York), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), the American Primitive Gallery (New York), Yard Dog (Texas) as well as in art fairs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. 

His work has been widely shown in Canada and the United-States, namely at Mulherin Art Project (Toronto/New York), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), the American Primitive Gallery (New York), Yard Dog (Texas) as well as in art fairs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. Celebrated in both the contemporary and folk art worlds, Griffin's work can be found in many private and public collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Bank of Montreal and Canada Council Art Bank.


Iain Downie creates STARBURSTS, a project that encourages the coming together of community while celebrating a uniquely collaborative approach to making art objects. Using wooden dowels with a variety of coloured yarn, festival-goers create 'starbursts'. These starbursts begin to take on their own life, guided by the imagination of others.

Iain Downie worked as assistant curator and installer at the Johnathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery and as a gallery assistant at The Arts Project in London, Ontario. 

He was juried into the Sculptors Society of Canada in 2013. In 2015 Downie was elected as Councillor to the board of directors at the Sculpture Society of Canada and representative to the John B. Aird Board of Directors, where he often assists the director/curator with installations and events.  In 2017 Downie joined the Throbbing Rose collective, the organizers of Nuit Rose participating as both an organizer and an artist. Downie’s work is currently showing at The Glory Hole gallery located inside The Glad Day Bookshop. He was juried into the Sculptors Society of Canada in 2013. In 2015 Downie was elected as Councillor to the board of directors at the Sculpture Society of Canada and representative to the John B. Aird Board of Directors, where he often assists the director/curator with installations and events.  In 2017 Downie joined the Throbbing Rose collective, the organizers of Nuit Rose participating as both an organizer and an artist. Downie’s work is currently showing at The Glory Hole gallery located inside The Glad Day Bookshop.


Impulse [b:] presents The Reading Room, a little oasis for reflection amidst JOUEZ @ Big on Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture. Three readers will be bringing their expertise in casual divination to the table: Magdalena Suksi through astrology, Andrea Werhun through tarot, and Fan Wu through poetry. Participants will be invited to sit at the table and share an intimate moment with one of these three diviners, and will leave the Reading Room with an outsider's fresh perspective on a difficulty in their life.

Impulse [b:] has its genesis in IMPULSE, the seminal art and culture magazine of Toronto. Reigning for twenty years, the articles are wildly relevant not only for Toronto but also internationally. Today, IMPULSE [b:] publishes books of poetry, fictocriticism, cultural enquiry, graphic prose, and photography.


Mercer Union is delighted to present the first solo exhibition by Paris-based artist Katinka Bock in Canada.  _o_o__o, titled in reference to Toronto, is a new body of work including Super 8 film, photographs, architectural and site interventions, and sculptural works. The gallery itself plays multiple roles: a multi-historical character with previous identities and forms, and a site among neighbouring multi-ethnic and purposed spaces. Architectural interventions reference two previous identities: the Academy cinema in the 1960s and a dollar store in the 1980s, on the site of what is currently Mercer Union.

The exhibition includes a gift exchange of Bock’s fired ceramic sculptures for objects from neighbouring shops as a continuation of Zarba Lonsa, a project begun at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in 2015. This activates the artist’s role as a visitor to the gallery and the neighbourhood. By engaging with local shopkeepers from outside the gallery, the exchange makes their agency visible within it, questioning object-value systems and the physical structures maintaining them. This intimate and incisive exploration of location, origin, material and process reveals poetic dimensions of space, mining the territories of history and archaeology.

Katinka Bock (Paris- based, German born, 1976) creates sculptures and installations that explore temporality and space using clay, natural and found materials, and more recently bronze.

She creates a continuous movement between outdoor and indoor spaces, often dealing with natural alteration processes, or filming the disappearance of sculptural elements. Bock studied at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin and at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts of Lyon. She was an artist-in residence at Villa Medici in Rome, and was awarded the Dorothea von Stetten Kunstpreis in Germany, the Prix Ricard in France and the production prize of Fundacion Botin in Spain. Select solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, MAMCO, Geneva; and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. Upcoming solo projects include Kunstmuseum Winthertur, Mudam Luxembourg, IAC Villeurbanne, Siobhan Davies Studio in London and Common Guild in Glasgow. Mercer Union, A Centre for Contemporary Art, is an artist-run centre dedicated to the advancement of contemporary art. We support the production and presentation of Canadian and international critical artistic practices, often premiering artists’ work to local and international audiences.


Kwasi Bugyei and Rachel South of All Creative present The Mother's Nature, an immersive installation that invites participants to explore a synthetic environment inspired by the natural world. Bringing together horticultural and new media practices, The Mother's Nature concentrates on the metaphor of the city as its own living organism and brings attention to developments in horticulture for the urban environment, urban farming, and other sustainability efforts for city living.  The installation is an homage to the inherent psychological connections humans have to nature – things as dismissible as our circadian rhythms and other subtle environment-influenced phenomena that impact us even while living in the concrete jungle. 

Inspired by artist Theaster Gates, All Creative is an emerging artist collective that focuses on developing the relationship between creative and urban spaces and the people that occupy them.


SF_The Trump Challenge

The Trump Challenge is a performative piece, preformed by Stephen Fakiyesi that may function, for some, as a possible catharsis from the present charged social political environment. It will feature a dunk tank in which people are invited to Dunk the Trump. Donald B Trump that is.

“In short: Ladies and Gentleman, I Donald B Trump will be officially running for President of the JOUEZ @ BIG On Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture and We are going to make BIG On Bloor Festival Great Again! Should I get the nomination I will have to release images at a later date...You'll just have to wait and see if there are any images.

But know this, "I will be the Greatest Dunk Tank celebrity that God ever created,... I tell you that!....I will be dunked by people from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places! I'll bring back our jobs and I'll bring back our MONEY! Sadly, the festival dream is dead!... But if I get elected President, I will bring it back, Bigger and Better,.. and Stronger than ever before. And we will make JOUEZ @ BIG On BlG Great Again!”

Stephen Fakiyesi is a Nigerian-Canadian artist based in Toronto.

He is best known for producing print media installations that are conceptual in nature and address social, spiritual and cultural identity. He explores the complexities of loving when it’s hard to love, removing the log from one’s own eye first, and turning the other cheek. His art practice has been described, as reflecting on the legacy of colonialism and its effects on African-Canadian culture in the global economy. He employs various creative strategies at times predicated on reproduction, appropriation and collaboration. 


For the 2017 JOUEZ @ BIG On Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture, Trinity Square Video recalls the acid cloud that loomed over the Bloor and Lansdowne neighbourhood in early November (2016) and the passing attention it received through different media outlets. Curated by TSV Exhibition Coordinator Emily Fitzpatrick with featuring works by Christina Battle, Eshrat Erfanian, jes sachse, and more, Do You Rememeber the Acid Cloud?,speaks to the community's active and passive reactions to the environmental disaster, and considers social media's influence in creating hysteria and contorting narratives.

Screen Time: Saturday July 22nd, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

From 12 to 6 PM on July 22 and 23, ‘Virtual Reality’ demonstrations will be available for participants to experience the technology TSV handles for their VR installations. 

TSV is a space to re-imagine media arts. TSV meaningfully engages diverse creative voices through its accessible production, post-production and exhibition support. Trinity Square Video champions an evolving definition of video by presenting challenging contemporary art that inspires its members and audiences to expand their understanding of media art. We strive to create a supportive environment, encouraging artistic and curatorial experimentation with video that challenges notions of medium specificity and advances media art as a creative discipline.



Wear contemporary art on your FACE! Join Xpace Cultural Centre’s Genevieve Wallen, Katie Kotler, Wil Brask and Emily Gove along with invited emerging artists to have your face (or another SFW body part of your choosing) painted with one-of-a-kind contemporary art pieces. Kid- and adult-friendly!

Xpace Cultural Centre is a not-for-profit artist-run centre dedicated to providing emerging and student artists, designers, curators and critical writers with the opportunity to showcase their work in a professional setting. We program contemporary practices that respond to the interests and needs of Toronto’s emerging creative practitioners. Xpace is supported by the OCAD Student Union.