2008 BIG Festival home 2008 feedback on the first big day
2009 BIG on Bloor Festival   2008 big on bloor participants
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Here's what people had to say about the first BIG day!

Hello Everyone
Now that it is Monday morning and I have had a chance to reflect on the BIG on Bloor Festival of Saturday, I would like to extend the appreciation to all of you who spent countless hours on countless days in this effort.
You should all be very proud!Everything went very well(with the possible exception of the weather...and who in our group was responsible for that anyway!!!).
Congratulations on making this City and community building event a happen. Next year will be even better as news of this year's success spreads.
Joe Pantalone
Deputy Mayor
City of Toronto

p. 416.392.4009
f. 416.392.4100
e. councillor_pantalone[at]toronto.ca

Congratulations to all the individuals and organizations who gave everything to make the festival a success.  What an amazing job. The event was well organized and flawlessly executed.  An exemplary multi-stakeholder success and a high-water mark for community engagement.
Our Economic Development Division is proud to be affiliated with such a great community-based main street event.
Ron Nash, Commercial Area Advisor
Business Improvement Area Office
City of Toronto

77 Elizabeth Street
Toronto, ON  M5G 1P4
t: 416 392-7354
f: 416 392-1380
e: rnash[at]toronto.ca

The City of Toronto Tourism Section was very happy to be on site with the CN Tower Mobile INFOTOGO Tourist Information vehicle. Except for a few minutes during the rain, we were was busy throughout the day.  
People were having a great time at your event and then coming over to see us, to decide on how to spend the rest of their summer. The BIG on Bloor brochures were a big hit as well.
As to our location - thank you!  It was perfect to be at a main entrance for the benefit of your guests (and it made for a seamless, easy exit when we needed to leave at 6:00 pm.)
Congratulations on a great first year and here's to many more in the future.
Renee Edelman
Program Coordinator - INFOTOGO
EDCT - Tourism
City Hall, 6th Floor, West Tower
To book INFOTOGO call 416-392-1297
or email infotogo[at]toronto.ca

The BIG on Bloor Festival was amazing! As one of the many vendors, I had a terrific day meeting other local business owners and interacting with customers. This event seemed to bring all kinds of Torontoians outside and onto the street! I saw parents with young children, people walking their dogs, groups of friends walking together, older adults enjoying the festivities, etc. It was great to see such a variety of people. The festival truly had something for everyone!

As a young business owner, these kinds of events are so important to me not only as a chance to sell my goods, but also as an opportunity to interact with customers and learn about my business.

The BIG on Bloor festival was such a great success! I can't wait to be part of BIG on Bloor 2009!

Catherine Wood
Kiwi Punch Designs

The first BIG was a great success. The all day street festival was the best to date demonstration of cultural diversity and economic vitality of the Bloordale area. I very much hope that this event will become a yearly event. There is no doubt that it will become bigger, more interesting and exciting with every future year. Congratulations and compliments to the organizers for their confidence and imagination.

Frank de Jong, Green Party of Ontario

Dear BIG Team,

In spite of some rain and wind, BIG on Bloor was a blast! Not only was it my most successful festival to date, but also the most fun and the most affordable. I loved meeting my neighbours at booths ranging from established businesses, through new green and fair trade initiatives, to family flea market tables. I loved meeting my neighbours and potential clients at my booth. My children were welcomed, safe and happy. THANK YOU for a well organized, wonderful time! I hope to always be there!

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey TieF

Tracey TieF
Certified Natural Health Practitioner
416.535.9620 or anarreshealth[at]gmail.com

I thought it was a great festival.  I guess I was lucky as my neighbours were super.  I really enjoyed the street performers and other than a bit of rain, I think it was a great "first attempt".

The Andersens

For it being the first year I saw enough people pass by and  I really like the location I was assigned to. I found the festival well organized and in my opinion, communication was delivered in a timely, detailed and courteous manner. To the organizers, I just have to say well done!

Susana Jiménez
Hispano Canadian Intercultural School
483 Lawrence Ave W.
Toronto, ON
M5M 1C6
Tel:  416.256.9777
Cel:  416.550.6262

Exciting would be an understatement, so how about BIG!
And what a Big day it was, filled with arists, sunshine aaand creativity looming the streets of Bloor.

A great way to get exposure; be it a foundation with a cause, or a hobbie brought to real life. This was some good fun, and how nice it was to ask fellow neighbour vendors what they were up to and share the support.

(Minor tweaks to the setup of course, but a first time, it was understandable that confusion should be normal)

Next year, lets get more and more publicity, something this big shouldn't go unnoticed, plus it would make all the vendors slightly more happy... :)
GO BIG OR GO HOME! ... I went Big!

Janelle Savel creator AND founder of Sunspots!

We had a blast this year. Raised lots of cash for the Weekend to End
Breast Cancer as well as sold several CD's. We'll definitely be
involved again next year. Although next year we'll apply to play on
the mainstage!

Symphony of Nine

I thought the event was a great way to promote my business.  And, you can't beat the price.  I look forward to next year's event.

Jason  Morgan
Financial Advisor
Edward Jones
1655 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON  M6P  1A6
(416) 531-7911

BIG on Bloor was a great event and an excellent promotional opportunity for the RONA MS Bike Tours.  I spoke with hundreds of people, networked with other participants and had a terrific time in the process.  It was a great way for the MS Society to reach out to the community and I look forward to participating again next year!
Katie Ansell
Promotions Coordinator, RONA MS Bike Tour
MS Society of Canada  |  175 Bloor Street East  |  Suite 700, North Tower  |  Toronto, ON M4W 3R8 | 416-922-6600 ext. 2228  | 1-800-268-7582 ext. 2228 www.mssociety.ca

Thanks for having us at the BIG on Bloor Festival.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were able to get our Live Green Toronto message out to everyone in the area.  It was really great to have an opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile community event.
If there was one suggestion I could make, it would be to have tents with the tables. Unfortunately we didn't have our own tent and it was raining at the beginning so we got a little wet.  Also, we were located on the west most end and the tables were really spaced out over ther which gave the area the feel that the festival sort of ended earlier.  Perhaps if the tables were uniformly spaced it might help with the continuity.  Other than that we had a great time!
Thanks for putting such a great event together!
Radha Rajagopalan
Toronto Environment Office
City of Toronto
Tel: 416-338-5467 Fax: 416-338-0808
email: rrajago[at]toronto.ca

It was a fantastic opportunity to meet people living in the community and connect with other agencies. We had set up our table to promote our services to caregivers and seniors - people would walk by and ask questions and it was a chance to connect face to face with people. We also met individuals and families who were already familiar with us and they were happy to meet a friendly face in the neighbourhood. On one side of our table we had a group of bike ethusiasts and on the other side we had another non-profit agency. We were able to network with each other and perhaps, these connections might even lead to volunteer and agency partnerships in the future. The best part is walking in the middle of bloor street experiencing the culture and diversity of different groups and not having to worry about cars.

Tim Anderson
West Toronto Services for Seniors

The positive side of the BIG festival was that it brought us into a neighbourhood that we normally wouldn't hang out in.  We had dinner there which was fabulous.

I was representing Open Studio and its artists.  The event was fine, the turn out was fine, but this is not a venue where people are up for buying artwork.  I'm not sure that it's the right venue for artists...or maybe if there was a section dedicated to artists selling work. I think it might help to group them together.

We were placed between VAO which had no art just a table for colouring for kids and a religious organization.

thanks for all of your hard work,
Snaige from Open Studio

On behalf of Toronto Animal Services, our staff, and myself please accept our heartfelt thank you for allowing us the opportunity to provide information to the participants at the Big on Bloor Festival 2008. We found the day to be very worthwhile, our staff never had a dull moment all day; answering questions, issuing licences, and promoting our adoptable pets. Personally for me it was great to meet so many parents and children wanting to learn the proper way of approaching a dog. K9 Cody and myself seldom stopped.

Thank you very much for all your hard dedicated work and that of your volunteers and sponsors. We look very forward to attending next year.

Robert Dale Meerburg & K9 Cody
Toronto Animal Services
35 Spadina Rd.
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2S9
416-338-8522 voicemail
416-984-9851 cell

This festival was incredibly successful, especially considering that this was the festival's first year. Congrats to everyone involved!

LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) was happy to participate in the inaugural BIG on Bloor Festival last Saturday. I live in this diverse community, and it great to see the community fully engaged not only with each other, but the wide range of vendors, artists and social justice, cultural and environmental groups. I attribute the success of this festival to its car-free nature, which also had the benefit of allowing many restaurants and cafe's that do not normally have patios, to create temporary patios by extending on to the sidewalk.

We had a great time at the festival, chatting with friends that stopped by, the wide range of area residents and other participants. Despite the relatively large geographic area which this festival occupied, it really had the feel of a grassroots community festival. I also feel the festival allowed Torontonians for other parts of the city to take their time and really hang out in this wonderful diverse community. Areas which have been stigmatized (such as Bloor/Landsdowne) greatly benefit from such festivals.

It was definitely worth it for us to participate in the BIG on Bloor Festival. We hope that this year's success will enable the festival to run again next year - and we'll be there!

My only complaint was that in certain areas the tables were really packed in tightly (such as where LEAF was at Bloor/Dovercourt), and in other areas there were big gaps. Perhaps for next year it can be spread out more evenly.

Thanks - Liza from LEAF

I've never done a street festival before, but I had a lot of fun.  Despite the rain, it was a new experience and I got to meet loads of interesting people.  Whenever I could, I would sneak away from the table to check out the live performances on the nearby stage.  For it's first year, I think BIG on Bloor was a success.  And for a $25 fee to participate, you can't go wrong!!

That's my testimonial!


Stephanie Agosta
Gutsy Dame

I had a fantastic time at the BIG on Bloor festival. Thanks so much for putting it all together! I'm a North-end person, and rarely get out to the west side of town, so it was a really refreshing opportunity for me to check out a different neighbourhood and get to know more of the city. On behalf of the Ashkenaz Foundation, I also want to thank you for giving us this opportunity to network with people beyond our core constituency. We met a ton of great people and generated really positive buzz for our upcoming festival.

Thanks again for all your hard work!

Sharoni Sibony
Outreach Coordinator
Ashkenaz Foundation
455 Spadina Avenue, Suite 303
Toronto, ON M5S 2G8

P. 416.979.8282
E. sharoni[at]ashkenazfestival.com
W. www.ashkenazfestival.com

This year's BIG Festival was a BIG hit! The streets were filled with a diverse mix of people, music, food, art and culture. It was wonderful to be among an interesting mix of venders and to feel a sense of community bonding.  I was happy to be part of this event and I'm looking forward to participating every year.  

A BIG thank you goes out to all who made this event possible.

Allison Greenbaum
Creator and Publisher of
The Little Green Book of Big Savings
Live Green * Save Money * Buy Local
Office Phone/Fax: (416) 203-6366
Cell Phone: (416) 627-1985
Email: allison[at]TheLittleGreenBook.ca
Website: TheLittleGreenBook.ca

We had a blast! We kept our table theme simple and interactive: "Colour Your Brains Out". We provided markers and about 16 feet of paper that people could draw, colour or write whatever they liked.

And we knew that we had hit a nerve when the very first people approached our table with a unanimous "AWESOME". Over the afternoon we had quite a few "clients" - children, of course, but a great many teenagers and older adults as well.

I have participated in quite a few street fairs recently. Big On Bloor had a truly honest, community minded feeling. Well done!

David McClyment
Ryding Rockers

My booth was small - I sold handmade cards and small paintings. I showed up a little late because the rain made me hesitate about coming at all, and set up my colourful disply beside a tent of Jamaican cultural artifacts. I was booth J09, a dozen feet from Ossington. I watched the people go by and smiled while my husband struck up a conversation with the Jamaican couple next to us.

When the rain came, the true spirit of community came through it like sunshine. Jim ran off to find me some plastic and an umbrella, and the couple next to us offered advice and sympathy. Soon the sun came back and with it the most special part of our BIG experience. A drumming troupe of big, swarthy Jamaican gentlemen and a small beautiful dancer appeared and set up directly across from us. Our Jamaican friends with the tent had their own jembes, and the two groups started a musical mayhem that lasted 3 hours, all through the sunshine. Kids and parents were stopping, spellbound, as many had never heard or seen a performance like it. Jim shot picture after picture, capturing the wide grins and open arms of the drum players and the open eyes and delighted smiles of the audience.

I've been in places where these performers would have been asked to leave. There would be some excuse, like they were insulting the paid acts on the stages nearby, or they were too loud, or their clothing was unacceptable (burlap sacks sewn into shirts). The BIG organizers seemed completely accepting, and as a result the sun and music of that day made the event forever ingrained in my mind and the minds of all of those who experienced the music and sun that afternoon.

Thank you for a wonderful day - I will definitely be back!

Claire Grady-Smith, artist