Culture Works

Culture Works
July 20 and 21, 2013
Bloor Street, various locations between Dufferin and Lansdowne on Bloor Street and in the Tennis Courts

Institution, Organizations and Collectives will bring their programming to the street at the BIG On Bloor Festival July 20 and 21, 2013 including: The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, Centennial College, Canadian Textiles Museum, Canadian Stage, Toronto New School of Writing, Toronto Business Improvement Association, Toronto Botanical Garden, Toronto Public Library, The Ontario College of Art and Design University, The Ontario Science Centre and others.

P R O J E C T S 2012

Artist IAINBAXTER& presents “& To The Sky” floating sculptures made of helium bubbles in conjunction with works currently on view at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) entitled IAINBAXTER&: Works 1958-2011. IAINBAXTER& will be at the festival to discuss his work &.

Bloordale BIA invites you to colour in a Bloordale t-shirt and it’s yours to keep for free. A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas. We welcome festival-goers to the Bloordale BIA in this festival event that celebrates our community, Bloor Street and the City of Toronto.

Canadian StageA Midsummer Night’s Dream Photo Booth. Get dramatic and play dress-up at the Canadian Stage photo booth. Pick from the most outrageous, fun, and fancy costumes in our theatre wardrobe, then pose for a photo with your friends and family. Plus learn more about the Canadian Stage presentation of a A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare in High Park June 26 – September 2, 2012. Pay-what-you-can at the High Park Amphitheatre.

Dress up in period costume on Sunday and have your photo taken and sent to your e-mail address.

Centennial CollegeMake Your Mark”. Life drawing for all ages, all abilities. Release your inner artist. We supply the model, the materials, and the fun. You supply the curiosity, spirit and talent. Stick figure drawings welcome. Put together by David McClyment, professional artist and Co-ordinator of the Fine Arts Studio Program, Centennial College.

Toronto Botanical Garden helps launch The Toronto Garden Project, and invites you to join in.  Simply draw a flower that is meaningful to you—one that marks a birthday, a passing, a party, a park, a mother’s day, an anniversary, a tragedy, a success–or any other occasion when we share flowers. Selected flower drawings will become part of a permanent “garden” in stainless steel, embedded in the Bloor Street sidewalk.

Celebrate flowers at the height of their season with the TBG:

  • Take in the beauty and fragrance of our What’s In Bloom bouquets
  • Taste our award-winning honey from the TBG’s bees
  • Shop for summer herbs, edible flowers or a gardening book to inspire your efforts
  • Check out the work of the city’s most industrious pollinators and take your photo with a beekeeper’s veil and smoker.

Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts invites everyone to reshape a 24-foot line of clay (weighing literally one ton) into their own creation with the help of ceramic artists working side-by-side with festival-goers of all ages.  This two-day family festival event encourages everyone to explore creating in clay – add, change, build something  – a tower, a bird, a design, a mud cake, a road with cars, a pinch bowl, a face… installed together on a 24 foot x 30 inch table platform this become an exhibition and its own world. On the closing of this event – we invite people to take away clay – free.

The Textile Museum of Canada invites you to sew, glue, draw, knit together material to make your own flag. Explore ideas about flags with Richard Mongiat and offer him suggestions and ideas for a Bloordale flag.

Ontario College of Art and Design University – Being asked so many times, “Why can’t you paint pretty pictures?” three artists toy with the notion of what their ‘ugly’ work would look like in ‘grandmother’s house’. 

Ontario Science Centre looks into the face of your future with an aging machine. On stage we educates and amaze with science experiments, tricks and feats of daring.

The Art Of The Danforth (AoD) is a free, multi-disciplinary, public art experiment that unleashes both large and small site-specific art projects into the community and lets them mix, mingle, and transform on the streets.  Our BIG on Bloor table will showcase of the characteristic interactive artistry featured at AOD’s recent 22 day-long event held in east Toronto, transforming the table into a pavilion for people on Bloor to interact with their neighbors on the Danforth.

David Anderson and Clay and Paper Theatre has the Day of Delight meet the Night of Dread in Bloordale at 1242 Bloor Street’s new Can Opener Gallery.

Toronto New School of Writing offers “Acts of Poetry” with Amy Corner, Ben Nolan, Beatriz  Hausner, Book Thug, Dale Smith, Daisuke Takeya, Dyan Marie, Eldon Garnet, Fenn Stewart, Hoa Nguyen, Jay MillAr, Jenny Sampirisi, Jerry McGrath, John Stout, JP King, Liz Howard, Louise Bak, Mat Laporte, Nancy Viva Davis Halifax, Norman Cristofoli, Paula Eisenstein, Paola Poletto, RM Vaughan, Shannon Maguire and many others. This participatory poetry project invites poets and people at the Big on Bloor Festival to contribute by adding their words to large-scale poetry panels.

Toronto Public Libraries, story-telling on Saturday organized by the Gladstone Public Library.

For more than 20 years, TransCultural Exchange has been uniting the world through art and will do so again at Toronto’s BIG On Bloor festival. To mark the 10th anniversary of its unprecedented “Coaster Project,* for which 99+ artists staged 99+ exhibitions throughout the world and then gave the over 10,000 artworks away for free, TransCultural Exchange is inviting the original artists, newcomers and festival-goers to make, contribute and take-away an art work. After all, the best things in life are free. * Can’t be there? You can still participate

Join the Toronto Zoo for some WILD animal encounters and educational artifacts. Don’t forget your camera because the Zoo Mascot Explorer BearTM will be on hand for the fun!

Bloor Serves. A one-stop location to find out about the BIG area Bloor Street including: service providers, community groups and initiatives, BIAs and local institutions. We have information you want to know about in our - yes in my backyard community - including opportunities to get involved. Bloor Serves Festival Projects include:

  1. Start-up of  Bloor Serves: Neighbourhood Asset Map – did we miss anyone?  Please let us know.
  2. Drawings of the Bloor Streetscape Plans developed from local suggestions and with the City Of Toronto – construction begins in 2013.
  3. TIMEANDDESIRE offers Bloor an interventive installation, a sign that encourages walking. 
  4. Stephanie Ashenfelder and Amos Scully artist team cast side-walk drawing chalk in the shape of the Kent School. Their pavement drawing project marks the closing of the school and presents the site as a public space for public activity.
  5. Information about local groups and activities.
  6. Photographers Miklos Legrady and Nancy Paiva will be on site to create a photographic exploration of the festival.
  7. Bloorcourt BIA co-ordinator Simone Weir will be at Bloor Serves with information about Bloor Street from Dufferin to Christie Park including images of their new Streetscape plan.
    Bloor Serves is an initiative of BIG: Bloor Improvement Group and the University of Toronto. And to know and serve you better please fill out the BIG on Bloor Survey.

South Asian Women’s Centre is at the festival with a line up of traditional South Asian offerings – don’t miss these exciting demonstrations and learn Indian dance steps, how to wear a sari, amazing South Asian herbal cures, and Rangoli or decorating the floor with colours for festivals. Also South Asian Women’s Centre offers hand sewn item for sale and traditional henna decorations.  All found at the Bloor Serves table on Saturday.

Alliance of Portuguese Clubs and Associations of Toronto  (ACAPO)  brings tradition Portuguese dance, crafts and food.

Gallery 44 is sending out photographers to see the BIG on Bloor Festival through the lens of photo-based artists. We invite you to check the BIG On Bloor Flicker site in September to explore the images of  Marvin Antonio, Phillipa Croft and Ian Willms and others.

“The BIG on Bloor festival is one of Canada’s most original festivals and this year it will show case some of Canada’s most important cultural institutions. As both the local Councillor and a resident, I’m proud to be involved in this project. I encourage you to support and enjoy the festival and look forward to seeing you there”. - Ana Bailão, Councillor for Ward 18 


Culture Works is located for easy access on Toronto’s main Bloor Street in the vibrant Bloordale neighbourhood.  We have direct entrance from both the Dufferin and Lansdowne subway stations. Check back soon for addition news.

Culture Works is curated by Dyan Marie, contact:, 416.539.8129



Responding Festival
July 22 & 23, 2011
Play-ground, Bloor Street at Dufferin Ave. Toronto 

The Responding Festival  was a month long project by artists, designers, architects, poets, community groups, residents and volunteers and is a feature event of the BIG On Bloor Festival July 21/22, 2012. Please make Bloor and Dufferin in Toronto a destination for a summer walk, drop by often to see what is evolving and to participate.

The School playground directly edges Bloor Street but is separated by a 12 foot high chain-link barrier fence. Last summer we opened the playground area of the school and offered it as a Bloor Street public space. We will transform the empty space into a public art environment, a collision of art and architecture, performance, poetry, landscape, discussions and playgrounds made by artists and architects, cultural collectives and community participants. The intention is to make a non-stop swirl of activity, a site for evolving experimental forms and new ways of creating in a shared place that responds to the city, the community, each other and being here now.

Responding actively marks the schoolground site for designation as an on-going public space when Kent School closes in June, 2012. The project is an effort to claim the corner of Bloor and Dufferin and safeguard for community use in forth-coming development proposals.

Responding to suicides and summer heat
To do-gooders and never-do-wells
And the woman peeing in the alleyway
— she looks up and says she loves me
Responding to the man with a side-ways smile
Building castles on street corners with city planning in his pocket

Responding to neighbours yelling at each other,
themselves and people that don’t exist
Responding to living in a fever and in art and in the smoke of cigarettes
Responding to — not another “hard day’s night”.
Responding to the intersections of
Building materials, each other and Bloordale

More information and Responding images see |

Culture Works and The Responding Festival – produced by Dyan Marie. More information:, 416.539.8129