Presented by PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art and Design

PULP’s Card-yard curated by Rotem Yaniv returns to BIG on Bloor Festival for the 6th year in a row on July 21, 2018! Check out the photos and activities from last year's event below.

PULP has been involved in BIG on Bloor since 2013. We are given outdoor space in the middle of the festival and a budget to create fun and free activities and art hubs. The reclaimed materiel installation art, performances, and activities are provided by talented Torontonians with a passion for social interaction.

PULP: Obstacle, 2017. Photo credit: Krystle Merrow.

Schedule 2018

12:00pm        Beginning of activities
1:00pm Emerging Writers Reading Series
2:00pm Music by Ben Bootsma
2:30pm Emerging Writers Reading Series
3:30pm Music by Ben Bootsma
4:00pm The Great Baldini Magic Show
4:30pm Alison MacDonald and Kiyo Asakoa Flamenco Performance
5:00pm The Great Edllusion Magic Show
6:00pm Music by Ben Bootsma
9:00pm The Great Edllusion Magic Show
10:00pm Yola Beru

Activities & Projects 2018

Warm Up to Me by Anupa Khemadasa & Tijana Spasic (ArtSite)

Warm Up To Me is a sound and visual installation sourced from six neighbourhoods sharing a city but living worlds apart. Listen to the resident stories of Bloordale/ Royal York,  Leslieville/Thorncliff , Parkdale/Foresthill .

Canada is a country of global citizens, with stories that connect us to all corners of the globe. However, often the most intriguing stories that carry a person's history and memory of place are kept within small cultural circles. This project speaks to our desire to bridge a city sometimes separated by differences through sharing stories of and with each other.

Anupa is a cellist & visual artist. Tijana is a theatre, installation & community artist. They dream of a future that is fearless of otherness.

Heatmap of Humanity by Rollout – Wallpaper (ArtSite)

“All the trees in the forest are connected below ground. They behave like communities. They’re a forest, not just a bunch of trees,” says ecologist Susan Simmard. For Heatmap of Humanity, the design team at Rollout and their collaborators from Vancouver, YVRCollective, set out to create a space that provides a communal structure that symbolizes this concept for humanity.

Modular bleachers were conceived to mirror a network of roots beneath our bodies that connect us. The spacing of the steps suggest the social webs interaction creates. The bleachers invite congregation by being casual; no one feels they are interrupting gatherings or feels awkward sitting in close proximity to anyone – allowing people to sit together, even if they’re not “together”. The design team wanted to create a space that encouraged relaxed conversations in small groups, but equally, they wanted to encourage people who wanted to spend some time on their own to be able to participate in the same environment comfortably.

Heatmap of Humanity is colourfully finished in a range of hues drawing upon heatmaps to reflect the intensity of the interactions the space will foster and introduce a bold palette for this outdoor summertime installation.

PULP: Mesh (ArtSite)

This installation began with pieces of white washed lumber, one foot by 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch in size. A hundred of these oversized Jenga pieces were cut off and discarded in the creation of a Winter Stations installation in 2017. This installation began with the question - what can we do with these?

We drilled, sanded, and weather proofed each piece. Augmented by additional pieces made of cull lumber and joined with rope we created a flexible membrane able to roll, fold, and twist. We’re going to leave this 16 feet long wooden carpet on the ground, let’s see what happens.

PULP: Obstacle

is a pop-up playground made of plywood and reclaimed cardboard tubes. The installation was originally designed to be a standing wall, however children at Summer Solstice 2015 insisted it works better horizontal, and we had to admit they had a point.

This installation was designed with Peter Kelly.

PULP: Make

Inspired by PULP: Obstacle and its ability to invite festival visitors to complete a half built structure, PULP: Make is a new art installation that aims to allow for pop-up architecture. Six 4×8′ plywood panels will be machine cut to different forms. These forms will have circular holes the size of cardboard tubes, allowing for easy connections. You are invited to join us and create a bench, sea saw, a table, or a big complicated whatchumacallit.

Card-Yard activities 2017. Photo credit: Krystle Merrow.

Adhacks by Stephanie Avery

Stephanie Avery uses salvaged magazine ads as her canvas, painting her own whimsical additions directly onto their pages to shift their content from being manipulative and insidious to hilarious and absurd. And she wants you to do the same!

With her ongoing 'Adhack' series, Stephanie critiques the nefarious aspects of consumer culture by making a mockery of one of it's biggest tools: advertisements. Her additions co-opt their original narratives, disengaging viewers with humour while revealing how absurd advertisements are (even without the alterations). Ads are truly absurd and it is ridiculous that they wield such influence over us, both as individuals and as a culture.  Laughter has the power to disarm them and inspire us to see all ads through this lens of humour and absurdity.

Join Stephanie to create your very own adhacks.

Paper Crown by Design Exchange

Join us on Saturday July 21 at the Big on Bloor Festival! Partnering with PULP, the Design Exchange presents the Paper crown Project sponsored by our partners at TD Bank. Using reclaimed paper we will show you how to construct a showstopping headpiece. This project has a zero carbon footprint, wear it with pride, and when you are done, recycle it!

Ben Bootsma

Local musician Ben Boostma is bringing his guitar and his heart to our summer events. Ben will bring his cool sound to a hot day (at least we hope it will be).

The Great Baldini and Edllusion Magic Show

Baldini has been a performance illusionist for over 15 years and his approach to presenting Magic has always been about making people smile. When engaged with his subjects, he perfectly blends highly witty comedy with a powerfully engaging, “blow-your-mind” repertoire of illusions, thus producing a palpable sense of mysteriously hysterical Magic. Baldini’s clever patter, combined with his devious Magical sleights and smooth sounding voice, made for an exceptionally entertaining experience.

Edllusion has been performing magic since the age of 15, learning many of his skills by reading, practicing, and watching other professional magicians perform. When he performs his style of magic he shows you something that is not physically or mentally possible.

His specialties in his magical performances are made using small objects like colour changing knifes, sponge Balls, Ropes, Playing cards, Flashing fire, and his most favourite of all, Coins. Magic is more than just tricks and illusions for Edllusion, it’s an amazing way to make an event unique and memorable and he is deeply committed to sharing his unique passion with others.

Alison MacDonald and Kiyo Asakoa Flamenco Performance

Larissa (aka “Lala”), a Toronto based flamenco dancer first discovered flamenco as a child and was enraptured by its music and dance. Larissa has performed in cities across Canada and in 2016, co-founded the flamenco dance collective, Illumina Flamenco. Larissa regularly teaches adults and children at Dance Teq Centre and the Academy of Spanish Dance. Visit for more info.

Toronto dancer and choreographer Alison Macdonald has been performing and teaching around the city for many years. She has a background in percussive dance forms but dedicates her focus to flamenco by participating in workshops and returning to Spain frequently for training. Alison is a co-founder of the Toronto based collective Triana Project and has been a member of the Compania Carmen Romero.

Lala and Alison will perform with musicians at the Card-yard stage.

Yola Beru

An east coast transplant with formative years in Montreal playing folk music in cafes and bars, Yola Beru now calls Toronto’s west end her home. Her live show is a mix of her contemplative singing & songwriting paired with the electronic soundscapes of Toronto based producer Maaskant.

Emerging Writers Reading Series

Working against both the open mic format and the "sit-down-and-frown" traditional reading series, Emerging Writers brings audiences writing that is fresh, engaging, and full of new voices. Readers are emerging writers who have not yet published a book, but all readers are professionally serious. Since March 2012, EW has grown to be the "must-attend" monthly reading series and the place where people go to check out new talent. For BIG on Bloor, Emerging Writers will run a showcase of our past readers, including those that have gone on to publish books and win awards. Readers will be reading both poetry and prose.

Phillip Morgan - poetry
Phillip Dwight Morgan is a journalist, poet, and essayist. His poetry and short essays have appeared in Briarpatch and Spacing magazines as well as,, and His poem “Free Trade Agreement” was runner-up for best poem in Briarpatch Magazine’s 2016 Writing from the Margins contest and his poem “Shades of America” received honourable mention for the 2016 Blodwyn Memorial Prize. Phillip’s current project, Portraits in Black Face, is being written under the guidance of Moez Surani through the Diaspora Dialogues Mentoring Program and with the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council and Banff Centre.

Hon Lu - nonfiction/fiction
Hon Lu was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam and his refugee family came to Canada when he was five. He came of age in Toronto's Regent Park and went to public school in the leafy Victorian neighbourhood of Cabbagetown. His recent return to creative writing is fueled by a desire to write queer narratives of immigration in context of transnational identities. He has also written on issues focused on industrial contamination, ecology, and environmental restoration. His recently published works include an award winning short story entitled “Spirited Away,” first published in Toronto Life, and reprinted in Reader’s Digest. The short story won the 2016 Gold Prize (National Magazine Award) from the NMAF for Best Short Story Feature.

Terry Abrahams - poetry
Terry Abrahams lives and writes quietly in Toronto. His work has been a part of BALDHIP, (parenthetical), the Puritan, and Peach Mag (among others), & is forthcoming in tenderness, yea and ÖMËGÄ (among others).

Khalida Hussain - fiction
Khalida Hassan is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program, where she completed a short story collection called Complicit for her thesis. The stories in Complicit deal with themes of surveillance and digitally mediated communications. Hassan has travelled extensively, working in development, education, and literary outreach. She now lives in Toronto, where she works as a literary assistant.

Conyer Clayton - poetry
Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based writer who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. She has 3 chapbooks out or forthcoming: Undergrowth(bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/Words Magazine and Press), and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press). Her collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, will be released August 2018. Her work appears in ARC, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, In/Words, Puddle of Sky Press, Coven Editions, Bywords, Transom, and others. She won Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, 3rd place in Prairie Fire's 2017 Poetry Contest, and honorable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 poetry prize. She is a member of the sound poetry ensemble Quatuor Gualuor. Check out for updates on her endeavors.

Nisha Eswaran
Nisha Eswaran is an academic and writer based in Toronto. She’ll be reading some creative non-fiction and (possibly) some poetry.

Nicholas Hadzis - poetry or a song
Nickolas Hadzis is a O.C.A.D graduate where he majored in fine arts painting drawing & sculpture.  He has a work studio in the Historic Distillery district 15 Case Goods Lane Studio 303 Toronto Ontario Canada M5A 3C4. A true Renaissance man.  He has been writing in a journal almost every day since 2002 stream of consciousness poetry, raps and journaling of short stories.  He also loves acting and singing and has been recently writing lyrics to some love songs that are sometimes of gay subject matter the style is jazz blues rock pop and is looking for musicians to collaborate with.

Tea Mutonji Ngombe - non-fiction
Tea Mutonji is a writer and poet in Toronto. She has been published in the Scarborough Fair and has been named Scarborough’s emerging writer of the year by the Ontario Book Publishers. Currently, she is finishing her minor in creative writing at the University of Toronto and is working on a collection of essays.

Laboni Islam - poetry
Laboni Islam was born in Canada to Bangladeshi parents. She teaches at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Aga Khan Museum, animating the gap between art and young audiences. Her poem "Lunar Landing, 1966" was shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize (2017).