Curated by Carla Garnet

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

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 2019 sees selected participatory artists, artist-run centres and/or collectives returning to present new works alongside, new to JOUEZ, artists and not-for-profits. This year’s program embraces the following projects:

Sebastian Pines: looming large

looming large is a performative and collaborative work in tapestry weaving. Working on a large tapestry loom the artists will collaboratively weave an abstract tapestry that will be based on the whims of the interchanging collaborators and the narratives they look to incorporate into the pieces through shape and colour. While one or two artists will be weaving a large collaborative piece there will be a table available for others to stop by and work on smaller scale woven pieces of their own while working in tandem and in dialogue with the artists on the large frame. The small collection of artists and participants weaving together will explore the communal nature of the act and how weaving and textiles mirror the traditions of oral storytelling and communal knowledge that comes from sharing a space and a craft with others. Facilitated by Ada Kloosterman.

Sebastian Pines is a queer artist and academic living, working, and moulting in Toronto, Canada. Their work specializes in textiles, dabbling in other analog mediums, with their inspirations drawing from horror and fantasy with a theatrical element to it all, sometimes coalescing into a fanatical love for theatre and role-playing.

Hollis Alexis Baptiste: FOIL FACES

To create FOIL FACES Baptiste will make facial impressions by pressing pie plates into mannequin heads to form aluminum reliefs. Once fashioned, these forms will be painted with neon coloured hobby paints. The finished products could be hung with thread, mounted or framed.

Baptiste will demonstrate his technique to festival-goers. Once they understand the process, they will be invited to make their own or paint, those that have already been created. The finished masks could be hung, mounted or framed.

Hollis Alexis Baptiste is a multimedia artist who has been practicing for over two decades in Toronto. His work is renowned for the ways in which ready-made objects and materials such as metal, nails, utensils, wood and plastic are creatively employed. Baptiste’s body of works explore questions related to race, gender politics and cultural place-making. Creating spaces wherein Black creatives can share their experiences has been both a lifelong quest and accomplishment.

Sebastein Miller: Thou$and x BIG on Bloor

Sebastein Miller seeks to engage the growing and the diverse Bloordale Community in downtown Toronto by showcasing popular pieces from his first collection: Civil Disobedience as well as some other timely and culturally relevant pieces. These pieces will inform his JOUEZ @ BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture tent installation and will act as a catalyst for festival goer engagement and participation.

Thou$and x BIG on Bloor’s interactive element involves collage both as a process and a means to begin to make sense of and/or describe our immediate urban landscape. Materials such as specific magazines and canvases boards (as a matrix to work on) will be offered to festival-goers to create their own collage artwork. The participants will take home their own work in reference to Sebastein’s current style of creating pieces. Facilitated by Shantel Miller.

Sebastein Miller is a self-taught artist, from the greater Toronto area. His new media practice, digital appropriation first emerged through an exploration into graphic design and continues to grow through engaging in a range of styles. Through his artwork, Miller expresses his interpretation of culture, social-political issues and human consciousness with vibrant and contrasting imagery and symbols.

Ajeya Gonzalez & Nancy Kim: FEAR OF MISSING OUT

Hoping to help break down stigmas Ajeya Gonzalez (Fomo) and Nancy Kim capture LGBTQ youth culture in Toronto. Festival-goers will get to enjoy this photo exhibit over music by a line up of talented local DJs as well as make their own jewellery catering to their own individuality.

Fomo Director Ajeya Gonzalez is a 24 year old event curator and singer/songwriter who goes by the stage name Ajuki. In addition to event work, she is a mental health advocate. Nancy Kim is a 39-year lifestyle/fashion photographer. She has a prolific presence in covering many prominent Toronto events and proudly identifies as POC queer female.

Fomo, based out of Toronto, is an LGBTQ collective that embraces youth culture within the community while highly encouraging and partaking in both collaboration and conversation, creating safe spaces in neighbourhoods throughout the city.


IMPULSE[b] presents FREAK FLAGS, a participatory installation for visitors to engage in playful approaches to generate visual poetry. Juxtaposition, games of chance, collaborative writing and the creation of two-word poems realized in the form of flags. The installation includes a selection of duo-tone flags waving curious slogans by interdisciplinary artist and writer, Eldon Garnet.

IMPULSE[b] is the conceptual continuation of the innovation established by IMPULSE magazine, interested in the latest creative activities. Today, IMPULSE[b] publishes books of poetry, cultural enquiry, fictocriticism, graphic prose, and photography.

Caitlynn Fairbarn and Carly Whitmore: Let’s Make A Zine with Caitlynn & Carly

Join us in making a mini zine! Throughout the day, local artists Caitlynn and Carly will teach participants about zines and zine culture. They will have lots of zines on hand for reference and inspiration! You will learn the process behind designing and creating an 8-page mini zine from an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. At the end of the workshop, participants will have made their own zine which they can either take it home or donate to the growing display at the "Let's Make A Zine" booth at BIG on Bloor. Materials will be provided!

Caitlynn Fairbarns and Carly Whitmore are both queer emerging artists that graduated from OCAD University in 2015. They work collaboratively on installations, art fairs, and other creative things.

Paola Gomez: Community Circles

Community Circles is an interactive installation three large circles are attached to the tent, community members are invited to create shapes, decorate and write what it means to them to be part of their communities. Community members are invited to place their creation at one of the circles (which are also interconnected).

Paola Gomez is a teacher, artist facilitator, writer and dreamer. A member of PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile and an advocate, Paola is involved in causes such as ending violence against women and forced migration. Paola is the co-founder and Director of Muse Arts and the Creator, Director and Producer of HAPPENING Multicultural Festival.

Paola’s work with refugee and newcomer communities has been widely recognized in Canada, where she arrived as a refugee. She is the recipient of the 2008 Amina Malko Award from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, 2009 Vital People from the Toronto Foundation for her community-building initiatives, the 2016 Constance E Hamilton Human Rights Award from the City of Toronto,and the 2018 Champions of Change Award for excellence in the Arts from Skills for Change.

Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, presented by Mercer Union: from root to lip

Mercer Union presents from root to lip, a solo exhibition by Toronto-based artist Jennifer Rose Sciarrino. In a series of sculptures referencing biotic matter—seeds, spores, cells, pollen, bacteria and yeast—Sciarrino interprets scientific imaging and illustration of such phenomena towards new fictions in blown glass and carved stone.

Mercer Union is a non-profit, artist-centred space in Toronto. We have a unique track record of presenting innovative exhibitions by diverse Canadian and international artists in formative and established stages of their careers. We are dedicated to supporting the production of new and experimental work, assisting artists in realizing pivotal projects.

Gisselle Rodriguez: love with no bounds presented by BYE OR BI !

Gisselle Rodriguez will be exhibiting her project alongside her collective Bi Or Bye to showcase queer love and queer family units. Work dating back to 2017. She will also be providing music for the booth.

Gisselle Rodriguez is a 21-year-old multidisciplinary artist (short film and photography). Gisselle also DJs and is the founder of the collective Bi or Bye, a queer black femme party collective that provides safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth of colour.

The Aird Gallery (TAG): The Tarot of Aird

The John B. Aird Gallery invites you to play with us and discover the magic of Art through Tarot. Pick your favourite Aird exhibition, your favourite kind of art, and help us to predict the Aird’s future.

TAG is a non-profit, registered charity supporting artistic expression, public dialogue and lifelong learning. We believe visual culture inspires, engages and amplifies communities. Toronto’s arts and culture industry contributes over $11B to the city’s economy. We do our part to stimulate and support artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines. We provide the canvas for visual culture to be realized, explored and appreciated amongst those that love it most. We leave no one behind.

Sister Co-Resister with Frizz Kid: The Bitching Booth

The Bitching Booth is a social practice project engaging you in old school feminist bitching! Come spend some time to bitch (vent, air some thoughts) with your friendly neighbourhood feminist art collective Sister Co-Resister, with invitational guest artist Frizz Kid. This project provides free peer listening and support to any self-identified feminists and allies - you talk, we listen, #feminists.

Hana Shafi is a writer and artist who illustrates under the name Frizz Kid. Both her visual art and writing frequently explore themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. Her art has been featured on several media outlets such as Buzzfeed India, Buzzfeed Canada, CBC, Flare Magazine, Mashable, City TV and Shameless, Known on Instagram for her weekly affirmation series, she is also the recipient of the Women Who Inspire Award, from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. Her first book, It Begins With The Body was recently selected by CBC books as one of the best poetry books of 2018.

Sister Co-Resister is a feminist art collective focused on collaborative art-making and trans-disciplinary exchange. Crisscrossing public pedagogies and social practice with intersectional feminism and contemporary art as an act of solidarity building; projects have been activated through; installation, performance art and publishing, and are utilized as platform projects to make and share space with underrepresented women and non-binary voices; particularly queer/trans, Indigenous, Black and racialized artists and thinkers working and living on Turtle Island.

Jackson Abrams: Splash Panel Collage

Splash Panel Collage offers a comic book collage party under a tent with comic books and pre-made templates featuring animals and wildlife. Equipped with all necessary tools, materials, and cool grooves supplied Jackson invites BIG festival-goers a chance to dig in and tear up pop culture to make new life.

Jackson Abrams is an emerging Bloordale multimedia artist inspired by comic depictions of incongruity, mutability in pop culture. Abrams’ comic-inspired works explore masked and unmasked moments of high drama, finding the essential truths of pride, shame and ambivalence.

Please check out archived JOUEZ for previous programming!