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ARTS: Celebrate diversity through stories (March 2018)

March 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

March Break fun with art, music, and culture

Audience and art interact in Riverbed by Yoko Ono at the Gardiner Museum. The museum is showing Ono’s films from the 1960s and 1970s, and hosting a lecture about the artist’s activism on March 26. COURTESY GARDINER MUSEUM

By Heather Kelly

March break arts and culture

Young family members will have plenty of inspiration to sing, dance, make music, enjoy art and crafts, see films and exhibitions, and participate in adventures at the many March break camps and family events along the Bloor St. Culture Corridor March 12 to 16 and beyond.

At the Miles Nadal JCC, people 5 to 10 years old will enjoy cooperative play and team building with activities at local parks, drama, arts and crafts, cooking, and more.

Go for the Gold March break activities at the Bata Shoe Museum March 10 to 18 are inspired by the current exhibition The Gold Standard. The museum will be chockablock with activities for children ages 3 to 12. (If your little one is too small for March break activities, there will be a Baby Stroller Tour at the Bata Shoe Museum on March 27.)

You can go to the Japan Foundation to watch anime and other family-friendly film screenings, as well as films by Japanese women in celebration of international women’s history month. While there, stop in to see the exhibition Variation and Autonomy: Prints by Contemporary Japanese Painters, featuring original prints by Yayoi Kusama.

Alliance Française will be presenting a theatre and dance performance for children, Les Moutons by Sylvie Bouchard where a bucolic country scene in an urban setting is a strange, poetic and baffling universe that takes audiences into the lives of sheep, in a double-bill with the dance performance C’est Comme Ça Qu’on Aime (This Is How We Love) by Susie Burpee and Marie-Josée Chartier, on March 18.

March break is also a time for exploration, and The Royal Conservatory School offers day camps where budding young musicians can experience what it’s like to play a real instrument at the Instrument Exploration Camp for children 6 to 7 years old, or try the fun-sounding camp, A Few Of Our Favourite Musicals, where children 8 to 10 years old will learn to sing selections from favourite musicals including Oliver, Anne of Green Gables, and Moana, and learn movement routines, design and build costumes, sets, and then showcase their new repertoire in a performance.

Children can explore Norse culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, as Vikings take over the museum during March break. Kids can play interactive games, explore a Viking Village and the daily lives of the legendary Norse people with living history re-enactors, make Viking bling to wear, pretend to be a mighty Viking warrior, go on scavenger hunts through the museum, and participate in other Viking and Norse-themed activities during the ROM’s extended dates and hours, March 10 to 18.

An original print by Yayoi Kusama from Variation and Autonomy: Prints by Contemporary Japanese Painters, on display now at the Japan Foundation’s Toronto gallery. COURTESY JAPAN FOUNDATION

Storytelling

The Toronto Storytelling Festival celebrates diversity as tellers, listeners, story-lovers, adults, youth and kids are invited to gather at many Bloor St. Culture Corridor organizations for intimate performances, storytalks, workshops, open mics, games, and informal conversations.

On March 3, the Japan Foundation will be part of the 25th Katari Storytelling Show-Hina Doll Festival, with traditional and contemporary children’s stories accompanied by guitar. The event features Nathalie Vachon, Noriko Yamamoto, Koko Kikuchi, Yusuke Tanaka, Aisha Masoka and Rui Umezawa. Also on March 3, the Bata Shoe Museum is the place to hear Stories, Rhymes and Songs…Oh My! with Rita Cox, Carol Ashton, and Sally Jaeger.

A Different Booklist Cultural Centre will be a hub of storytelling activity, starting with Fabulous Brazilian Fables, with Fabio Lisboa telling folktales and native South American stories from the Atlantic forest on March 3. Then on March 19, Judith Liberman and Aubrey Davis lead International Storytalk: Back-To-Front and Upside Down.

At another International Storytalk event at A Different Booklist, focusing on Stories of Resilience, award-winning storytellers from Holland, Sahand Sahebdivani and Eric Borrias, share stories about the resilience of imagination when the unimaginable occurs, on March 20.

Storytelling and Social Change, features Gcina Mhlophe and Itah Sadu, who share their experiences with the power of storytelling to bring about social change on March 21, the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa.

On March 22, Laura Simms and Dan Yashinsky lead Dr. Scheherazade Storytelling in Healthcare and Community Healing, focusing on the important role a storyteller can play in creating solace, understanding, and transformation. Also on March 22, Stories and Music From Southern Africa will be shared by Tich Maredza and Gcina Mhlophe. International Storytalk: Honouring the Elders with Humour, on March 23, will feature Yukon storytellers and comedians Sharon Shorty and Duane Gastant’Aucoin who offer a wry and hilarious commentary on modern life from the perspective of traditional Yukon wisdom.

When Strangers Come Knocking, at Alliance Française de Toronto’s Spadina Theatre, features Mariella Bertelli, Eric Borrias, Aubrey Davis, Donna Dudinsky, Judith Liberman, Laura Simms, and Sage Tyrtle, exploring how we welcome — or not — the strangers who come to our borders, our homes, and our hearts, on March 20.

At the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto on March 21, Gramma Susie and Cash Creek Charlie (Sharon Shorty and Duane Gastant’Aucoin) join Metis storyteller Ron Evans and host Denise Booth McLeod from the First Nations comedy troupe Manifest Destiny’s Child, for a night of comedy, creation tales, and impossible-to-predict adventures at an event called MinwaaJimo.

On March 22, Oral History: A Storm Fool Visits the ROM, takes place at the Royal Ontario Museum where Ron Evans shares histories of his Métis ancestors and stories from the Chippewa Cree oral tradition. The next day at the museum, FNLROM: Equinox, on March 23, features CTV’s The Launch winner Logan Staats, Juno-nominated singer Brenna MacCrimmon, and renowned storytellers Gcina Mhlophe and Judith Liberman to share stories from Turkey, Southern Africa, and Jewish traditions.

The festival finale on March 25, Story Jam, is a full day of family-friendly storytelling and activities throughout the Toronto Reference Library, including folktales from around the world, an African Riddle Contest, international guests, Indigenous creation tales, and many more storytelling activities.

Heather Kelly is the founder and director of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. Her column focuses on arts and culture events from the district. More information about events and locations can be found at www.BloorStCultureCorridor.com.

Tags: Annex · Arts