TORONTO, May 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Join UrbanArts and Canadian artists Dan Bergeron and Gabriel Specter as they explore how Canada's deadliest natural disaster led to massive industrial and environmental destruction and led to the rebirth of Toronto's Weston-Mount Dennis area.
When Hurricane Hazel hit Toronto in 1954, it caused damage and devastation almost everywhere but nowhere was the impact more prominent than in the communities on the banks of the Humber River. With no flood controls in place, the river quickly flooded with a current so strong that it swept away everything in its path including houses, cars and people. By the time it dissipated, the death toll in Toronto alone was 81. Two of the most affected communities were Weston and Mount Dennis where hundreds were left homeless or dead.
The Hurricane and ensuing flood were a wake up call to galvanize local authorities to protect our ravine system. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority was formed in the hurricane's wake to ensure this type of disaster never happened again. Now, 60 years later, Toronto's trail system is a vibrant, sustainable green space and is marking a new milestone. The Pan Am Path will connect trails across the city, creating an 84-kilometre, uninterrupted path that unites Toronto from west to east.
On May 30, UrbanArts and Canadian artists Dan Bergeron and Gabriel Specter will unveil a powerful mural that explores the power and energy of Hurricane Hazel and the triumph of art, beauty and progress. It will transform a drab underpass into a monumental, thought-provoking artwork, created through engagement with local residents and youth from the Weston-Mount Dennis area.
The unveiling of this new, important work will take place alongside a community-led event featuring dance, music and food in Cruickshank Park. The celebration is the third stop along the 14-part Pan Am Path Art Relay.
Saturday May 30, 2015
UrbanArts is a non-profit, community-arts council that enhances neighbourhoods by engaging youths in arts-based community development. It initiates arts activities that bring people together in central-west Toronto and city-wide. For this project they worked with Dan Bergeron, a Toronto-based visual artist whose work provokes reflection on personal identity, social relationships and public space.
Over the course of his career, Dan Bergeron has completed commissions for the Art Gallery of Ontario, has been a featured artist for the Contact Photography Festival in concert with the Royal Ontario Museum and was an artist in residence for the Luminato Festival in 2012. Currently, Dan is completing his first permanent public art project, Faces of Regent Park, which was commissioned by the City Of Toronto and is slated for installation in the Spring of 2015 as part of Toronto's Regent Park Revitalization Project.
Gabriel Specter is known for precise installations that revitalize forgotten places. The work is as much about the piece as it is about where it is placed. Having created public artworks in cities like Toronto, New York, London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, his signature style is recognized worldwide.
About The Pan Am Path & Art Relay
The Pan Am Path was started by a group of Toronto artists and city-builders in collaboration with the City of Toronto. On July 18, 2013, Toronto City Council endorsed the Pan Am Path as a Host City Showcase Program of the Games. It committed $1.9 million to accelerate the building of physical connections along the network to enhance the experience of the Games for residents and visitors while advancing the City's economic development and tourism, sport development and healthy living, resident engagement and cultural celebration goals. Legacy construction to improve and create new connections along the Pan Am Path will continue through 2017.
The vision of the Pan Am Path is to combine the power of art and sport to create a living path across Toronto. From May 16 to August 15, 2015, the Pan Am Path will come alive with a city-wide Art Relay of installations and events. Each week, the festival travels across Toronto celebrating some of the city's greatest assets: diversity, nature, arts and active outdoor living.
The Pan Am Path is an 84-kilometre continuous trail for walking, running, cycling and wheeling that connects the city from east to west. Combining the power of art and sport, the Art Relay will showcase Toronto's diverse neighbourhoods and rich arts scene along the Path and will serve as a lasting legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
The Pan Am Path App is a wayfinding mobile app that matches your geographic location on the Path to music that is rooted within that community via 4 local music-streaming stations. Other Features include: a full map of the path, directions to nearby local businesses, accessible routes, and a calendar of Pan Am Path Art Relay programming.
Friends of the Pan Am Path is the main organizer of the Pan Am Path Art Relay, motivated by the chance to celebrate the best of the region: art, nature and diversity -- while also creating a meaningful legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Games for residents.
NEXT-UP IN THE RELAY: June 10 - Album! Lambton House
Discover Album, a new mosaic that challenges societal views of family and athleticism. Inspired by Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Album was created by Arts Etobicoke and Red Dress Productions in conjunction with Amnesty International's Project: Urban Canvas. It is situated under the Dundas Street West bridge. The mosaic explores traditional representations of family diversity (LGBTQ, blended, adopted, multi-racial, intergenerational, those without children). Album also recognizes the contributions of LGBTQ individuals in sports while challenging traditional representations of athleticism.
SOURCE Friends of the Pan Am Path