BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts & Culture

Toronto’s BIG on Bloor Festival, winner of Festivals & Events Ontario’s Top 100, returns July 22 and 23 for its 10th year with an expanded program, the inauguration of BIG Murals and BIG X, and festival favourites; BAAF, BIG Awards, Card-Yard, Celebrate Here, How We Live in Cities, JOUEZ, Savour Bloor and The BIG Market Place.

BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture       — Chris Seagram photo

The outdoor pedestrian take-over liberates Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne for a celebratory car-free weekend, and animates West of Lansdowne along Bloor Street to the West Toronto Railpath through offsite projects. The festival that drew 100,000 visitors last year launches refreshed original arts and culture programming while celebrating community and small businesses with over 200 participants.

Two new initiatives promise big impact; BIG Murals will colour the Bloor Street skyline with large commissioned murals, and BIG X will showcase innovative sculptures, performances and live painting installations by over 20 artists at offsite locations.

Art institutions, collectives, galleries and artists take to the street with curated projects, and Toronto musicians deliver a glimpse of the city’s vibrant music scene on the Celebrate Here Mainstage.

An ecology hub with a 3-hour long relay of participation projects, How We Live in Cities will ask us to reframe ourselves as citizens of the natural world, and Card-Yard will upcycle materials, arranging recycled matter into poetic and modular structures.

Festival mainstay, JOUEZ Participatory/Performance Art Projects, anticipates engaging arts and culture projects, while the BAAF launches an outdoor art fair with up to 50 booths in the Dufferin and Bloor tennis courts.

Renewing the festival’s commitment to the youngest constituents and an enjoyable all-ages experience; Crafts, story-telling, face-painting, buskers and opportunities for creative minds at play, featuring FIGMENT Toronto and the return of What A Ball.

An opportunity to delight in the flavours of Bloordale, Savour Bloor invites festival goers to taste an array of foods; East African, South Asian, Somali, Caribbean, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Canadian. These round off the experience in stores and on extended licenced patios for two days in the life of this great community.

— Jess Cimo

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