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News 2009

News 2009

From the December 2009 Newsletter:


From organizer Heidrun Gabel-Koepff: ''“This season's winter craft fair at Dufferin Grove Park will be set up outside the rink building. There will be wonderful hand-made goods this year including woodworking, knitwear, glass designs, print work, jewellery, T-shirts, book covers, scarves, skate covers, cosmetic products, cookies, teas and much more. Local, non-professional crafters bringing great deals to you for the holiday season (most items are under $20)! There will be hot drinks and food available from the Zamboni Cafe, as well as Yasi's Place, and Tim's crepes.”''

From the November 2009 Newsletter:


Same format as the last few years, except no snowstorm this year. To find out more from Heidrun (this year’s organizer):

Click on picture to enlarge it.

The rinkhouse on October 23

10th annual Night of Dread

  • 4 PM: Parade begins assembling at Dufferin Grove Park, read more in October newsletter
  • 6 PM: Parade departs
  • Dress Code: Black & White

From the October 2009 Newsletter:

Saturday October 24, the Tenth Annual Night of Dread 4pm to 9pm

From director David Anderson: “Night of Dread is Clay & Paper Theatre's invitation to the community to parade our private and collective fears through the darkened streets of Toronto. The hour-long procession returns to Dufferin Grove Park for an evening of ceremonial festivities that compel us to call on, mock and banish the fears that unite and divide us in these times. Night of Dread is an unforgettable evening of pageantry, music and masquerade incorporating towering puppets, stilt dancers, fire-spinners and fearful masks in a daring exploration of dread.

This community celebration incorporates international folk and theatrical traditions, drawing inspiration from festivals of death and remembrance around the world. Come dance in the streets with our city's finest musicians, puppeteers, dancers and stilt walkers; together we'll laugh at our fears, waltz with death, eat the bread of the dead, and remember those who have gone from our midst.

Clay & Paper has many costumes and puppets available for the public to wear in the parade; come early to the Dufferin Clubhouse to avoid disappointment!”

  • 4 PM: Parade begins assembling at Dufferin Grove Park
  • 6 PM: Parade departs
  • Dress Code: Black & White

Pay-What-You-Can: suggested donation to support the parade $10
More information: (416) 316-4461

From the October 2009 Newsletter:

Sunday October 18 Second Annual Grove Community School corn roast and music jam, 12 to 5 pm, by the playground.

Last October the Grove Community School had a corn roast and music jam to introduce the school idea to the neighbourhood. In March they got their approval from the school board, and last month the school opened, for Kindergarten through Grade Three. So this year it’s a celebration of the opening, with corn, some musicians, and crafts for kids. Everyone welcome.

From the September 2009 Newsletter:

EVENT: Annual MORRIS DANCERS’ gathering. Sunday September 6, 3pm - 5 pm

Toronto Morris dancers will once again finish their annual Labour Day weekend dancing (which they do in public squares all over the city) by picnicking at Dufferin Grove Park. Morris dancing dates back to farm labourers’ resistance to early industrial conditions in Great Britain in the eighteenth century. The dancers often wear bells strapped to their legs; some are in blackface (this refers to a miners’ disguise, not an attempt to change race); some dance with swords. It’s very energetic, and exhilarating to watch. Groups from other parts of Ontario, NY State, sometimes even Britain, have been coming to this park for years on the Sunday of Labour Day weekend, after they give their free dance performances in other public outdoor spaces. At Dufferin Grove these groups dance for one another to show off their latest dances, and they eat masses of fresh park bread and herb butter and samosas, and make pizza at the bake oven.

The jets from the CNE air show often thunder overhead. The “squire” hosting this event is Abby Heidebrecht, who took over from long-time squire John “Parky” Parkinson two years ago.

From the September 2009 Newsletter:

Saturday September 26: Native Child and Family Services

Will be presenting their annual “Honouring our Children” POW WOW. Sunrise and 12 –4 pm. This event is a very popular, very colourful occasion with many craft vendors, two big tipis, drummers, dancers in beautiful costumes, free food and a big “give-away” of donated goods at the end. The day begins at sunrise with a fire ceremony in the fire circle, lit by an elder. Then there is a pause while the soccer field is set up with tipis, vendors and information tables, a stage, and food areas. The grand entry of the dancers is at noon, and the give-away is at about 4 p.m. Drumming and circle dancing, all afternoon, everyone welcome.

Clay and Paper Theatre: Community stilt-walking workshops to prepare for the NIGHT OF DREAD Parade

Sat. Sept.12, 2-4 PM, Wed. Sept. 16, 6-8 PM, Sat. Sept 19, 2-4 PM, Sat. Sept 26, 2-4 PM, Wed. Sept 30, 6-8 PM.

From Clay and Paper Theatre director David Anderson: No experience required!

Meet at the Field House, that's the small brick building next to the soccer field. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes (ie: sneakers).

Everyone is welcome, but all children must be accompanied by an adult. Workshops will be cancelled in case of rain. Workshops are $10, or Pay-What-You-Can.

posted on August 20, 2009

Dance fest moves amid backyard serenity

A 2009 DIMBY performance.

Published: August 20, 2009
Source: The Star

Eroca Nicols is on a mission to make contemporary dance fun and accessible – by placing it in the most informal setting imaginable.

Last year, inspired by a cry in her little west-end community to see dancing outdoors, she started DIMBY: Dance in My Backyard. About 50 people came to each of three performances put on in a narrow backyard opposite Dufferin Grove Park, where Nicols had been giving children's dance lessons.



From the June 2009 Newsletter:

The seventh annual “Day of Delight,” Sunday June 14, 2 to 5 pm.

From Clay and Paper Theatre director David Anderson: “This celebration of love, courtship and desire presents some of Toronto’s most romantic artists. Bring someone you love to beautiful Dufferin Grove Park for an afternoon of music, dance, theatre, a giant puppet parade, a community belly dancing class, stilt-walking and much more!

We will also be celebrating the official launch of Cyclops: Cycling Oriented Puppet Squad. This new initiative, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, will be bringing theatre to cyclists and cyclists to the theatre for the next three years.
Pay-What-You-Can, $10 suggested.”

Papier-Mâché Camp at Dufferin Grove 2009

At the invitation of Dufferin Grove Park parents, artist Erin Robertson returns to Dufferin Grove Park this summer. Nature, art, the park, and children go together very well. Here's what she's planning:

Click on poster to enlarge it.

Session 1

Session 1:
For Ages 6 - 10

July 13 - 17, 9 - 5 pm
All art materials & one snack a day provided

For registration contact Lyla at, 416 536 6381

Theme: Secret Garden
Have you ever wanted to gather a bouquet in the jungle, have a tea party in a secret garden or grow a plant that Dr. Suess would be proud of? This summer you can! Learn how to make a wire armature & cover it with papier-mâché, then paint and decorate it. Each morning & afternoon, a couple of hours will be spent on art and during breaks you’ll go to the wading pool, playground or pizza oven. On Friday, you'll take your parents on a stroll through the fantastic gardens of your creation displayed throughout the park.

Click on poster to enlarge it.

Session 2

Session 2:
For Ages 8 - 12

Friday night after-supper talk

David Anderson of Clay and Paper Theatre:

Carnival in Portugal: Masks, mask makers, puppets, parades and bake ovens.

Click on poster to enlarge it.

This will be a quick photographic and video tour of Carnival Celebrations in Northern Portugal in my search for the roots of the “wild man” masks. “Why is this character so common?” and “who are the artists who make them?” and “why do these festivals persist?" and “what brings them back?” were some of the questions that guided my journey.


posted on March 21, 2009

Penthouse or fire pit, a good hour for a party

Matthew McKenzie and eight of his most environmentally
conscientious friends gathered at their brick bungalow
for some PG-rated in-the-dark fun to celebrate Earth Hour 2008.

Published: March 21, 2009
Source: The Star

Dashiell Wallace, 4, is excited about his first Earth Hour party next Saturday.

It's an eco-dance in Dufferin Grove Park at the fire pit, with music supplied by a wind-up radio.

The party is for families with kids who will be attending Canada's first alternative public school focused on the environment and social justice, opening in September.

Dashiell's father, Max Wallace, was a founder of Grove Community School, approved this month by the Toronto District School Board and located in Alexander Muir/Gladstone School.



From the January 2009 Newsletter:

Saturday morning Kids’ Dance with Eroca

In Eroca's classes, kids move their bodies and use their imaginations. It's a fun way to start off the weekend. These classes are FREE. To register, email Eroca at or leave a message at 416 392-0913.

10am-10:30am Ages 5 and under Dance
10:45am- 11:30am Ages 9-12 year olds Dance
11:35am-12:20pm Ages 6-8 year olds Dance

From the January 2009 Newsletter:


Sunday February 1 from 1 to 4 pm

From Clay and Paper director David Anderson: “As in other years, a mob of puppets will descend on the skating rink at Dufferin Grove Park. Come take one of our puppets for a spin around the ice while a DJ plays some cool tunes.

We will be holding puppet-building workshops during the 2 weeks before he event. Everyone is welcome to join our puppet building throng! No prior experience necessary. We will even introduce you to the Zen of the Creetch (that's secret puppet talk). To join with this discreet band of builders, please email Cat at and she'll let you know where and when the workshops will be happening.

We also need volunteers for the event, so if you can help out on February 1, please email

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