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Special Events 2006

Here's a quick tour of the kinds of artsy things that our neighbours do in the park

Back II Basiks, Photographer: David Hou

posted July 10, 2006

Dusk Dances 2006 (seventh season)

Tues July 11 - Sun July 16
Community Dinner at 6:30, Band Starts at 7:00 Dance starts at 7:30

Dancer: Angela Del Sol
Designer: Nigel Skinner
Photographer: Gary Mulcahey

Dusk Dances 2006 - Toronto Season CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS Dufferin Grove Park: July 11 - 16 It takes a village to run Dusk Dances... We are looking for volunteers for the Dufferin Grove Park season of Dusk Dances. If you would like to help out for one night, from 5:30pm -9:30pm, please contact our Park Co-ordinator, Molly Johnson, at or on 416 536 0042. Visit

Dufferin Grove Park, July 11 - 16
On Dufferin, south of Bloor
Featuring opening band Grupo Capoeira Mâles; new dance commissions from Nova Bhattacharya/Louis Laberge-Côté, Little Pear Garden Collevtive and Lucy Rupert; plus works from Montreal's Roger Sinha and Solid State.

Hosted by Lisa Ann Ross Band starts at 7pm, Dance starts at 7:30pm


See a review in the July 12 Toronto Star: Red shorts in the sunset. (But note that the show only runs to July 16 at Dufferin Grove Park).

See a review in the July 13 National Post: Their rhythm is gonna get you.

Post-show artist talk-back: July 12

Reel Dance Screenings and DJ Zahra: July 13, 14 and 15, after the dance (

Info-line: 416 504 6429 ex 41

“Gather to the sound of live music at twilight and stroll between dances that dot the grounds like whimsical new forms of greenery.”

Toronto Life Dusk Dances is also touring to regional Ontario centres in 2006 - Kingston, Manitoulin Island, Chatham, Haliburton and Deep River. Fore more information, visit

Dusk Dances is generously funded by Ontario's Trillium Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.

See a Picture Gallery from the 2004 season.

posted April 4, 2006

Friday April 7, 2006: Easter egg decorating at the rink house, 4.30 to 6 p.m.

Park friend Belinda Cole will be hosting this. Tables will be set up in the rink house, with a good supply of hard-boiled eggs, paints, Easter-egg dyes, drying racks, tongs, and magic markers. Park staff will help, by providing mini-pizzas, juice, and cookies to keep the egg-decoraters’ strength up. Donations are welcome to cover the cost of materials. This event is early this year, but the eggs will keep very well in the fridge until Easter Sunday. For more information call the park at 416 392-0913.

posted April 4, 2006

Sunday April 9, 2006: Eighth annual Matzo bake at the park outdoor bake oven, 2 – 5 p.m.

Park friends Emily Paradis, Sarah Fowlie and Zio Hersh will be hosting this. From Emily:

"Celebrate Freedom! Bake Matzo! Bring the whole family to a celebration of liberation!

We provide: koshered wood fire oven, kosher matzo flour all the way from Montreal, implements used only for Passover baking, and 18 minutes to make your matzo. You provide: elbow grease, joy. Pay What You Can – suggested donation $10 per family. Games! Crafts! Freedom Stories! Queer! Straight! Jewish! Jew-ish! For info call or email Sarah and Emily at 416-588-4025 or

Park staff will help at the ovens, keeping them very hot. A huge thanks also to Alan Carlisle for bringing the park its oven wood (unpainted, untreated skids) donated by Downtown Lumber on Ossington.

See the brochure.

posted March 22, 2006

JULY 31 TO AUG 4, 2006

Back by popular demand, the art camp for kids interested in making papier mache sculptures and hanging out laughing! This year's theme is "Funny things are everywhere." Aspiring artists will build and paint their ideal pet using papier mache and mixed media. Course also includes drawing and painting in the park.

A Little Retrospective of Arts in the Park

2005 and before

posted March 21, 2006

All kind of things go on at the park. Here's a little retrospective of a few of them:

Little Folk Festival

The The Little Folk Festival was held at the park last June (2005). Nine acts, great weather, people and music, led to a charming day of friends, food, and music.

Pow Wow at the Park

The Native Child and Family Services Children and Youth Pow Wow has been going at the park for a few years. Here's a picture from October 2004.

The Raising of The Yurt

For a few year's we've been setting up a yurt from Uzbekistan during part of the summer. Here is a picture gallery from the 2004 event.

Night Of Dread

The Annual Night of Dread parade, starting and ending at Dufferin Grove Park in October had an amazing collection of costumes last year. Laura Berman sent us a set of photos from the event, which we've assembled into a photo gallery.

The Cooking Fire Theatre Festival

The Cooking Fire Theatre Festival is coming back this year. Here is a photo gallery from 2004.

Dusk Dances

Dusk Dances is coming to the Park again this July, for the seventh year. Here's a picture gallery from 2004.

Special Events 2005

posted March 18, 2006

There won't be a Little Folk Festival in 2006 but we're told there may be one in 2007. Here's hoping...

posted June 9, 2005

The Little Folk Festival 2005

Sunday June 5, 2005 11 A.M. TO 6 PM.

Organized by park friend Laura Repo. She named it "The Little Folk Festival" for its size - one stage only - and in honour of the little people who inhabit the park. It featured musical performers who are also parents, most of whom consider the park a second home.

These kinds of festivals depend on good weather, but nobody thought that June 5 would be a hot day of 29 degrees. There was a last-minute scramble to open the wading pool before its time. Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro made no effort to stop this irregularity, just encouraged us to make sure that we had experienced staff there (we did). Park supervisor Brian Green got us some barriers and additional platforms for the sound stage. He also sent in some staff to get the park all cleaned up - no litter anywhere.

Mary Lou of Beretta's Organic Meats (from our farmers' market, brought a special shipment of hot dogs, and the park staff quickly put together a summer food cart.

These were the performers:

  1. laid back edgy pop from Georgie Donais and a band of family members (Georgie is also in charge of the cob building project)
  2. singer-songwriter Arlene Bishop
  3. Blair Packham's "refreshingly unpopular pop"
  4. Max Metrault's Rancho Misterio - conjunto dance band music from Texas & Northern Mexico
  5. Zari, a trio who specialize in music from the Georgian Republic
  6. the dark melodies and poetic lyrics of Mia Sheard
  7. Leah Salomaa's traditional music for kids
  8. Ravi Naimpally's tabla-led Tasa
  9. the country-folk of Laura Repo and The Blue Healers

Afterwards there was a community dinner, cooked in the wood-burning oven. The music continued unplugged with traditional Irish music played by Karen Light and friends - Karen is a mother and grandmother in the neighbourhood and Laura Repo's aunt.

The Little Folk Festival got support from:

  • Long and McQuade []], who lent a very large amount of excellent sound equipment, leading to a large amount of excellent sound;
  • Front Door Organics []], who said they'd donate $250 of their beautiful fresh produce but ended up giving us over $400-worth (every scrap got eaten);
  • Goo Factory (Paul Safarian's graphic design company - he has made so many vivid posters as gifts for the park)
  • Kwik Kopy []] Printing, which printed Paul's posters for free.

The musicians played for free but donations were welcome - and freely given. The quality of the music was completely astonishing, and people have not stopped talking about the festival. More than one person said it was the best day of their summer (before summer had even officially begun).



photos by Wallie Seto

Special Events 2004

posted November 12, 2004

An Author in the Park

Amy Gordon, a children's writer from Amherst, Massachusetts, came to the park recently. It turns out that she's written children's books about parks (she loves parks). She heard that there's a park with a bake oven, and she read what's on the web site. So she came up to see for herself. After she got back home, she mailed us a few copies of her last book, as a present for the rink house bookshelf. The book is called <i>The Gorillas of Gill Park</i>, and although it's probably meant for kids between 6 and 12, the park staff and park friends who read it couldn't put it down - it's wonderfully eccentric and a darn good yarn too. (It would make a great Christmas present!)

Amy is writing the sequel now, in which Gill Park gets a rink and a bake oven. (Really!) She e-mailed us recently to find out if a bake oven could cook a really big Thanksgiving turkey - she doesn't want to make factual errors in the story. We wrote back - turkeys in bake ovens, no problem. Delicious, in fact.

Three copies of Amy Gordon's first Gill Park book will be on the shelf at the rink house; pull up a chair by the wood stove when the rink opens, and see if you can stop reading once you begin.

See the reference to The Gorillas of Gill Park book.

posted October 5, 2004

A Pow Wow Story:

This year's Native Child and Family Services Children and Youth Pow Wow was as big and colourful as ever. The tipis were back, the ceremonial fire burned all day, the vendors ringed the dancing circle, and M.C. Steve Teekens, with his friendly chats into the mike, managed to make those of us who come from the north feel like we were right back there.

After the pow wow was done, and all the craft vendors had gone, the rented chairs had been taken away, and the ice cubes from the cooler boxes were slowly thawing in heaps on the grass, it took only about fifteen minutes for the Sudanese taxi drivers and their friends to reclaim the field for their Saturday evening soccer game. But at the side near the field house, a small group of women remained from the pow wow. They drummed and sang (the daytime drumming groups were male). When any of the soccer players scored a goal, the women would interrupt their song to cheer. Then they would resume singing.

After a while the chorus of their song became louder and easier to understand. It was: "<i>give me a double-double</i>," to the beat of the Indian drums. Then the singers would hoot with laughter and carry on singing. Tribal singing, African soccer, and Coffee Time, all at once, in the park.

posted May 28, 2006

The Raising of the Yurt, 2006

The raising of the yurt will take place this year on Saturday June 10, 2006.

posted June 5, 2005

The Raising of the Yurt, 2005

This year's annual raising of the yurt took place <strong>Friday June 3, 2005</strong>. The yurt is now standing near the playground. Drop by and check it out! For a picture gallery of last year's raising of the yurt, Read more from last year's raising of the yurt.

posted October 5, 2004

The Raising of the Yurt, 2004

See the picture gallery >>

Several times, in the summer, a few people have gotten together to raise a yurt, the traditional wood and felt dwelling of the nomadic peoples of Uzbekistan. We took some pictures this year (July), and you can see the whole process in our picture gallery. Read more >>

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