Activities & Workshops

Main Squared is a free 9-day arts & community festival that will activate and explore the public square at the corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue in Toronto from August 26 to September 3, 2017. Blending contemporary art and community art projects, the festival will feature art installations, interactive activities, workshops, performances, and more.

Join in free activities and workshops throughout the Main Squared festival. The workshops will engage your creativity in a welcoming and casual atmosphere. No experience is required and all supplies will be provided. Learn a new artistic skill, practice an existing one, and explore your talents!

See the listings below for free participatory activities and workshops, and check the Schedule for full Main Squared festival details.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 26

12-4pm: Electronics Recycling Collection
Get rid of your old electronics! Join your community to make a positive impact on the environment. Bring your TV’s, computers, and phones for proper disposal. More information and a list of accepted items can be found at inorganicmarket.ca . The Inorganic Market®, through public events and education, provides the opportunity for individuals to make a change at the community level and be positively engaged with the problem of e-waste. It is owned by the not-for-profit, SELF Solutions Lab.


12-5pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


12-3pm: Pinata-making workshop with Vivian Wong & friends Using cardboard, crepe paper, and glue, participants will work in teams to create fun and festive popsicle piñatas for Vivian’s You Are Invited project. Templates and supplies provided. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Vivian Wong is an artist, arts educator, and workshop facilitator. As founder of Wabi-Sabi Collective, she has animated spaces for Nuit Blanche Toronto and Culture Days Ontario with interactive and ephemeral public installations and community art.


12-4pm: Face-painting from Bibzy Creations
Enjoy a fun face-painting experience for both kids and adults with a variety of designs to choose from.

 

 


3-6pm: Story Staff workshop with artist Pamela Schuller
Using sticks, yarns and other textiles, this workshop invites you to add to a festival-story staff or create a personal story stick woven with reflections, memories, and stories of your life.

Pamela Schuller is an Arts Educator, Community Artist, and Mask Artist with 25+ years experience in mask work, theatre, dance, and puppetry. Pamela explores personal and community development with schools, families, and other special interest groups through creative workshops in mask making, paper-mache sculpture, tapestry, weaving, 3D mural arts, and other mixed media installations.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 27

12-3pm: Junkestra with Mark Sepic
East York artist, Mark Sepic is an internationally-recognized guitarist, composer, and sound sculptor. His Junkestra program, a hands-on wonderland of recycling, integrates sports, music, and the arts, bringing everyone together in a spirit of joy. Mark will host an eco-friendly music festival, with make and take musical instruments, a musical petting zoo with xylophones, tin can steel drums – and Frankenstring – a 180-string harp, made from a fallen maple tree from Taylor Creek Park. The xylophones and steel drums are made from broken hockey sticks, donated by Ted Reeve arena, solid oak flooring from the Main Square area, and tin cans from local restaurants. It all culminates in a final freestyle jam with the audience and their instruments.


12-5pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


3:30-5pm: Local History Walk
Local historian Gene Domagala will lead a guided tour of the rich history that is Danforth Avenue. Starting from Main Square, the tour will include historical landmarks such as Queens’ Plate, Hope United Church, and the oldest theatres within the area. Join us in exploring the past that has made the Danforth the wonderful street it is today.

 


MONDAY, AUGUST 28

12-5pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 29

12-5pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


4-5:30pm: Ask a Grants Officer Q&A with Toronto Arts Council
Do you have questions about applying for arts funding? Toronto Arts Council grants officers Kevin Reigh (Community Arts) and Peter Kingstone (Visual/Media Arts) will happily answer your questions about the funding programs at Toronto Arts Council.

 


5:30-8:30pm: My Art, My New Land workshop
A workshop for newcomer artists focussed on marketing and promotion by Airsa Art & Thought Association. Part of a series of workshops for newcomer artists to improve their communication skills and ability to adapt to a new society and culture using improv techniques and facilitated discussions. *registration is required


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30

1-4pm: Robotics demonstration by the Main Street Library branch
Stop by the Main Street Library branch‘s booth for a hands-on experience with robotics, coding, circuitry, and more! All ages and experience levels are welcome.

 


2-4pm: Sundials in the Square crafts workshop
A fun workshop where parents and their children can learn how people told time before the invention of watches and clocks by making their own sun dial. Participants will work with paints and other art supplies to decorate the face of their sun dial and learn how use it to tell time. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


5-7pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 31

3-6pm: Caricatures from the Toronto Caricature Guy
The Toronto Caricature Guy is Pat James, who thrills locals and tourists with wonderful caricature services that includes spectacular entertainment at events and festivities, and with creative memorable gifts. Performing across Canada and the world with these lively activities, and now based again in Toronto where this artistic adventurer started over 25 years ago.

 


3-6pm Caricatures by artist Charles Weiss
Watch or model as artist Charles Weiss draws Caricature portraits with exaggerated features with a black marker on white paper. Charles tries to  include a scene with each person involved in their favourite hobby, sport, or profession. His motto is Faces Need to be Exaggerated.

 


3-6pm Participatory Portrait Workshop with artist Sarvenaz Rayati
Try your hand at portraiture, with guidance from artist Sarvenaz Rayati. All materials will be provided.

Sarvenaz is an Iranian visual artist now based in Toronto. She received her BA in Painting and Visual Communication from Art University in Tehran. She has exhibited her work internationally and has recently participated in group exhibitions at Urban Space and Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. Since moving to the city, she has focused on her drawing and painting practice and has immersed herself in the community arts world. She visits schools, leads painting workshops, and participates in community arts and mural projects, including the Coxwell Laneway Mosaic Mural. This summer, Sarvenaz is leading People & Trees, a community art project that will culminate with an installation in East York’s Dentonia Park as part of City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot’s SPARK Projects.


5-7pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

2-4pm: Acts of Kindness Crochet Picnic
Chason Yeboah and Tumaini Lyaruu started Acts of Kindness (AoK!) to use their crochet abilities for good instead of evil! The two yarn bomb enthusiasts turned crochet teachers caravan around the city hosting crochet picnics – a free outdoor event where people can come visit our picnic blanket and learn the foundations of crochet!


5-7pm: Life Size Collage drop-in workshop
Visitors are invited to co-create a sprawling life sized collage installation that will span across one of the Main Squared storefront space windows. The evolution of this life size collage will come into being much like a performance piece; its creation can be planned, but will ultimately result from the improvised interactions between the artists and the participation of the public.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

1:45-2:30pm: Art Stroll
Join a free 45-minute walk around the Main Street Subway Station area with Nathalie Prezeau (the local author of self-guided books who recently published Toronto Street Art Strolls) and artist Maryanne Peters (who was involved in the Alleyway of Dreams located near the station). Together, they will help us experience first-hand the impact of what a little paint and a lot of talent can bring to a neighbourhood. www.torontofunplaces.com


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

2-3pm: “Best in Show” ribbon making craft activity
Participants learn how to make elaborate “Best in Show” ribbons from crepe, decorative papers, and buttons. After creating their ribbons, participants will then become the ‘celebrity’ judges for the inaugural Main Squared Dog Show. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For all the dog lovers!

 


3-4 pm: Main Squared Dog Show & Awards
Bring your friendly, leashed dog down to the square for this fun pageant of doggie excellence. Local children and teens will select winners of grueling competitions such as “most spots”, “fluffiest fur”, and, of course, “best costume”.

 


Main Squared is presented by East End Arts, and is a Cultural Hotspot Signature project in partnership with the City of Toronto. Contemporary art projects curated by Labspace Studio.

 

 


Main Squared is made possible by the generous support of Partners, Sponsors and Funders. Thank you to: