What’s Happening August 27th: Celebrate New Mural With Indigenous Food, Music and Dance in Riverside

Toronto’s Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) has a new mural developed by lead artist Odinamaad, in partnership with Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie, and in collaboration with Traditional Wisdom Keeper, Philip Cote and youth participants from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. The mural moves beyond animating the walls of Woodgreen Services’ 650 Queen Street East location, by rooting the area’s history.

Join us in launching and celebrating Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future on August 27th with Indigenous music, dance, and food.  Learn more about what will be happening and all the Indigenous artists and artisans who will be there through this blog and come experience with us!

What’s Happening August 27th

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About the Artists and Artisans

 

Philip Cote
Phil Cote

Philip Cote is an artist, activist, educator, a Sundancer, a Pipe Carrier, a Sweat Ceremony leader, and a member of the Eagle Society. A graduate of OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design in 2015, Philip creates opportunities for teaching methodologies on Indigenous symbolism, language, knowledge, and history. His teaching philosophy comes from his personal experience of experiential learning through working as Indigenous knowledge and wisdom keeper, whether it be through ceremonies, sharing oral stories, or observations through land-based teachings. He has been involved in Indigenous cultural practice for most of his life and this has led him to recognize that Indigenous people’s identity and language are directly linked to their relationships to land and to one another.

Philip took part in conceptualizing the Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future Mural and we are honoured that he will be speaking at the launch.

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Shandra Spears Bombay
Shandra Spears Bombay

Shandra Spears Bombay (Ojibway) is an actor, singer, writer, drummer and visual artist. Her television credits include Forensic Factor, Cold Blood, Murder in Paradise, Paranormal Witness, and Motives & Murders. Shandra toured with Debajehmujig Theatre Group before completing her Honours B.A. in Drama & Communication Studies at the University of Windsor. Formerly a part-time professor at George Brown College, Shandra has a solid background in curriculum design and workshop delivery, with a focus on arts and communication. Shandra is a member of Rainy River First Nations/Manitou Rapids and a member of the wolf clan. Raised in Chatham, Ontario, she now makes her home in Toronto.

We are grateful that Shandra can be at the mural launch to do traditional drumming and singing.

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Tammy Enosse
Tammy Enosse

Tammy Enosse, a beadwork and leatherwork artist, has been inspired by different women in the Indigenous community, including her mother. A citizen of Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve, Tammy is now based in Toronto. Even though she’s a mom to four boys ranging in age from 3 years to 15 years, and has a job working in the community, Tammy finds the time to do spectacular beadwork and leatherwork, creating her own designs.

Come meet Tammy Enosse and and take part in her medicine pouch craft workshop at the launch.

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Nimkii Osawamick
Nimkii Osawamick

Twenty-five year old Nimkii Osawamick is a hoop dancer, actor and entrepreneur. He’s been dancing since he was three years old. “When we dance, we’re giving thanks for all the abilities we have. We dance to remember and we dance to honour,” he says in a YouTube video made last year titled, Hooping with Thunder. “Through the hoop dance, we honour all of creation and we give thanks,” says Nimkii.

Nimkii has his own business – DNA Stage – which promotes Indigenous awareness. He does workshops and performances for schools and communities. He also helped open the ceremonies for the recent Indigenous Games held in Toronto.

We are honoured to have Nimkii do hoop dancing at the launch of the mural!

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Suzanne Smoke

Suzanne Smoke

Gifted in many areas, Suzanne has been a fashion designer, curator, chef, cultural and arts activist, and a land defender and water protector. She is also a traditional dancer and also sings with a hand drum. She is a member of the Alderville First Nation, Mississaugas of Rice Lake. Her most important role has been as a Life Giver and mother to Cedar, her 18 –year old daughter.

Suzanne played a major role at the Georgina Arts Centre & Gallery in Sutton as the Aboriginal Arts Coordinator. Under Suzanne’s leadership, the Biindigen Gallery grew from carrying the works of 5 to 6 Indigenous artists to housing the work of over 40 First Nations, Inuit and Metis artists. In 2015, she was the Indigenous Cultural Coordinator for the Host Nation, Mississaugas of New Credit for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

We are fortunate to have Suzanne cater the launch. Here’s what’s on the menu:

DECOLONIZING CAFE 

Cedar Tea 2 oz servings

Strawberry Juice with Maple syrup 2.oz.

Bison/Beef slow roasted with Mashed, layered with rich bison gravy and wild rice casserole    

Candied Salmon with Dill and cranberry compote 

Scone with maple syrup and cinnamon 

Scone with Berries and maple syrup and whipped cream

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Come meet all these fantastic artists and artisans and let us know you’re coming!

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Thank you to Mural Supporters

This is a Cultural Hotspot SPARK project made possible in part by the Government of Canada,  City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, the Government of Ontario, and Riverside BIA.  Thank you also to Woodgreen Community Services  and Sherwin Williams.

The nominations are in! Riverside shines once again in #NOWReadersChoice 2017!

Now Readers Choice

Voting is now open to decide the best of Toronto! Riverside establishments did not disappoint this year, racking up several nominations. Take a moment to show Riverside some love by voting now:

RUBY WATCHO – Nominated for ‘Best Prix Fixe’

LONE & CO. – Nominated for ‘Best Hair Salon’

THE OPERA HOUSE – Nominated for ‘Best Concert Hall’

PULP KITCHEN –  Nominated for ‘Best Juice Bar’

AFT KITCHEN & BAR – Nominated for ‘Best Late-Night Restaurant’

TABULE – Nominated for ‘Best Falafel’ and ‘Best Middle Eastern Restaurant’

ST. JOHN’S BAKERY – Nominated for ‘Best Bread’

WAXON WAXBAR – Nominated for ‘Best Beauty Spa’

ROB POIZNER (CANNONBALL COFFEE) – Nominated for ‘Best Barista’

ARTS MARKET – Nominated for ‘Best Unique Gift Store’

WHITE LILY DINER – Nominated for ‘Best Diner’

LITTLE PEEPS – Nominated for ‘Best Toy Shop’

PROHIBITION GASTROHOUSE – Nominated for ‘Best Gastropub’

Voting closes at 5pm on September 21st. Vote now and you’ll be entered into a random draw for a $250 gas card from Master Mechanic, professional teeth whitening from Archer Dental and Canada Prize Pack from Orangefish!

Learn About the Meaning Behind the Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future Mural

Toronto’s Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) has a new mural which is set to launch on August 27th with a public celebration featuring Indigenous music, dance, and food!  Learn more about the meaning behind the mural art through this blog and come see if for yourself by celebrating with us!

Lead artist Odinamaad, in partnership with Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie, developed the mural concept by collaborating with Traditional Wisdom Keeper, Philip Cote and youth participants from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. The mural moves beyond animating the walls of Woodgreen Services’ 650 Queen Street East location, by rooting the area’s history.

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Mural Artists (left to right): Odinamaad, Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie

 

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The mural embodies that Tkaranto has always been considered a meeting place: first, for Indigenous nations for travel, trade, hunting and fishing, and in present day, for people who come here from around the globe to gather on the traditional territories of those who first occupied the land. Odinamaad and Chief Lady Bird shared the meaning behind the mural images:

The West-Facing Wall

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Floral
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Floral designs reference Anishinaabe woodland style painting, quill work on birch bark boxes and beadwork on friendship bags; also a symbol of feminine energy, growth and nurturing. Bead work is a placework marker of where different First Nations are from.

Otter
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The otter is from the Ojibwe Creation Story of Turtle Island, symbolizing where everything began, the origins of the land that we are on and the sacrifices by the animals.  In that first story, the otter is a symbol of “Survivance”, representing how Indigenous peoples are staying rooted in the face of colonialism, and how art is another form of surviving, and sharing first stories.

Fish
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The fish is a main form of sustenance for Indigenous peoples; and also a reference to the fish fences, also called Weirs or Mnjikaning, in Chief Lady Bird’s community of Rama First Nations and many other communities.

Water
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Water is life; symbol of the three rivers in Tkaranto and the many underground rivers which have been hidden by development; it’s also a symbol of honouring the clean water we have here in Tkaranto, which many Indigenous communities do not have and there are calls to change this as access to clean water is a basic human right.

Sky Domes
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These ‘sky domes’ were included at the request of a local First Nations resident for whom they held special significance in her culture. Sky domes are Haudenosaunee designs, which honour the sky world from where life became.

 

 Eagle
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The eagle offers guidance; a symbol of connection to healing and communication with the spirit world.  Mural artist Chief Lady Bird is from the Eagle Clan.

 

Bear
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The bear is a reference to the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) constellation representing  self-sacrifice and annual cycles of renewal .

 

Half Moon/Half Grandmother
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 Reference to the ‘moon grandmother’ who has 13 cycles, teaching us how to live and what to do each month.

Lady Slipper
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A symbol of persistence to care for people as it is a reference to the story of Lady slipper: a young girl who went to fetch medicine for her people. On her journey her feet became frozen and bleeding. She passed away but where her blood fell lady slipper flowers grew in the spring, becoming a source of medicine for her people.

Woman + Child
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The baby in this depiction is strapped into a cradleboard which is a traditional protective baby-carrier that safeguards the infant and makes them able to be placed at eye level so they can see and experience the structure, ownership and learnings within the family; references a different viewpoint, as well as creation of bonds between peoples.

Spirit Connection
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The west wall has an overarching spirit connection (yellow lines) starting from the cradle board that links back throughout the mural; symbolic of a prayer toward the next generation of youth.

 

The South-Facing Wall

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Birch Bark Baskets
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Birch bark baskets are used for many purposes such as drying fish, and safekeeping berries, and are used around river sides in communities; a symbol of abundance where there is unity.

Thunder Birds
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The thunder birds protect us and bring cleansing with the rain, keeping dark spirits down; they symbolize clashes with underwater forces.

Rabbit
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The Trickster ‘nanaboozhoo’ is a benevolent being, sometimes taking the form of a rabbit, the co-creator of everything; ‘boozho’ is also a greeting for ‘I see you’, acknowledging and giving credit to the creators

Eagle Feather
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The eagle feather is the highest honour you can receive, based on contribution to the community, given from one Indigenous person to another. The Tkaranto skyline provides a contemporary connection whereby the feather becomes your medicine and symbolizes the enduring Indigenous presence here in Tkaranto.

Read the full artists’ statement about the mural:

Tkaranto has always been considered a meeting place. First, for Indigenous nations who have gathered here to travel, trade, hunt and fish. And now, in present day, for people to gather here from around the globe on the traditional territories of those who first occupied the land.

The land has always been known to guide us physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Through this holistic lifestyle our ancestors are able to guide us through struggles and instill teachings and guidance to help us find the kindness in our path and hearts to heal ourselves and find balance. As a people, we are hurting. There are many young people suffering from depression as a repercussion of the continued effects of colonialism. In addition, there is both a water crisis and suicide epidemic impacting many First Nations communities within Canada. With all of this in mind, this mural aims to foster pride and hope and depicts hopeful metaphors alongside historic symbols surrounding our urban dwelling, such as the eagle feather – a sacred item for our people.

Public art that positively represents First Nations histories, contemporary living and imagined futures, is a way for us to smudge positive energy over our communities. This mural integrates traditional practices of this area, such as the use of fish racks, star knowledge and matriarchal family structures. By sharing this imagery with the people of Toronto, we are all able to keep the true history of Canada alive and acknowledge the enduring Indigenous presence on this land. Traditionally, this bounty was shared. This is what we are trying to do right now; exhibiting and sharing the bounty of Indigenous energy and culture – making space for Indigenous youth to have a voice and retrace their ancestors’ way of life.

Public art that shares Indigenous stories not only shares this history with our own peoples, but it also enables us to share with others as well. We hope to move toward a healthier and more holistic future that respects mother nature in a more sustainable manner so that we can provide for future generations like our ancestors did before us.

Thank you to Mural Supporters

This is a Cultural Hotspot SPARK project made possible in part by the Government of Canada,  City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, the Government of Ontario, and Riverside BIA.  Thank you also to Woodgreen Community Services  and Sherwin Williams.

Get to Know the Artists Behind Riverside’s New Mural: Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future

Toronto’s Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) has a new mural which is set to launch on August 27th with a public celebration featuring Indigenous music, dance, and food!  Get to know the artists who brought the mural to life and come meet them by celebrating with us!

Lead artist Odinamaad, in partnership with Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie, developed the mural concept by collaborating with Traditional Wisdom Keeper, Philip Cote and youth participants from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. The mural moves beyond animating the walls of Woodgreen Services’ 650 Queen Street East location, by rooting the area’s history.

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Mural Artists (Left to right): Isaac Weber, Nancy King and Dave Monday Oguorie

 

The mural embodies that Tkaranto has always been considered a meeting place: first, for Indigenous nations for travel, trade, hunting and fishing, and in present day, for people who come here from around the globe to gather on the traditional territories of those who first occupied the land.

“Public art that positively represents First Nations histories, contemporary living and imagined futures, is a way for us to smudge positive energy over our communities. This mural integrates traditional practices of this area, such as the use of fish racks, star knowledge and matriarchal family structures. By sharing this imagery with the people of Toronto, we are all able to keep the true history of Canada alive and acknowledge the enduring Indigenous presence on this land,” says lead mural artist, Odinamaad.

About the Artists

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Isaac Weber (Odinamaad – Turning Wind)

Lead mural artist for ‘Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future’, Isaac Weber or Odinamaad (Turning Wind) is a street and fine artist from the Ojibwa Turtle Clan. He has collaborated on several mural projects in Toronto, including Underpass Park, and has previously lived in Toronto’s East End. Isaac Weber is of Moorish and Anishinawbe descent and is committed to being a strong role model and representative for his community. He is well known in Toronto, Vancouver, and the Netherlands street art communities. In 2015, he was awarded the senior arts category award at Aboriginal Arts & Stories, a Historica Canada initiative. With over 12 years of painting workshop facilitation and life painting experience, his practice involves working to uplift and support the community’s younger generation to collectively bring back the richness carried within spirits, tradition, and craft.

 

Portrait-Nancy

Nancy King (Ogimaakwebnes – Chief Lady Bird)

Nancy King is a First Nations (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird. She has completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University and has been exhibiting her work since she was 14 years old. Through her art practice, she strives to look to the past to help her navigate her Anishinaabe identity whilst living in an urban space as well as advocate for Indigenous representation as an integral aspect of Canada’s national identity. She addresses the complexity of identity through the use of contemporary painting techniques; woodlands style imagery, photography, digital manipulation and traditional Indigenous craft materials and often works with at-risk youth to ensure knowledge and skill sharing/development.

Come meet them by celebrating with us on August 27th! 

To celebrate the official launch of the mural’s completion, the public is invited to join in the outdoor festivities to view and celebrate the new mural on August 27th, including Traditional hand-drum songs by Shandra Spears Bombay, Hoop Dancing by Nimkii Osawamick, a Medicine Pouch craft workshop, along with opening remarks by Traditional Wisdom Keeper Philip Cote, the Mural Artists, and local representatives. There will also be cake and refreshments from Indigenous caterer Suzanne Smoke and Dark Horse Espresso to add to the festivities!
Thanks to the key partners who supported this project: the Government of Canada, City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, the Government of Ontario, and Riverside BIA. Thank you also to Woodgreen Community Services and Sherwin Williams.

Saulter Street Brewery is Open for Business!

Saulter Street Brewery became the second brewery in Riverside when it opened its doors on Friday August 4th. It’s in a bit of a hidden spot but once you walk south on Lewis Street and through the path (east side about halfway down) you’ll discover it’s well work the trek.

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A Czech-style Pilsner called Riverside Pilsner (!!) is the the flagship offering from founder John Sterling and brewer Peter Kufeldt, who plan to also offer small batch experimental beers in the future that can only be found in their onsite tap room.  The brewery includes a 20 hectolitre brewhouse, 40-seat tap room, and retail store.

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Check out their website and Facebook for hours and upcoming happenings! Cheers!

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