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
About the Artists and Artisans
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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
Come meet all these fantastic artists and artisans and let us know you’re coming!
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.