A little film!

We have been talking a lot about rituals lately at Making Room, and the role that community arts can have in creating new rituals that make sense in the communities where they have been created.

So we were happy to have ritual studies scholar Ron Grimes join us on our Feast of Flags. We were even more happy that he made this little movie about our adventure: http://vimeo.com/ronaldlgrimes/feastofflags
If you want to learn more about the exciting things Ron is up to, visit his website at: http://ronaldlgrimes.twohornedbull.ca/


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Join Us! Feast of Flags, June 21

postcard03flatMaking Room Community Arts presents

Feast of Flags

A parade, party and book launch Saturday, June 21

Come to PARC (1499 Queen St W) early to make instruments, costumes and more. The drop-in opens at 11:00am.

The parade leaves PARC at 2:30pm and heads to the water at Budapest Park for our big celebration. Expect hats, flags, drums, singing!

Once we arrive at the waterfront, we will be enjoying music from the Making Room Choir, a performance by the PARC drumming group, the launch of our book, “John Blank’s Bags,” and delicious food.

Dress code: Your BIGGEST self!

Find the Facebook event here.

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Radio Spotlight on Making Room!

We are excited to announce that the Kingston Arts Council has selected Making Room as one of 7 community art organizations to be spotlighted in partnership with CFRC radio. Check out this interview with Michael Burtt about the current community arts projects at PARC!


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On Documentation (Processing Process)

An impromptu pose from Caroline with her flagpole.

An impromptu pose from Caroline with her flagpole.

As you may gather from looking at our recent blog posts, we’ve started to take photography pretty seriously at Making Room these last few weeks. Documentation serves many purposes in our lives, but it takes on particular significance when it comes to art-making.

Of course, artwork itself can be documentation— one or many particular renditions of a moment or place. For instance, you could say that the stories we’ve been publishing are partially documentations of PARC, of the people who make up the PARC community, and of the author, Bob Rose’s memory of them.

But what we’ve been getting really interested in recently is the documentation of the process of art-making. How do we capture the broader, unlimited experience of the “art” that we do, in all of its iterations and perspectives? How can we honour our acts of coming together, or shared rituals, our hands at work, through imperfect media like photographs, texts, sound recordings and video? How do we represent our very attempts at artistic representation before, during and after their execution?

At a recent Sand in Water workshop, we talked about documentation, and the first reason Alice gave for why it is important is because “that is how we proceed to the next project”. Records of our group’s previous process can provide an important ground to remind us what we’re doing as we move forward towards something new— like our celebration on June 21st.

But Alice and Shelley also cite the practical purposes of having documentation, which is a way of explaining ourselves when words fail us. People at PARC and elsewhere often ask us where Making Room’s ideas come from and what they mean, and sometimes it’s just easier to show them.

In any case, expect to encounter new kinds of evidence for the experiences and experiments of Making Room.

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June 21st approaches… parade and book launch preparations!

This gallery contains 5 photos.

For the past few weeks, Making Room workshops have been bustling with activity; painting, drawing, storytelling, drumming, building, singing and more. We are working towards a parade and book launch to take place on June 21st! Here are some photos … Continue reading

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Like us on Facebook!

If you haven’t already, please like the Making Room Community Arts page on Facebook! If you have your own Facebook page, that is.

We’ll be updating it with photos, poems, songs, links to other media and more. Please invite any of your friends who might me interested to like the page as well.

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Making Room at Edmond Place!

Yesterday something inevitable happened— but the fact that it was inevitable doesn’t make it any more less exciting! After a little planning and some support from the staff over there, Edmond Place experienced it’s first Making Room workshop.

Edmond Place is an apartment building that adjoins PARC, and it was once one of the largest rooming houses in Parkdale. The folks at PARC, in conjunction with the Affordable Housing Program, Habitat Services, the City of Toronto and a host of other individuals and organizations, fought to renew and transform Edmond Place into affordable and supportive housing for people in the PARC community. It opened its refurbished doors in 2011, and was named in honor of Edmond Yu, who once lived there.. Read more about his legacy here.

Edmond Place also happens to be home to many talented artists of a variety of disciplines. Yesterday, about a half dozen of Edmond Place’s residents came out to make art, taking on a variety of tasks to construct and decorate the beginning panels of… well, you’ll have to wait to find out about the final product. Going forward, Making Room will be having an ongoing workshop there, and we’re beyond excited to see

Here are some pictures of the fun we had yesterday.

There was building…

Lawrence attaches fabric to his pyramid frame

Lawrence attaches fabric to his pyramid frame

Robbie and Lawrence build frames

Robbie and Lawrence build frames


and painting and embroidery!

Donna and Jess paint fabric panels

Donna and Jess paint fabric panels

Donna paints on a fabric panel

Donna paints on a fabric panel

You can look forward to more awesome dispatches from this new group henceforth.

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Intuitive Art Bookmaking Workshop with Tamar Swartz

On March 28th, Jumblies Platform A micro-grant recipient Tamar Swartz made a guest appearance at our weekly Friday drop-in session to lead a bookmaking workshop through a process she calls “intuitive art-making”. Intuitive art is a practise that Tamar has developed in her own personal art-making and in workshop settings with other community groups, and it was a treat to have her in to share her knowledge with us. Here are some shots of the group getting into the task at hand!


Tamar explaining what we're about to do

Tamar explaining what we’re about to do

Johnny and Michael cutting and pasting.

Johnny and Michael cutting and pasting.


Marlene told a beautiful story about a stranger's act of kindness in her book.

Marlene told a beautiful story about a stranger’s act of kindness in her book.


More bookmaking!

More bookmaking!


Thanks to Tamar for sharing her process with us and making our Friday at PARC extra special.

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More Pictures from the Anniversary Celebration

This gallery contains 11 photos.

all photos by Katherine Fleitas

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25 Cakes

The title of this post could be either “Twenty Five Cakes” or “Thirty Four Cakes”. PARC recently celebrated its 34th year of operations, and to mark the occasion, Sand in Water members worked intently to create an appropriate celebratory spectacle. At the same time, we were working on publishing our second book of the year, which is called “25 Cakes”, and tells the story of a man named Wayne and his participation in the 25th anniversary of PARC. It was that year when the idea came to make twenty-five cakes for the twenty-fifth anniversary, and ever since then one more cake is added to the list each year, making for a room full of elaborately decorated, glowing, sugary creations.

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The event seemed to come together in a flash – Sand in Water members and other PARC volunteers spent countless hours the week of the party planning, baking, paper-macheing,  sculpting, rehearsing songs, and reminiscing about anniversaries past.

A special guest (re-)appearance was made by the PARC dragon – an old creature rumoured to have once held mascot status at the drop-in. A two-headed, multi-personalitied version was created by Making Room artists and Sand in Water members, and helped to kick off the celebration with a short performance.

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Making Room’s choir came out with another wonderful performance, singing all new songs and starting off the music and dance part of the evening! The abundance of sugary treats in people’s systems made for some great dance moves, as the Zepheniah James Band played some tunes for us to end the night. The final hurrah came with the breaking open of our dragon’s egg piñata, which took more than a few hits to crack open!

DSC_0556photo: Katherine Fleitas

All in all it was a wonderful way to celebrate PARC’s 34th anniversary and the launch of our second book. Sand in Water weekly sessions are back in full swing for the coming months as we prepare for the next big spectacle…so stay tuned!



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