On May 29th, Making Room Community Arts celebrated the end of their year’s workshops and projects at PARC with a special celebration: The Way Here.
Since our Summit of Legends, Making Room and PARC members have been exploring and elaborating the many different pathways and places that make up our geographies, individually and collectively. PARC is just one stop on a life-long map for everybody here, and the neighbourhood of Parkdale serves as a beating heart at the centre of the lively and never-ending movement of the people in our communities.
To celebrate that, we made signs and arrows pointing in all directions, guiding people to destinations as close as Little Portugal and as far as “The Outer Limits.” As the event began, PARC’s very own J-Cal marched into the room with a massive signpost bearing many of these names and places.
Above this stage area was a rotary parade of the many modes of getting around, engineered by Sonja Rainey with work designed by more than a dozen PARC members.
The main event of the day was a special performance by the Making Room Choir, led by Shifra Cooper, who sang “Buried Underneath,” a special piece composed my Martin Van de Ven for Jumblies Theatre musicians, as well as “On Tuesdays,” a piece composed specially for the Making Room Choir. As the choir began to sing, a beautiful, textured and dyed map of our many pathways swung down behind them.
But the most rollicking of all was certainly the choirs spirited performance of the Stan Rogers classic, “The Giant.” Swinging harmonies, a booming men’s section, and the spirit of storytelling crashed the glass down to thundering applause.
We were also happy to mark the beginning of a long-term partnership with Parkdale’s urban agriculture project Greenest City. We joyfully presented an intersection sign to Ayal Dinner and Helen Melbourne from the project. We have already begun doing some workshops and fun in the Hope Garden, and we are happy to announce that we will be beginning bigger projects there this summer and fall — stay tuned!
As we shared in the glow of our many pathways coming together, a massive, arrow-covered cake (who doesn’t like cake?) was distributed as revellers moseyed around, looking at the maps, sign posts, rotary parade, and the EP Verbal Cigarettes books, which were installed in the drop-in as well.
Thank you to all who made this a truly special occasion, and particularly to Liam Coo for taking the photographs you see here, so we can remember it! ⏎↗️