TORONTO, June 20, 2022 – With today being the first day of summer it is only fitting that the BIG on Bloor Festival officials just announced it is back for its 15th year. With a rain or shine pedestrian takeover of the culturally rich community of Bloordale (Bloor Street West from Dufferin to Lansdowne), this free in-person festival runs over the weekend of July 16th and 17th (from 12pm to midnight and 12pm to 9pm, respectively).
In a new hybrid format, the art installations and online programming will continue to be available for two weeks following the opening weekend.
This year’s festival theme, “RE: Union”, is a reaction to the isolation felt during the pandemic. The double entendre invokes the objective to gather again publicly, while also creating a dialogue of what gathering means to us all.
“We’ve added even more programming this year, especially local musical performances,” said Darren Leu, BIG on Bloor Festival Director. “The festival will be more vibrant, lively and interactive than ever before and we encourage our neighbours and visitors alike to join us for the experience.”
During the weekend, in addition to art installations, family activities and local vendors, the festival will include an eclectic line-up of QTBIPOC musical performers across several stages including a main stage at 1141 Bloor Collegiate Institute and the Latin World Stage at Emerson.
There will be many curated projects reflecting the diversity and energy of the Bloordale neighbourhood, including accessible multimedia, community platforms and engaging art installations and workshops. There will be opportunities to participate and explore each art site scattered throughout the 10-block Bloordale strip.
Some highlights of BIG on Bloor Festival include:
- Jana Ghalayini with a large-scale outdoor textile installation
- DCP Collective presents the “Aerosol Area” where visitors are given spray paint and masks to ‘tag’ the environment
- NFT Goat Collective is showing “Peep booth” which invites visitors to look through peep holes and view various digital media on devices within a large black monolith
- T Dot Batu – AfroBrazilian Batucada band with roots in the Samba Reggae of Salvador Bahia, Brazil. The international sensations are being presented by LulaWorld as part of the International Samba Reggae Festival
- Myst Milano – Toronto DJ, Rapper and Producer
- Mother Tongues – 5-piece psyche rock band
- Drag Shows
- Hula Hoops and Silk demos
- Ukrainian Cultural Presentation
- Belly Dancing
Onsite vendors and activities:
There is no shortage of activities for attendees of all ages – and their four-legged friends! From enjoying the patios, checking out the murals or attending an art workshop. There’s even a mini petting zoo from Earth Echoes. Other onsite features include:
- Giant games – giant billiards and Jenga, bike lane bowling alley and more
- Big bazaar – will include over 50 local and vintage vendors in a highly curated marketplace designed to look like a bazaar with tents, string lights and more
- Play fair/ Family zone – activities range from face painting, a Nerf zone and the ever popular and entertaining, What a Ball
- Kid Biz aka Youth market – encouraging entrepreneurial passions, this area will feature the budding businesses of local children from lemonade stands to friendship bracelets
The BIG on Bloor Festival has been attended by upwards of 100,000 as a two-day street closure event since 2007. More information and updates on artists and entertainment can be found at bigonbloorfestival.com or Instagram @bigonbloorfest.
BIG: Bloor Improvement Group is a non-profit coalition of community groups, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), politicians, artists, schools, service providers, institutions, gardeners, small businesses, residents and neighbours coming together to advance the economic, physical, cultural and social life of the targeted local Bloor Street by creating opportunities and events that improve the atmosphere and celebrate the area. BIG is a registered not-for-profit organization founded in 2006.