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Toronto’s inaugural Geary Art Crawl Shines spotlights neighbourhood’s artistic roots


Outdoor event from October 2-3 celebrates local arts and culture with music, art, pop-ups, food and more

A new arts and culture event is launching in Toronto this weekend. The first-ever Geary Art Crawl is a two day, rain or shine celebration of art and culture on Geary Avenue from Ossington to west of Dufferin. From October 2-3, the mixed use west-end neighbourhood will come alive with music, visual art installations, pop-ups, food and more in a creative emergence from the pandemic that celebrates the arts while putting local businesses at the forefront.

Presented by Toronto-based registered not-for-profit Uma Nota Culture, who recently held the third annual Mixto Festival in the Wallace Emerson area, Geary Art Crawl is a weekend of fun, outdoor, covid-safe cultural art activations. The event will include four music stages, sculpture garden, art scavenger hunt, site specific dance performances, an interactive mural, live painting, tours, pop-up activations by local businesses, Tesla battery-powered sound system, and more.

“Geary Avenue has a rich history as a mixed use arts community and our goal is to highlight and celebrate that throughout the course of the weekend,” says Kristyn Gelfand (she/her), head of marketing at Uma Nota Culture. “We’re excited to bring together local businesses, artists and performers to showcase some of the best the area has to offer, for art and culture lovers across the city.”

Confirmed programming partners include The Music Gallery, Art Spin, Lulaworld, Darren Christopher projects and Best in Town Sound.

Musical performances at Toronto’s Geary Art Crawl include:

Additional artists to be announced.

Visual artists and performers include:

The Geary Art Crawl hours are Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is free to the public, except for the musical performances, which will require tickets in advance. They can be purchased for $19.13 here: https://www.gearyartcrawl.com/tickets

For more information visit: GearyArtCrawl.com – and for specific location details on each activation, check out the Geary Art Crawl Program Map.

About Geary Avenue

“Geary Avenue is a vibrant employment area within the established low-rise residential neighbourhood of Davenport. Geary Avenue is prized for its “maker” uses such as small scale manufacturing, food production, artists’ studios and production studios. The eclectic mix of these uses with small-scale restaurants, bars and other cultural uses in old low-rise industrial buildings gives the street an authentic, alluring “vibe” that is increasingly making Geary Avenue a commercial and social destination.” -City of Toronto Planning

About Uma Nota Culture

Uma Nota Culture is a Toronto-based registered not-for-profit mandated to foster the landscape for diverse music in Canada. Uma Nota was originally founded in 2007 as a unique monthly event series focusing on Afro-Brazilian, Latin, Caribbean, funk, and soul music. UNC now hosts concerts, festivals, block parties, film screenings, panel discussions, and workshops. Unpretentious, open-minded, lively and fun, Uma Nota is a place where people come together to dance and revel, united by an inclusive, polyrhythmic, tropical vibe. In July 2019 UNC produced its first Mixto Block Party. In addition to Mixto, UNC continues to host and co-present diverse events throughout the year, ranging from larger internationally headlined concerts to local bands playing smaller intimate shows, shining a spotlight on an often overlooked cross-section of the city’s cultural landscape.

Land Acknowledgement

The City of Toronto, and the Geary Avenue area within it, have been inhabited by Indigenous peoples for millennia, or time immemorial. Beneath Davenport Road, one block north of Geary Avenue, lies an ancient trail created by Indigenous peoples. The trail ran at the foot of the bluff which formed the former shoreline of Lake Iroquois, the forerunner of the much smaller Lake Ontario. The Indigenous trail linked Indigenous settlements with hunting and fishing grounds and with trade routes. Defined by the geography of the former Lake Iroquois shoreline, Davenport Road stands out from the colonially imposed rectilinear street grid and connects us with the area’s indigenous history.

In the 1780s and again in 1805, as the British government prepared to colonize the Toronto area, it negotiated Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation to obtain title to the land. Toronto remains part of the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

story by Lauren Wasley

photo by Joshua Best

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