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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Performances

In addition to providing hundreds of contemporary visual artists and makers a space to showcase their works and wares, TOAF also presents free site-specific dance pieces (or appropriated existing performances) for the cascading stage at Nathan Phillips Square. By offering these performances and tapping into the dance community, TOAF audiences are able to expand their experiences of contemporary art.


2023

For the second year in a row, our partners at Small World Music brought an electric selection of bands and musicians to delight your senses and get you into the groove of summer fun. 


We are delighted to present a new site-specific dance commission Leap (of faith), choreographed by Jenn Goodwin and Sarah Doucet and created in collaboration with a stellar cast of performers. Last year, Jenn’s brilliant and moving work, If I Should Stumble, engulfed our art lovers in awe and surprise. Leap (of faith), is rich in meaning, suspension and humour. Don’t forget to look up!

Leap (of faith)

Leap (of faith) is the final installment of a trilogy of dance works, including Closer and If I Should Stumbleportraying a feminist journey through an urban landscape. 

The work explores the body as a site of power where precarity, resilience and vulnerability negotiate the dominant social structures of contemporary public space. It references a collectively devised movement vocabulary from diverse female-lead protest dances, and uses materials attributed to the location which exists as a place of gathering, decision making, celebration, and protest. 

The physical action of leaping is one of mid-motion, with the body both grounded and suspended between potentials. In this new work, architecture frames bodies in restriction and expansion, between a concrete ground and an endless sky. Bodies explore the physical and metaphysical, the temporal and infinite, inscribing a desire for nuanced meaning in this time and place.

The title itself speaks to a belief or trust in something intangible, like hope. 

Leap continues Goodwin’s choreographic examination of collectivity and poetic physicality, solidarity and the feminization of space, and resiliency in the face of day-to-day challenges. 

Concept & Choreography: Jenn Goodwin
Choreography and Rehearsal Direction: Sarah Doucet
Performers & Choreographic Collaborators: joey eddy, Jen Dahl, Kiki Kennedy, Christy Stoeten, Danah Rosales, Jaz ‘Fairy J’ Simone, Jenn Goodwin
Costume Design: Sarah Doucet
Creative Producer: Briana Brown
Original Music Composition: Victoria Cheong aka New Chance
Production Support & Consultation: Alana Mercury-Conter and Chris Teeter
Commissioned by Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
Supported by Toronto Arts Council with funding from the City of Toronto
With thanks to Brandy Leary, Kate Nankervis, Neville Quinlan, Lela Kouyoumdjian

Kazdoura

Kazdoura is a Toronto-based band serving Arabic fusion with a modern twist. Equal parts nostalgia and reinvention, their style is a cross-cultural blend of Eastern and Western music that blends old-world Arabic classics with funk, pop, and disco. 

Las Empanadas Ilegales

Empanadas Ilegales are Vancouver-based, and Creepy Mambo is their second full-length collection of psych-infused cumbia – or chicha, as it is also known – with some salsa and latin jazz mixed in for good measure. The six members trace their roots all across the Latin world – from Spain, Argentina, and Brazil to Colombia, Ecuador and of course Peru, once the epicentre of the blistering chicha sound.

Creepy Mambo is by the band’s own admission a product of the pandemic. It was recorded in 2021 when COVID lockdowns were in full force, which might explain the two curious snippets that bookend the record: an opening descarga that recalls Los Amigos Invisibles in their early days and a sax solo that skronks its way to a more sombre closing.

Trash Panda Brass

Trash Panda Brass, a fresh voice in Toronto’s brass band scene since June 2022, has quickly gained a devoted following. They’ve rocked shows at Drom Taberna, opened for Shuffle Demons, and energized community events. With upbeat tunes honouring queer hits and icons, Trash Panda Brass spreads music and joy through performances, festivals and workshops. Proudly queer, Trash Panda Brass is here to stay.

DJ Sawtay

Revel and groove to DJ Sawtay‘s skilled spinning of Hip Hop, Funk, and Soul.

INTRINITY

From being a Red Bull Music 3style DJ, Festival VIP & Artist DJ, performing for over 35,000 people on New Year’s Eve, to doing live TV segments, Toronto’s own INTRINITY has solidified himself as one of Canada’s premiere open-format DJs.

StreetARToronto Live Painting 

With Phillip Saunders, Melika Saeeda, Erin McCluskey, Mo Thunder, Enna Kim, Francis Pratt, Daniela Rocha

Watch these talented mural and street artists create artwork live and in-person while they explore individual themes. 

2022

Our new programming partners at Small World Music have curated an electric selection of bands and musicians to get you moving for the three days of the Fair. 
Jenn Goodwin’s If I Should Stumble movement installation (TOAF Stage) will engulf our audiences in awe. 
CHALKING by ĀNANDAṀ Dancetheatre invites you for a moment of quiet and reflection with a contemplative new dance work.

CHALKING

Presented by ĀNANDAṀ Dancetheatre

ĀNANDAṀ creates and presents performances shaped by aesthetics and ethics nurtured through curiosity, intimacy, and responsiveness, values of presence and collective inquiry, inclusive of diverse bodies and movement practices and receptive to a multitude of viewpoints on the dancing body. 

If I Should Stumble

Choreographed by Jenn Goodwin

This movement installation uses stairs as stage, nemesis, obstacle and accomplishment and in its expression of falling as dancers unpack the resiliency and challenges of women in day-to-day life. Goodwin interprets themes of personal power, female camaraderie, and spectacle in her choreography and vision.

Created by Jenn Goodwin, in collaboration with and performed by Anastasia DeLyon, Sarah Doucet, Aria Evans, Kristi (Kiki) Kennedy, Kate Nankervis, Anita Nittoly, Nicola Pantin, Danah Rosales, Irma Villafuerte, Jenn Goodwin.

Song Credit: “Uja” from Tanya Tagaq’s album Animism 
Costume Design: Sarah Doucet
Creative Production by Briana Brown

Big Smoke Brass Band

Kick-off the Fair with high-energy sound as Big Smoke Brass Band, a leading voice in the Canadian Brass Scene, erupts in joyful celebration. 

Maria and The Band

Revel in vibrant music from the Canadian and Brazilian group rooted in traditional forró “pé de serra” music and shaped by influences ranging from blues to arabesque. Follow them on Instagram: @mariabandca

Ammoye

Move to Ammoye‘s future-forward reggae sounds that pull from dancehall to R&B influences as her infectious voice invites you to reflect on justice and empowerment.

DJ Sawtay

Revel and groove to DJ Sawtay‘s skilled spinning of Hip Hop, Funk, and Soul.

StreetARToronto Live Painting 

With Désiré Betty, Brian Jiang, Jordan McKie, Chris Perez, Ghazaleh Rastgar and Andrea Rodriguez

Watch these talented mural and street artists create artwork live and in-person while they explore individual themes. 

2021

StreetARToronto Live Painting 

With Elicser Elliott and Kalmplex | Instagram Live

Toronto is home to some of the best mural and street artists in the world. These artists and artworks have transformed Toronto’s public streets, laneways and parks into a city-wide art gallery! Watch an action-packed live painting performance by some of Toronto’s beloved graffiti artists, courtesy of our friends at StreetARToronto (StART)


2019

Glaciology 

By Anandam Dance Theatre; Choreography by Brandy Leary

Creating a human glacier in the urban landscape, Glaciology evokes the permanent effects of human and ecological conflicts through the past centuries in the wake of colonization, unstable governments, wars, and unsustainable economies by overlapping and contrasting these images and ideas with the indelible power of glacial movements across landscapes.  

ĀNANDAṀ creates and presents dance shaped by values of presence and collective inquiry; inclusive of diverse bodies and movement practices; and receptive to a multitude of viewpoints on the dancing body.

Composition: James Bunton
Performers: Denise Solleza, Brandy Leary, Hans Wolfgramm, Robert Kingsbury, LoBil, Lara Ebata, Mary-Margaret Scrimger, Jessica, Karuhanga, Greg Wong, Atri Nundy, Rachana Joshi, Tanveer Alam

StreetARToronto Live Painting

A joint project of StreetARToronto (StART), Artusiasm, Civic Hall Toronto and TOAF

Toronto is home to some of the best mural, street and graffiti artists and art in the world. These artists and artworks have transformed Toronto’s public streets, laneways and parks into a city-wide art gallery! In this special presentation, visitors enjoyed an action-packed live painting performance by some of Toronto’s beloved graffiti artists courtesy of our friends at StreetARToronto (StART)

Musical Performance by Pantayo

Pantayo is an all-women lo-fi R&B gong punk queer collective based in Toronto. They combine percussive metallophones and drums from kulintang traditions of Southern Philippines and synth-based electro grooves. Past notable projects include performances at Vancouver New Music, Halifax Jazz Festival, Nuit Blanche Toronto, Canada150, X Avant Festival, Wavelength Festival; kulintang gong/percussion workshops with Girls Rock Camp Toronto in partnership with Toronto Public Library and at Tone Deaf Festival Kingston. Pantayo has been featured in Noisey (2016), CBC Music for International Women’s Day 2017, a cover story in Musicworks Magazine in Summer/Fall 2017, Now Magazine’s Toronto musicians to watch in 2018: Indie Edition, and Vancouver’s The Georgia Straight in 2019.

2018

Calibrate

Conceived and Choreographed by Karen Kaeja of Kaeja d’Dance

The human desire to be close asks us how much can we give until we are stretched to the max? How do we negotiate calibrated tension in order to feel connected? In Calibrate the dancers, Mateo Galindo Torres and Caryn Chappel, consult, arbitrate and compromise themselves and the architecture with the effort to merge. 

Elements of Calibrate are inspired by Karen’s early dancing years living in New York City and working under the table as a seamstress in a curtain factory, as well as through Kaeja d’Dance’s XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange of Karen’s solo inspired by Nova Bhattacharya.

Special Performance by Bangerz Brass

Toronto’s ONLY hip-hop brass band, busting out your favourite trap hits and classic boom-bap knockers with epic horn solos and live freestyles from 3 of Toronto’s best MCs.

2017

Special Performance by Batucada Carioca

Batucada Carioca is a Toronto-based samba bateria that has authentically represented the rhythms of Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools and Carnaval for over 10 years. Founded and led by carioca (Rio-born) Maninho Costa.

dance like no one is watching – pre-mix #5

Choreographed by Meagan O’Shea

Uplifting, energetic and totally out of the ordinary contemporary dance performance by Meagan O’Shea, inspired by mobile clubbing, shared experience and recontextualizing via remixing. Canadian contemporary dance-theatre artist, Meagan O’Shea, creates and performs “Uplifting, energetic and totally out of the ordinary” solo, ensemble, participatory and site-specific work. Her dance like no one is watching improv project animates/disrupts public space and has reached over 30,000 passers-by and included 200 dancers (2007-11).

2016

If I Should Stumble II

Choreographed by Jenn Goodwin

“Sometimes when things fall apart, they are actually falling into place” – Unknown. Performer Anita Nittoly uses stairs as both her stage and her nemesis in this movement installation. Nittoly shines and stumbles as she personifies the concept of falling from grace, while actually falling (gracefully and otherwise) while other aspects of herself take alternative approaches. In this performance, Goodwin is particularly interested in personal power, the cracks in one’s confidence, the spectacle of a persona, the faux pas’, missteps, mistakes, and the challenges and resilience in day-to-day life. “Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall” – Salman Rushdie.

Created by Jenn Goodwin, in collaboration with and performed by Anita Nittoly and Sarah Doucet, Zoja Smutny, Brandy Leary, Kaja Irwin, Jasmyn Fyffe, Lua Shayenne, Nicola Pantin, Caroline-Niklas Gordon.

Song: Uja – Tanya Tagaq, remixed by Tino Zolfo
Costume design: Sarah Doucet

Watch the Performance

Special Performance by Arashido Taiko

Arashido Taiko is a Toronto based Taiko group with 10 core members. Arashido means “The Way of the Storm” and it springs from the energy and passion that the performers put into not only performances but practices as well. Our founder has over 10 years Taiko experience both in Canada and Japan. He has played in countless festivals including ones with attendance levels of over one million people! Arashido Taiko is available for lessons, team building events, corporate events, commercials, and live shows.

Funders & Sponsors

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