Five must-see events at the Myseum Intersections festival

Discover the residents who made up The Ward, attend a potluck in Regent Park and trace the history of the city's Latinx LGBTQ community


Last week, my co-workers questioned my Toronto credentials when I pronounced the name of our good city with a hard T at the end: To-ron-TO as opposed to To-ron-NO. The latter pronunciation has long been said to separate the wheat from the chaff. The wheat are those truly from the city, the golden children who grew up with 416 house numbers, while the chaff are migrants from the far reaches of Etobicoke, I suppose. 

But I didn’t arrive in this city, I’m from it. My pronunciation is influenced by the history of my family’s migration from the Caribbean to Canada, and that kind of migrant narrative is the real story of Toronto.

Annual festival Myseum: Intersections, which runs until March 31, explores the intersectional story of the city through exhibits, events, workshops and tours. This year’s theme, Arrivals + Departures, explores the city’s many communities, cultures and characters to highlight how these diverse perspectives shape equally diverse visions of the city’s past, present and future.

The launch party is on March 6 at The Atrium (134 Peter). Mix and mingle with the artists and curators behind all 23 projects, and then unpack the stories of this city we call home with these five must-attend events.

Where Are You From? Where Are You Going?

Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week this month, the outdoor screen exhibit brings together the voices, perspectives and bodies historically left out of Canadian art. The group of intergenerational Black and Indigenous artists displaying work include Aura, Chief Lady Bird, Gordon Shadrach, Lamoi Simmonds, Othello Grey, Quentin VerCetty and Tennille Dowers. A panel featuring the artists takes place on March 29 at 6pm.

March 7 to 30 at Glass Pavilion, Mississauga Celebration Square (300 City Centre Dr), free. See website for more details.

The Ward Uncovered

Despite its slum status, Toronto’s Ward was a vibrant, downtown hub for Irish, Italian and Chinese immigrants. It was also home to African Americans fleeing U.S. slavery and Jewish people escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe. Journalist John Lorinc joins postdoctoral fellow Cheryl Thompson and public historian Kathy Grant to explore the The Ward’s history through the words of its residents.

March 7 at Henderson Brewing Co (128 Sterling Rd), 7pm, free with RSVP. See website for more details.

Escondidos No More!

Image Courtesy of “Escondidos No More!”

Escondidos No More!

The archival exhibit traces the history of the coming out of Toronto’s Latinx LGBTQ community. Posters, photographs and cultural artifacts depicting the events, organizations and people who spearheaded the movement will be on display. The opening reception is on March 8, and the exhibit runs until April 1.

March 8 at The 519 (519 Church), 7 pm, free. See website for more details.

Block by Block, Thread by Thread

A series of arts-based workshops for newcomers to Toronto invites participants to bring a textile or textile-related memory based on their migration story. The resonant ways that textile captures meaning and memory will be explored, and a textile making technique will be taught. No previous skills are required. Registered participants will receive TTC tokens to assist with transit.

March 10, 17, 24 at Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Ave), 1pm, free with registration. See website for more details.

The Regent Park Community Multimedia Potluck Project

Join recent and established residents of Regent Park as they share their stories of origin and settlement. An afternoon of cultural exchange, participants will be invited to share their arrival stories in a video booth, learn photography tips in a basic workshop (digital cameras provided) and bring a traditional dish for a community potluck.  

March 17 at ArtHeart Community Art Centre (585 Dundas E), 1pm, free with RSVP. See website for more details.

chrisr@nowtoronto.com | @missrattan

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