Do you like art and culture? If so, then you’d certainly enjoy the BIG on Bloor Festival in downtown Toronto. BIG on Bloor is a street festival whose goals are to support development in the city and the community, and to celebrate the local arts and culture. The festival is a two-day summer event that stretches along a car-free strip on Bloor Street West between Dufferin and Lansdowne Streets.
“BIG on Bloor celebrates the local businesses, artists, and shops all along the strip. It brings together everyone to try to build up the community and gather people to celebrate the arts,” said Darren Leu, the Festival Director who was very enthusiastic about the event.
One of the exhibits along the strip was created by How we Live in Cities, which is an organization that responds to population shift and climate change. Dyan Marie was the curator of the project at their booth.
“This year we’re focused on planting gardens, and making gardens, and supporting gardens and green space,” Marie said.
At the booth, they were giving out garden-making kits that families could take home to make their own gardens in their front yards. In the kits, there are samples of seeds, a little shovel, and a template for planting a garden. According to Dyan Marie, gardens in cities help prevent water runoff, encourage bee and bird habitats, mediate heat in the city, and make cities nicer to live in.
There were lots to do at BIG on Bloor including viewing art exhibits and the music on the main stage. I especially enjoyed a part of the festival called Play-Fair where I got free popcorn and cotton candy. Play-Fair was underneath a big art project of colourful ribbons hanging from above, blowing in the breeze. They gave away free cowboy hats so that kids could make their own art projects by decorating the hats with stickers and pipe cleaners.
It’s events like this that strengthen communities and provide fun for everyone who visits.