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HELP OUR EFFORTS

Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon fundraising for Jamii
October 2021

ISORINE’S DAUGHTERS ARE RAISING FUNDS FOR LAINI! 

We are excited to be apart of the Neighbour Champion program of the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon, where Jamii’s Executive and Artistic Director Isorine  Marc’s two daughters (5 & 9yrs old) are running a 1K Race and raising money for Laini, our youth in leadership program. 

To support them click “GO TEAM GO" to donate by Thursday October 28th.

 

The funds raised will go towards projects such as Jamii's “Illuminated Perspectives”.  

Want to learn more?  Email  info@jamii.ca

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WHAT'S ON-GOING?

Laini
FREE Programs for girls & young women of the Esplanade community

Jamii is offering many free programs, for all of  the girls and young women of The Esplanade neighbourhood.

 

REGISTER TODAY! 

These programs intend to ignite leadership through artistic group experiences led by professional artists. 

Since summer, Jamii had invited artists Paulina O'Kieffe-Anthony, Arlene Paculan, Raha Javanfar, Ayelen Liberona and Elle Alconcel to lead these beautiful workshops. 

More than 40 girls & young women have been involved since June! 

Interested in joining? REGISTER TODAY! 

This program supported by the Ontario Arts Council, TD Bank, and RBC.

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WHAT'S NEXT?

The Wedding - Part III
David Crombie Park
Release date: October 2021

Following a series of workshops and rehearsals, we filmed our part III of "The Wedding" on October 2nd in Crombie Park.

 

As we are now entering our post-production phase, we can't wait to share with you this beautiful project, later in October.

Filmed as a one-take, this artistic challenge was a pleasure to tackle with a wonderful team of artists and people from our community. Stay tuned for release date.

Support provided by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council , Government of Ontario, Rama Gaming House & #ShowLoveTO

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CREATE WITH US!

Participate in our next creative project! 
Jamii just filmed The Wedding series and 20 people from our community took part in it! 

Since its inception in 2011, Jamii has always produced projects in which people of all ages from our community can be a part of. It's always a creative journey that challenges our own comfort zone and an invitation to try something new. 

Embark with us in this adventure and create lifelong memories with us and others in your community. 

Contact us at info@jamii.ca to join the adventure!

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NEWS

Welcoming Jonelle Sills  

Meet Jamii's new Community-Arts Coordinator

Oct-Nov 2021

Jonelle wrote this about joining us:  "I am very excited for the opportunity to join the Jamii team. From my first experience as an artist with Jamii in 2020 I was instantly enticed by how Jamii was able to provide a safe space for artists and its community members to experience arts in a diverse and inclusive space. In my background as an opera singer, I had never experienced a working environment that was so collaborative and experimental. Most importantly, I had never worked with a company that portrayed an authentic connection with its surrounding community. I am thrilled for the opportunity to grow and learn from the Jamii team in this amazing community.”

This position is funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program provided by the Government of Canada.

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VOLUNTEER WITH US!

Join the Jamii family
We offer volunteer hours for high school students, and many other opportunities for you to get involved!

Are you a high school student seeking volunteer hours? Help us as a volunteer by working on our next event/project and gain your volunteer hours, be apart of a friendly and dynamic team, make a difference in your community, and also acquire transferable professional experience!

Maybe you are looking for an opportunity to be involved in your community and make a difference? Jamii always welcomes volunteers from the neighbourhood to be part of our team and help bring magic into The Esplanade. We would love to count you in and make magic together!

We are currently looking for Jamii Community Ambassadors! Contact us to find out more. 

CONTACT US: info@jamii.ca

WHAT IS JAMII?

JAMII Is AN Arts Organization

with an intention of both community building

& nurturing women in leadership.

Recipient of the 2020 Community Arts Award by the Toronto Arts Foundation.

Since 2011, Jamii (Swahili for "community") has enlivened The Esplanade – one of downtown Toronto’s most unique & diverse communities. Through the production of over 130+ memorable arts-based experiences that recognize and celebrate all people and genders while nurturing female leadership, Jamii strengthens community and lifts spirits.

Jamii is a charitable organization (80387 3207 RR0001)Donate to support our work.

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We acknowledge the land we are meeting on is 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. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

HOW TO CONNECT WITH US?
WHAT IS JAMII's MOST RECENT FILM PROJECT? 

Celebrating multiculturalism through an union of love and exploring perspectives on the symbolism of weddings.

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The Wedding - a 3-part series of short videos

"The Wedding" is a three-part short-film project which invited professional artists and members of The Esplanade community to explore, through a creative process, what a mixed-culture wedding looks like. At heart, it is truly a celebration of multiculturalism.

Even though it is now considered normal to recognize each other’s cultural heritage, do we actually celebrate and acknowledge intercultural mixing, and if so, how? Can we bring our cultures together while retaining our cultural traditions, our sense of identity and uniqueness?

"The Wedding" is an invitation to explore these questions, together.

Supported by Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.

A SNAPSHOT OF 10 YEARS OF PROGRAMMING ON THE ESPLANADE!
2021 - AT A GLANCE. ONE CREATIVE YEAR!
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The Wedding

A three-part series of short videos exploring wedding through different lenses.
June - October 2021

"The Wedding" is a three-part project inviting professional artists and members of The Esplanade community to explore what a mixed-culture wedding looks like, what are the emotional triggers of wedding ceremonies and the emotional roller coaster of a wedded life.

Filmed in June, July and October, as a 20-min one shot through David Crombie Park, The Esplanade. 

Supported by Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.

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Wayo - Festival

2nd annual children's festival 300 people attended
FREE
August 19-21 2021

300 people attended our mesmerizing parkour through the Berkeley Castle & Berkeley Theatre, to discover a series of delightful performances!

"Wayo" is a Swahili word that means ‘footprint’, symbolizing the journey to life.

 

On August 19th, 20th and 21st, Jamii welcomed families one-at-a-time for a physically-distanced experience where families were invited to follow a “parkour” through the famous Berkeley Castle and the Berkeley Theatre, discovering 7 live artistic installations and small-scale performances. 

 

The 2021 artists line-up included CORPUS’ “Les moutons”; lollilop lyra acrobatics artists Eman Hillawi & Alexandra Legendre with violinist Saraphina Violin, West African dancer Lua Shayenne & drummer Cécé Haba, Suzanne Roberts Smith and Sergio Xocolate, opera singer Jonelle Sills, as well as street theatre artist Kristi Heath. 

This event was in partnership with Canadian Stage and the Berkeley Castle.

Supported by Canada Council for the Arts  and the Government of Ontario.

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Celebrating Community

A musical ride through the
St Lawrence neighbourhood
July 1 2021

On July 1st, Jamii and the St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association joined forces to present "Cebrating Community", a musical happening through our three local parks: David Crombie Park, Berczy Park, St James Park.

 

We were honoured to present artists include Aki Tenten, Heidi Chan, Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone, Sergio Xocolate, Suzanne Roberts Smith, Leen Hamo, John Abou Chacra, Dylan Bell and Suba Sankaran.

Supported by Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.

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Looks Like Us

Photo Exhibit

David Crombie Park

April & May 2021

The 27 photos in this exhibit, documenting the human experience during this global pandemic, were taken by female photographers from around the world. The collection was curated by 13 young women from this neighbourhood.

 

This extraordinary exhibit, located across three sites, throughout the Esplanade, was made possible through a wonderful collaboration between Jamii and a global collective of more than 400 women, photographers, called The Journal.

The exhibit is featured as part of CONTACT, Photography Festival, and supported by the Government of Ontario.

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Hoop Dancing workshops facilitated by Nimkii Osawamick

March 27 2021

20 Esplanadians of all ages participated in a series of hoop dancing workshops, facilitated by Nimkii Owasamick (one household at the time). Workshop participants learnt more about this traditional and physical art form taught by Nimkii Osawamick. 

 

Nimkii Osawamick is Odawa/Potawatami from Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation, representing the Wolf Clan. Nimkii is a world renown dance artist specializing in the Hoop dance, and is the founder and CEO of http://dnastage.ca/

 

Supported by Canadian Heritage.

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"Giizhig"

Mobile performance in the streets of the Esplanade

March 18-20 2021

"A moment of calm, a meeting, an exchange, a smile... it's a journey through and into community, a brief encounter for connection and reflection.  It's a conversation between our urban landscape and the natural environment.

Throughout this movement-based, traveling performance, GIIZHIG brings community together while physically apart, uplifting our spirits through our shared senses and with our collective imaginations."

 

“Giizhig” is the Anishinaabemowin - Ojibway word for “cedar”, and pronounced “gee zhig”

CREDITS:
Director: Michael Caldwell

Artistic advisor: Isorine Marc

Created with and performed by: Aria Evans, Irma Villafuerte, Jane-Alison McKinney, Jim (Many Hats) Adams and Michael Caldwell

Poem by: Mahlikah Awe:ri

Produced and presented by: Jamii

In partnership with: Canadian Stage

Funded by: the Government of Ontario

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Moving in the park

Series of 25 mins movement sessions with pro dancers
Parliament Square Park
FREE
January & February 2021

Jamii invited Esplanadians, one household at a time, to join our 25-min movement-based sessions in the park, encouraging our neighbours of all ages to keep physically as well a creatively active during the lockdown.

 

We had professional artists/dancer guiding participants through a series of creative movements to break up our day and keep everyone smiling.

 

Over 70 people joined "Moving in the park"! Singles, couples, families, roommates, etc. ONE HOUSEHOLD at the time.

This program was offered for FREE.

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Caring Connections

Free creative workshops and live performances as part of  Ontario Culture Days
Sept 24-26 2021

Neighbours joined visual artist Saira Ansari in the creation of a collective fabric collage. This collage is a part of a continued community sharing process between residents of The Esplanade and those in Pikangikum First Nation (Northern Ontario).

 

During the workshops, everyone enjoyed live music by Lauren Barnett, Veronica Lee, Tangi Lion, Jerusa Leao, Valentina Morelli and more! 

Jamii was thrilled to present a special guests! Dance installation "Two x 30" by Director Michael Caldwell.

Supported by Government of Ontario and Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.

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LAINI - Young Women

In Leaderhip

Girls & young women
FREE summer programs available in our community

Jamii is offering many free programs, for all of  the girls and young women of The Esplanade neighbourhood.

These programs are taking place this summer and fall

CLICK HERE to learn about our GUEST ARTISTS.

REGISTER TODAY! 

This program supported by the Ontario Arts Council.

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Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

A moment together to listen and reflect
June 21 2021

On June 21st, Jamii initiated a story-sharing circle in David Crombie Park, with the intent to acknowledge National Indigenous Day and honor the Indigenous peoples on whose land we currently reside.

Guest artists included Jim Adams (host),  Kim Wheatley, Sue Croweagle, Jennifer Alicia, Leonard Benoit, and Aria Evans. It is an honor for Jamii to welcome such respected guests in our community.

Supported by Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.

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DUETS

A series of 10 filmed duets
Parliament Square Park
May 2021

“DUETS” is an invitation for 10 artists and small audiences explore the questions around 'how we mix'.

 

Watch as two artists "mix" and "mash-up" their styles after meeting just a few hours prior!

 

As part of Jamii’s 2021 season titled LOOKS LIKE US, we continue exploring one of the foundational values of the Esplanade neighbourhood: the concept of “mix” - as written in the City of Toronto site-plan for our beloved neighbourhood.

Even though it is now considered normal to celebrate each other’s cultural heritage, do we actually celebrate intercultural mixing, and if so, how? Can we bring our cultures together while retaining our cultural traditions, sense of identity and uniqueness? Our hope is that “DUETS" will continue engaging artists and audiences with questions around representation and belonging, and ignite conversations.  

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"Allegra" at Market Lane Public School

March 30 to April 8 2021

Susie Burpee brought her colourful character 'Allegra Charleston' to the Esplanade for a series of pop-up performances, which surprised students of Market Lane Public School. These short performances took place in the mornings, engaging young audiences on their way to school with (physically distanced) live interactions. The intent of these performances was to touch the hearts of young people who haven’t had the opportunity yet to see live performances in their schools this year, and bring some laughter and magic to their day to brighten up their mood.

Performances of "Allegra" were followed by a series of 4 workshops facilitated by Diana Tso.

Supported by the Government of Ontario

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"Looks Like Us"

A winter series featuring  live art pop-up performances in
Feb & Mar 2021

In February and March 2021, Jamii presents a winter series of pop-up, mobile multidisciplinary performances, offering a wide range of free artistic experiences to all Esplanadians -

MOBILE PERFORMANCE

"GIIZHIG"

March 18th, 19th, and 20th

"LuminUS" by Clay and Paper Theatre

Feb 25th, 26th and 27th

WATCH THE LIVE VIDEO HERE

 

"MIX" co-produced with CORPUS and in partnership with Canadian Stage.

March 3rd to 6th - 7pm

WATCH THE LIVE PERFORMANCES HERE.

Collaborating with renowned performers, choreographers and directors Michael Caldwell and Susie Burpee, with dance/theatre company CORPUS and puppet company Clay and Paper Theatre, Jamii promises a delight of whimsical experiences to bring joy to audiences of all ages.

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The Jamii Family 

is growing!

Welcome to DeeAnn & Jasmin!

We are pleased to introduce you to Jasmin Linton, our new Program Manager, and DeeAnn Sagar, our new Philanthropy Manager.

 

Jasmin is excited to put her experience in community arts, community building, event management and project coordination on full display as Jamii's Program Manager.  

 

DeeAnn is proudly connected to our community as she spent 10 years of successfully fundraising for the Canadian Opera Company as well as at Tapestry Opera.

 

Together, we are taking Jamii to the next level to bring you and your loved ones the most wonderful artistic experiences, which we hope will contribute to making your home and community one of the most connected, caring, enriching, welcoming, and creative places to live and thrive!

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"La bulle" by CORPUS

700 people attended "La bulle", co-presented with Théâtre français de Toronto - August 31 - Sept 5 2021

Jamii recently joined forces with Théâtre Français de Toronto to present “La bulle” at the Berkeley Castle - "La bulle" is a visually stunning and poetic solo performance from the minds of David Danzon and Carolin Lindner of CORPUS. "La Bulle" features a one-of-a-kind bubble tent and its sole inhabitant: Pierrot, the iconic dreamer.

All 6 performances were fully booked and about 700 people enjoyed the CANADIAN PREMIERE of this stunning show.

A performance series at the Berkeley Castle, in the heart of the Esplanade community.

Supported by Government of Ontario and Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.

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Becoming Garden

Honouring Indigenous knowledge through story, song and ritual
July 2021

In July, Jamii, in partnership with Canadian Stage, presented "Becoming Garden" - an interactive performance woven by Ayelen Liberona.

Cultivating Gratitude.

Composting Grief.

Harvesting Joy.

An intimate sonic sensory experience that honoured Indigenous ways of knowing in an outdoor garden filled with songs, stories and joyful art-making. 

An Open Source Ritual Architecture, woven by Becoming Praxis.

Co-created by Anishinaabe Kwe Vivian Recollet, Carolynne Crawley, Joce TwoCrows, Natasha Myers, and young girls from Jamii's "Laini" mentorship program.

Supported by Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada and Government of Ontario.

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ÉCOUTE POUR VOIR

David Crombie Park
June 4-6 2021

United for a moment and bound up together in movement, “Écoute pour voir” is an invitation for dancers and spectators to engage in singular encounters and share a close dialogue.

A show created by Emmanuel Jouthe/Danse Carpe Diem. Performances produced and presented by Jamii

 

Artistic Direction: Emmanuel Jouthe

​Choreography: Emmanuel Jouthe in collaboration with performers Elise Bergeon, Andrea Nann, Syreeta Hector, Kaitlin Torrance, Swahdi Ranganee and Irma Villafuerte.

Supported by Canada Council for the Arts 

In partnership with Canadian Stage

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Red Rhythm & Blues -

Live-streamed from David Crombie Park

March 29 2021

Jamii was thrilled to present a Facebook livestream of Red Rhythm & Blues  on March 29th. Red Rhythm & Blues is a beautiful coming together of two-spirit Anishnaabe~Métis singer, songwriter, composer, artist and activist Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone, and talented queer artist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and activist Valentina Morelli. Together they craft soothing medicine music to heal the soul and free the spirit. Rooted in Indigenous storytelling, swelling harmonies expressed through the ‘time old’ overcoming of the blues, these two are a creative collaboration of magic.

Supported by Canadian Heritage.

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Talks with Anishinaabe language specialist Brian Outinen

March 22 & 23 2021 - 1-2pm

Brian Outinen, currently a Professor at Algoma University Instructing Anishinaabe Philosophy of Language and Culture. He is Ojibwe from Serpent River First Nation, Ontario and a member of the Hummingbird Clan. Brian is the author of Ancient Ojibwe Teachings, a facebook page dedicated to the education of Anishinaabe philosophy, world views,  and of the original instruction of the language and structure of words. 

 

Thank you to all those who joined us for one or both of these online sessions with Brian 

on the subjects of language, sacred symbol writing, and petroglyphs.

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Seven

7nights - 7min - 7dance solos
Live on Facebook

Feb 1-7 2021

“SEVEN” was a series of dance solos featuring 7 professional dance artists tasked to explore and share how they have been shaken to the core through the past year.  

As a mirror to their movements and words, we invited audiences to reflect on how their core had been shaken in the past months, as we are approaching a year, of life in a pandemic.  

Thank you to all those who joined us on Facebook LIVE from 7pm to 7:07pm where we featured the amazing artists:

Feb 1: Michael Caldwell

Feb 2: Yvonne Ng

Feb 3: Jaz Fairy J

Feb 4: Irma Villafuerte

Feb 5: Lua Shayenne

Feb 6: Jane-Alison McKinney

Feb 7: Nicola Pantin

2020 - HIGHLIGHTS OF JAMII's PROGRAMMING
DURING THE FIRST WAVES OF COVID-19
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2020 Year-In-Review

Check full document HERE

At Jamii, we define our success by the legacy of qualitative memories we ignite for all “Esplanadians” - people of all ages who have taken part in the Jamii’s journey. By creating shared memories, we are creating stronger connections and bonds between people. In doing so, we create a sense of belonging, ownership and identity for the people engaged in the work we do in the community. This circles back to our mandate of enhancing social cohesion through the arts.

In 2020, we worked with 91 artists;
We organized 101 workshops;
We hosted 166 workshop participants;
We counted 2300 audience members;
We produced 34 public events,
And all of this, during a pandemic.

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HISIA - Kisanii Hub mobile performance

October 3 2020

Watch performance excerpts HERE

Hisia was an invitation to 8 artists to explore the emotional roller coaster of the past six months, since lockdown was imposed. Fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation, joy and trust expressed through words, movement, imagery, sound, visual and experiential arts: a delight to the senses. A series of personal statements within the frame of a common journey.

 

Performers: Jaz Fairy J, Meryem Alaoui, Nicola Pantin, Sukruti Tirupattur and Yvonne Ng. Videographer: Ella Cooper. Spoken word artist: Paulina Anthony-O'Kieffe. Music: Evangelia Kambites.

 

A project in partnership with Canadian Stage and supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.

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HISIA

David Crombie Park
August 21 2021 - 6pm & 7pm

On August 21st, you are invited for a unique pop-up performance featuring four amazing artists. Jamii is thrilled to welcome back Heidi Chan (flute, drum), Jonelle Sills (opera), Raha Javanfar (violin), and to welcome for the first time in our community Eman Hillawi (lollilop lyra artist). 

The performance is titled HISIA, which is a Swahili word for inner feelings, emotions and thoughts. Jamii has invited these artists to connect with one another through a structured improvisation exploring their individual whirlwind of emotions since pandemic hit us mid-March. We all lived through the same major event, but all had a different journey. HISIA is a window into our unique ways to deal with the same situation. 

The Jamii teams hope you will come “look through the window” with us – as usual, at a safe physical distance from one another.
This event is presented in partnership with Canadian Stage and supported by the Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario.

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WIND Stories

Craft, exhibit and live arts  in the park.

Join us in the park with someone from your social bubble (family, friends or neighbours), and create, through arts and craft, a portrait of one another. This creative session will then be followed by live performances with artists Ashima Suri, Jonelle Sills, Jeremiah Sparks, Michael Caldwell, Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony and Sue Croweagle, with host Ryan G. Hinds. 

 

3pm to 6pm: your portrait creation with facilitators Gillian Mapp and Sharon Zarita.

6pm & 7pm: live performance

Friday July 17th Crombie Park (Princess and The Esplanade)

Saturday July 18th St. James Park (by the Playground) – in partnership with Friends of St James Park. 

This project is supported by the Ontario Arts Council. A special thank you to the St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association for supporting local artists and to the St Lawrence Market BIA to help us with chairs and tables.

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In partnership with

Canadian Stage

Joining forces to offer artistic experiences to all Esplanadians

2020 is the year when Jamii and Canadian Stage, both based in The Esplanade & St Lawrence neighbourhood, made a powerful commitment to one another and  to the community.  They joined forces with the intention of growing capacity and leveraging resources, which is meant to increase the quality of the collective arts experience, for the Esplanade community.

Our first year of partnership, 2020, was extremely fruitful with a series of projects and events that brought people together (physically-distanced) despite a global pandemic. We are delighted to be pursuing this partnership into 2021.

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Recipient of the 2020 Community Arts Award by the Toronto Arts Foundation

Read acceptance speech and interview HERE

Jamii is about to celebrate its 10-year anniversary (2011-2021) and this award feels like a recognition for and appreciation of the artistic quality, the depth of our social contract, and our commitment to the Esplanade community. It is also an energizing wind blowing our sails as we look ahead to the next 10 years.

This award goes to the hundreds of artists who define Jamii; to the hundreds of Esplanadians who have participated in arts-making with us; to those who have worked with us through the years, paid or unpaid, including directors of our board; and to those who kept on encouraging us in their own way during our journey.

By Isorine Marc: "I hope that everyone who has ever added a brick to the wall to build the Jamii house feels the butterflies. I do."

May the Jamii house continue shelter creativity.

Full release from Toronto Arts Foundation HERE.

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West African Dance performance

August 4 & 5 2020

We are thrilled to welcome back to Lua Shayenne Dance Company in our community for a set of performances in Parliament Square Park on Aug 4th and 5th (back up for rain on Aug 6th), at 6pm and 7pm. Dance performances will be accompanied by a visual arts exhibit showcasing the work of local artist Andrew Patterson. Join us for a Q&A on both day, at 7:20pm, right after Lua's second performance.

 

In partnership with Canadian Stage, supported by Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

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Unlocked

Art video premiere 
Berkeley Castle
July  24 & 25 2020

In the Spring of 2020, Jamii and Canadian Stage partnered to invite eleven women, residents of the Esplanade community, to express artistically their personal journey during the COVID-19 pandemic through the creation of a reflective art video.

Watch the online premiere of the video here.

Attend our in-person outdoor event by booking your tickets here.

A project  in partnership with Canadian Stage and supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council. 

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Kisanii Hub

Artistic Exploration

Oct-Dec 2020

In October, November and December, Jamii invited four guest artists (dancers/choreographers) to explore the potential of artistic transformation of the Kisanii Hub. Each artist was offered a one-week research period at the rehearsal hall of Canadian Stage.
We are thrilled that the richness of this process will be shared with the community with live performances in our park in 2021.

Guest artists: Ayelen LIberona, Lua Shayenne, Ashima Suri and Michael Caldwell.

Artistic Production: Isorine Marc

 

A project in partnership with Canadian Stage and supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.

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WIND STORIES LIVE in WAWA & WOLFE ISLAND

September 2020

In the Fall of 2019. Jamii visited Wawa and Wolfe Island, and invited people to create visual portraits of fellow neighbours, friends or family member.

In September 2020, Jamii came back to both communities to exhibit the collection of portraits.  Along with this beautiful exhibit, Jamii  invited amazing local artists to bring these portraits to life.  Music, dance, storytelling, and drumming, a whirlwind of stories.

Wawa artists: Damian Binda, Isabella Imperatori, Joanne Poisson, Joanne Wilson, Mirinda Patterson and Samatha Stewart.

Artists performing in Wolfe Island: Teilhard Frost, Jason Mercer, Robert Douglas, Terri-Lynn Brennan, Sue Croweagle, Sukruti Tirupattur, Nancy Steel, and Lucas Sherwood.

A project supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

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Unlocked: From seed to sequoia

A reflection by Sharon Zarita

it is a grand pleasure to share with you Zarita’s writing about her experience with "Wind Stories" and "Unlocked". Zarita has been working at Jamii since September of last year and played a major part in bringing these projects to life. She is now finishing her contract with Jamii with the premiere of “Unlocked”, then continuing her beautiful journey of life.  It is a full circle, and we are full of gratitude. 

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Itinerant performances

Featuring local talented Toronto-based artists
2020

COVID-19 has shaken Jamii to its core values by greatly limiting social connection. But it is of greater importance that we practice physical distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

At Jamii, we believe it is our social responsibility to care for our community during such extraordinary times.

We are producing live performances in the streets, courtyards and parks of our community, encouraging people to watch from a safe distance.

Live arts has healing effects we wish to share around.

Inugural performances featuring Domanique Grant, Leen Hamo, Iman Abdul Razzak, Jeremiah Sparks, Sara Luey, Alessandro Montelli, Johnny Toronto, Lua Shayenne, Cécé Haba, Arlene Paculan, Cleon Wong, Ayelen Liberona, Malavika Santhosh, Ekaterina

2019 and before
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Jamii 2019

Season Review

2019 highlights:

>> 9th season
>> 88 Artists
>> 48 Workshops
>> 400+ Participants
>> 1500+ Audience members
>> 22 Events

We are grateful for a year of growth, enriching partnerships, exciting projects in our community, and throughout
the Province. A year during which one of our dreams came true: the creation of a mobile theatre for our community, the Kisanii Hub.

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The Stories 

The Wind Carries

An intra-provincial project that connects people in Wolfe Island, Wawa, Michipicoten First Nation, Pikangikum First Nation and The Esplanade neighbourhood in Toronto.

This project invites people from each community to create the portrait of a fellow community member through creative writing, visual arts, and photography. 

"The Stories The Wind Carries" takes place in both 2019 and 2020.

This project is supported by Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada, Ontario Arts Council- Conseil des arts de l'Ontario, and Toronto Arts Council.

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St Lawrence Cheering Section

On Oct 20th, Jamii won the First Prize for Best Cheering Section of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Jamii also organized the Family Fun Run, an annual 1km-run that starts from Berkeley St and The Esplanade, and takes participants all the way to Berczy Park. About 60 people of all ages participated.

Sun, Oct 20th

Family Fun Run

Cheering Section

Berczy Park

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Discover Dance

More than 100 people joined us in the park to meet dancer Neena Jarayajan
July 24 2019

Performances and discussion were hosted by award-winning dance artist Nova Bhattacharya. Discover Dance is a monthly event at the Sony Center that features some of Toronto’s incredible dance artists - this time, in our local park!

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PHOTO EXHIBIT

I am me (Girl, I got you)

By 10 talented young women

This exhibit invites viewers to push beyond the confines of society’s image of women. Created by 10 young women under the artistic leadership of Brianna Roye and Isorine Marc, this exhibit is displayed in Crombie Park in May 2019 as part of CONTACT, Photography Festival.

WHERE:

David Crombie Park

(The Esplanade & Jarvis St)

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Winner of the 2019 Public History Award - Heritage Toronto

This award recognizes work that celebrates our city's rich heritage and diverse stories of its people and places.

What an honour this is for our Esplanade community, especially the 157 people who took part in creating this film which shines a light on our neighbourhood, and invites people to reflect on the values that drive community development.

A big thank you to the amazing Ayelen Liberona and Joseph Johnson Camí who directed the film and Jamii's producer, Isorine Marc!

"At Heart" was produced by support from Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada and Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario.

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I am me.

I am beauty.

A self-reflective workshop that celebrated our inner beauty and natural qualities, led by Empathy Facilitator Georgia Reynolds 

Throughout August, a group of 11 young women were engaged in a workshop exploring inner values and a deeper understanding of self. With this confidence in their abilities, participants created a one-year vision board as a template for goal setting.

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Drag Queen

Story Time

Jamii and the St. Lawrence Library co-presented a fabulous event for children of all ages!

A very special story time with drag queens Atmos Fierce and Lucinda Miu; Face painting with our local artist Linda Epp; live music with amazing Aline Morales; stilt walking by Blake; and last but not least, craft!

Sat, Aug 10th 

Crombie Park

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I am me.

I am mighty.

Jamii and St. Lawrence Library present Culture Days
TPL - St Lawrence Branch
September 28 2019

This event was a showcase of mighty women who inspire us to be who we are and highlighted the beauty of cultural diversity in our community. Story times were led by Sharon McMilland, Parent Resources EarlyON CFC and St. Lawrence Library. 

 

Participants enjoyed live music by Aline Morales and Arlene Paculan, crafted with May Massijeh, had a drawing workshop with Connie Wang and took their live portraits home by Alison Garwood.

Toronto Public Library - St. Lawrence Library 

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2019 At Heart, Citizens of The Esplanade

​A docu-film co-created by more than 150 Esplanadians

AWARDS:
Best Editing, short documentary film category - Five Continents International Film Festival (Venezuela) - 2019
Best Cinematography, short documentary film category - Five Continents International Film Festival (Venezuela) - 2019
Award of Merit - IndieFest Film Awards (USA)

2019 OFFICIAL SELECTION:
Alternative Film Festival (Canada)
Docs Without Borders Film Festival (USA)
Five Continents International Film Festival (Venezuela)
IndieFEST Film Awards (USA)
Diversity Feedback Film Festivals (Canada)

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I am me.

I am heart.

While the city celebrated the annual Toronto Nuit Blanche event, Jamii invited audiences to participate in a sensory experience inspired by our award-winning documentary “At Heart”.

25 Esplanadians took the audience on a unique and interactive journey through David Crombie Park in our own version of Nuit Blanche. The hour-long shows lasted till midnight with a screening of "At Heart" at the end of each show. More than 100 community members participated in this unforgettable experience between the rehearsal and event night.

"I am me. I am heart" was co-directed by Ayelen Liberona and Isorine Marc and featured 25 Esplanadians.

Sat, Oct 5th

Crombie Park

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I am me.

I am home.

A one-of-a-kind event which explored the meaning of "home" through discussions, a photo exhibition, Indigenous drumming and spoken word performances.

On August 24th, "I am me. I am home. "  featured a cast of amazing artists:

OPENING CEREMONY by Leonard Bernard. PHOTO EXHIBITION by Gillian Mapp. DRUMMING by Swift Current Singers. PANEL CONVERSATION with Sara Luey & Dynasti Williams. and moderated by Joel Zola. SPOKEN WORD by Ilham  Suleman, Jennifer Alicia, Karizma, Maysam Abu-khreibeh. Host: Britta b.

More than 100 people attended the event.

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Tour of our local  theatres

17 youth were invited to visit our local theatres
July 2019

In partnership with Soulpepper, Sony Centre, CanStage, Young People's Theatre and Canadian Opera Company.

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Choir in the park

Jamii and Soulpepper presents Waleed Abdulhamid
FREE
David Crombie Park
Aug 14, 21 & 28 2019

Amazing multi-instrumentalist
Waleed Abdulhamid, known for his striking vocals, innovative bass technique,
and his speed and precision on percussion, invited Esplanadians of
all ages and all artistic backgrounds to be part of our choir for three sessions in August. More than 60 people participated in this project.

LEGACY PROJECT

Toronto's Iconic
Basketball Court Mural
In 2014, Jamii spearheaded a mural painting on David Crombie Park basketball court wall after the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment paid to resurface the court, which had been destroyed during a police chase in 2013.

The mural, produced by Jamii, was created by 16 local youths under artistic guidance of Shalak Attack, Julian Periquet and Bruno Smoky. Curated by Isorine Marc.

Vibrant ideas — and vibrant paint — can go a long way toward strengthening and
healing a community.


If you would like to learn more email info@jamii.ca