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2019 in Review

Reflecting on 2019 is inspiring: it has been a beautiful year for Jamii; one of growth, enriching partnerships, exciting projects in our community, and throughout Ontario

 A year during which one of our dreams came true: the creation of a mobile theatre for our community, the Kisanii Hub. Last but not least, in 2019, Jamii refined its goal of both building community through multiple artistic initiatives and nurturing young women in leadership.

2019 highlights:


In 2019, Jamii...

worked with 88 artists

organized 48 workshops

joined by 400+ Participants

organized 22 events

attended by 1500+ audience members

By Isorine Marc - Jamii’s Founder, Executive & Artistic Director:

Reflecting on 2019 is inspiring: it has been a beautiful year for Jamii; one 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. Last but not least, in 2019, Jamii refined its goal of both building community through multiple artistic initiatives, and nurturing young women in leadership.


In 2019, we continued collaborating with our key community partners: the St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, the Toronto Public Library (St Lawrence Branch), the St Lawrence Market BIA, and our local schools: Market Lane P.S., Downtown Alternative School, and St Michael’s Catholic School. We also developed partnerships with artistic institutions local to The Esplanade: Soulpepper Theatre Company; Canadian Stage; Meridian Hall; Young People’s Theatre; Théâtre Français de Toronto; and Canadian Opera Company. We met regularly throughout the year and organized together, in Crombie Park, projects such as “Discover Dance”, a community choir and Indigenous Day celebration. These partnerships will continue flourishing in 2020 with the common goal of igniting more artistic experiences for all Esplanadians.

Jamii increased the number of projects and events in Crombie Park, especially through programming with the Kisanii Hub; and by creating an outdoor stage for our community. With “The Stories The Wind Carries”, we shared our expertise of community engagement through the arts with other communities - Wolfe Island, Wawa, Michipicoten First Nation and Pikangikum First Nation – sharing our multiple stories through the process. It is yet another project that will continue expanding in 2020. Taking Jamii beyond the borders of the Esplanade, as far as 1000kms away, is a big deal and we are extremely proud.

Jamii’s commitment to young women in our community is not new. However, in 2019, we took it a step further by asking 20 young women how Jamii had impacted their lives and the community. We acted on their feedback to develop a Women in Leadership initiative named LAINI, which will be launched in 2020. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the dedicated women who have made a huge impact to Jamii in 2019, including Mio Miyake Muyoboke and Yusra Yacout (Summer Project Coordinators), Angel Narick and Zarita Adhiambo (Community Outreach and Project Coordinators), Kerryn Graham (Ambassador to Wolfe Island), Sharon McMillan our new co-President (along with Jim Adams), and a special dedication to Georgia Reynolds our past President, who has been on Jamii’s Board of Directors since its very first year in 2011.

Jamii continues to bring a lot of personal growth for me. I am grateful to have such a meaningful job in which I can pour all my passion. A job that I feel makes a difference in people’s lives and impacts positively on our community. I am looking forward to both celebrating Jamii’s 10th Season with all of you, and seeing the organization continue to thrive in our blooming and dynamic community.


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Winner: 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 "At Heart, Citizens of The Esplanade", a short film that shines a light on our neighbourhood, and invites people to reflect on the values that drive community development.

To the amazing team: Ayelen Liberona & Joseph Johnson Camí who directed the film and Jamii's producer, Isorine Marc. With the support of Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.



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

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)

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)


I am me.
I am heart.

A sensory experience inspired by our award-winning documentary “At Heart”, during Toronto Nuit Blanche evening. 

25 Esplanadians took the audience on a unique and interactive journey through David Crombie Park in our own version of Nuit Blanche (Oct, 5th 2019). 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.

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



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 Ghani. Host: Britta b.

More than 100 people attended the event.



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.


Choir in the park

Jamii and Soulpepper presents Waleed Abdulhamid
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.



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.


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!



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.


David Crombie Park

(The Esplanade & Jarvis St)


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