2020 Year-end-Review
CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL REVIEW

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,

We were the Recipient of the 2020 Commnity Arts Award by the Toronto Arts Foundation


And all of this, during a pandemic.

By Isorine marc
Founder, Executive and Programming Director
Excerpts from Acceptance Speech - 2020 Community Arts Award


“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.


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.
A “memory” doesn’t happen overnight. It lives through time – and often enough, it changes and transforms with time.

My hope is that, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, people will be sharing “Jamii memories”: things they have done with us that will connect all of us together: “Do you remember when…?”. This “thing” they’ll remember will be the social glue that keeps us united - even in challenging times.


And I hope, I sincerely hope that Jamii will continue building the capacity to pursue its mandate, continue collaborating with creative people to create the qualitative memories we will share, and continue building a legacy for all Esplanadians.


Oh, and on a personal note, something else I shared in my acceptance speech for the award: my hope is to inspire my daughters with the work I do. If I inspire them, chances are that Jamii will inspire countless other girls and boys. And this is the the ultimate goal - so that the work carries on to the next generation.”

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