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2021 in Review

Our 2021 theme was “Looks Like Us” and was an invitation to explore one of the foundational values of the Esplanade neighbourhood: the concept of “mix”. We wanted to ask if, while we celebrate each other’s cultural heritage, we also celebrate intercultural mixing, and if so, how?

In 2021, through the 2nd year of a global pandemic, Jamii...

worked with over 120 artists

organized 13 online events, with approx. 18,000 views

produced 3 photo exhibits to the delight of 4.000 viewers

directed 13 short films which accumulated over 16,000 views

organized 95 workshops which welcomed over 270 participants

produced 39 live events with over 2,700 audience members

worked with 31 Esplanadians (artists, arts managers, graphic designers, tech assistants and more)




"WIsdoM ripples"

Photo Exhibit
The Esplanade & Sherbourne
Winter 2021

On December 12th, 2021, Jamii unveiled its latest photo exhibit for all Esplanadians and visitors to enjoy!​

WIsdoM ripples features the work of three Toronto-based photographers: Roya DelSol, Brianna Roye and Zahra Siddiqui.


Over the course of eight workshops, nine Laini participants worked to select photos based on a curatorial vision they developed with guidance from Jamii founder Isorine Marc and artist Gillian Mapp. Through the exchange of ideas, perspectives and opinions, participants explored the “why” and "how" to present this exhibit to The Esplanade community.


Supported by RBC Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Government of Ontario, Rama Gaming House.


Jamii fundraising

Scotiabank Toronto
Waterfront Marathon 
October 2021


On October 28th, as part of the Neighbour Champion program of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, we organized a run in our community to raise funds for Laini, our youth in leadership program. 

We are thrilled as we have, thanks to you, achieved our fundraising goal of $2000.

We are still accepting donations until November 15th - click here to donate 



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

Want to learn more?  Email


"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.


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.


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.


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


Supported by Canadian Heritage.

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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”

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


Moving in the park

Series of 25 mins movement sessions with pro dancers
Parliament Square Park
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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"Illuminated Perspectives"

Photo Exhibit
Toronto Public Library
St Lawrence Branch
Nov 2021 - Jan 2022

An exhibit featuring 4 photographers from Pikangikum First Nation, curated by 11 young women from The Esplanade community.


“Illuminated Perspectives” portrays Pikangikum First Nation and its spectacular beauty. The photos capture the essence of northern wildlife and the people who live there. It tells a story and opens our eyes to a place in our country that many of us didn’t know existed.

​These photos are much more powerful than just a series of images. They are a statement of culture, heritage, pride, and community."

Featured photographers: Clayton Turtle, Maddy King, Mandi Chan-Peters, Morningstar Quill

Curation process facilitated by Elle Alconcel, assisted by Isorine Marc

In partnership with Ontario Culture Days and Toronto Public Library - St Lawrence Branch

With the support of RBC Foundation, Ontario Government, Rama Gamin House.


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.


Wayo - Festival

2nd annual children's festival 300 people attended
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.


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.



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.  


"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 -



March 18th, 19th, and 20th

"LuminUS" by Clay and Paper Theatre

Feb 25th, 26th and 27th



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

March 3rd to 6th - 7pm


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.



Drawing workshops for youth 
December 2021

Local artist Chris Henderson facilitated a series of workshops to instill into our youths the pleasure of drawing and to boost their self-confidence as they dreamt about who they would be as a super(s)heroe.  

Participants learnt how to make faces, bodies, costumes design; they chose names and powers for their characters; and they came up with a story board.


Three workshops.

Fifteen of our youths having tons of fun.

It was the first time Jamii initiated such workshops. It is, for sure, the beginning of a series!


Special thanks to the St Lawrence Community Recreation Centre for hosting our workshops and TD Ready Commitment for supporting this project.


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.


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.

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.



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


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.



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

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