Art takes over city parks this summer
A $1-million program will bring hundreds of artists to local parks this summer.
Following a successful pilot project that attracted 34,000 spectators last year, Arts in the Parks has roughly doubled in size for 2017. At least 235 featured events will take place at 38 parks until Sept. 16. The events include concerts, plays, dance and even lessons on how to make pebble mosaics or play the ukelele.
Toronto Arts Foundation CEO Claire Hopkinson encourages Torontonians to use the program as an excuse to check out parks they haven’t visited.
“This is a wonderful way to discover the city,” she told Metro.
Arts in the Parks primarily takes place outside of Toronto’s downtown; the idea is to make arts and culture more accessible in the inner suburbs.
Taiko drummer Koyoshi Nagata of the band Nagata Shachu is looking forward to performing in a new setting.
“Our group usually plays in the downtown core,” he said. “For Arts in the Parks, what we really wanted to do was reach audiences that wouldn’t typically go all the way downtown for a performance.”
Nagata added that coming to a community to perform for free is also in keeping with the spirit of taiko.
“Drumming is meant to bring people together,” he said. “You couldn’t find a more perfect match than having performance in the park, which is the central gathering point for people.”
Nagata Shachu will also provide hands-on taiko drumming workshops before each performance, like the one they provided for Mayor John Tory at a press conference on Wednesday.
He was “above average” for a beginner, said Nagata. “He has good rhythm.”