Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Junction Amalgamation Celebration, May 1, 2009: a Brilliant Folk Art Rendering of Democracy in the Junction

West Toronto Junction Amalgamation Celebration, May 1, 2009, photo by artjunction.blogspot.comPhoto: The Junction Amalgamation Celebration, May 1, 2009
2009 @
On May 1, 2009, we created a brilliant folk art rendering of Democracy in the Junction in our celebration of the centennial of West Toronto joining the City of Toronto in 1909. At that moment in time, Lismer Hall at Humberside Collegiate was, indeed, the centre of the universe.

With the wisdom, leadership and artistic talent all rolled up in good humour and time- honoured tradition, complete with bells and singing, flags bunting and balloons, ribbons and flowers under the great mural in Lismer hall, I think a fair argument could be made for the beauty of the concept. Sam Martin did us proud with the Junction Bell song and Junction Bound. The toasts for the Future from characters from our Past were marvelous, and Madeleine MacDowell's tribute to the library, literacy and culture did us all proud.

Neil Ross as the mastermind behind and ring master for this carnival celebration incorporated all the elements from the exact same event at Humberside 100 years ago and recreating them for posterity. The polish of the characters of the Legends of the Junction played by members of the Junction Historical Society for two years now is a brilliant legacy to have created. We told our history well and have it recorded for posterity thanks to Cris Senjug and Olga Goubar.

Doris Moxam was a wonderful community liaison, and by aligning the Homecoming as part of the Amalgamation celebration, made the event viable and contributed enormously to its success. Vandra and Volker Masemann were wonderful logistical co-ordinators, and Vandra's assistance with the Boom Times Cabaret was invaluable. Kristen Buckley as Chair oversaw and implemented the event with grace, extraordinary efficiency and boundless energy, with David Wencer taking up the tech and a myriad other tasks in great enthusiastic strides. Pat Trusty also helped to make the slide show into a visually and historically effective backdrop to the Cabaret. The Junction BIA and community members and Humberside staff and students who helped to create this event have made a wonderful contribution to culture in the Junction.

The central event was the Key Ceremony. The Spirit of the Junction dressed in roses and asparagus fern by Martins the Flower People handed the key to the Mayor of the town of West Toronto (played by WTJHS president Gib Goodfellow) to the Mayor of the City of West Toronto (played by Councillor Bill Saundercook), to the current Mayor of Toronto (local resident, David Miller) to the member of Provincial Parliament (Cheri DiNovo) and then to the Spirit of Toronto, also dressed by Martins Flowers in roses and palm fronds. She scampered off to take the key back to Post and Beam at Dundas and Keele-- which is now full of wonderful architectural inheritance, and is the historic site of the meeting of art and culture in the Junction 100 years ago. We proved that we held true to our cultural roots in this place and we know where to find the key for the foreseeable future.

Through the auspices of Latitude 44 Gallery, award-winning local artist Reid English created a community sculpture during the 2009 Arts Festival as part of the 2008 Centennial Celebrations. Members of the community contributed bits and bobs, odds and ends of interest to add to the sculpture which represents the Spirit of the Junction. A large sculpture was part of the original amalgamation celebrations 100 years ago: it was unveiled at midnight.

When the veil came off the new Spirit of the Junction statue on May 1st this year, the force of the swirling of the cloth turned its head to the side, and the bicycle fender and the profile of his face looked like a depiction of an Egyptian, Greek or Roman God. It was a great spring tribute to bring to the student body. The statue was presented to Humberside by Reid English and Janet DiBernardo of Latitude 44 Gallery to commemorate the centennial and inspire budding artists in the community..... During the evening of the Amalgamation celebration, Reid and Latitude 44 facilitated a second, smaller sculpture to be created in the same way during the evening. That sculpture has been donated to the Historical Society and will be on display at the Annette St Library in the near future.

It was a wonderful evening with lovely memories of everyone helping out and enjoying themselves. Bea Mozdzanowski magically appeared with a perfect door stop to allow me to free myself from holding the front door open to allow fresh air into the crowded foyer and Janet DiBernardo headed home with a wonderful smile and great bunches of balloons for her neighbour's children. The next day Vandra and Volker’s grandsons were also recipients of bunches of balloons to their great delight. The older, age 4, seeing the Canadian flag in the bunch, had the family all stand up whilst he sang “O Canada" eight or nine times.

The Junction Historical Society continues its Amalgamation celebrations with 'The Junction Centennial Contemporary Art Tour' on May 16th 2009. We will tour the Galleries at 401 Richmond St, The Power Plant and the Distillery District. The tour will be led by Jen Morin, a junction resident who is currently interning at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Art. The tickets are $25 - including 2 TTC rides and admission to the Powerplant. We meet at 401 Richmond St. at 11 am and finish in the Distillery District at about 5:30pm. There are about 10 tickets left:available through or at Latitude 44 Gallery 2900 Dundas St. W., ph. 416-769-2900.
Become part of history by supporting this fundraiser for the Junction Historical Society and create new memories for the future.

2009 © Cara Reeves

West Toronto Junction Amalgamation Celebration, May 1, 2009, photo by artjunction.blogspot.comPhoto-collage: The Junction Amalgamation Celebration, May 1, 2009
2009 @

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